Although billed as a Jean Michel Jarre recording, Odyssey Through 02 is actually a remix project by various artists, each taking a cut or two from his groundbreaking Odyssey album. Perhaps the reason Jarre's name is on it as one of his own is because he had final say over the end result. Here, countryman DJ Cam, Loop Guru, Apollo 440, Hani, Resistance D, the Sunday Club, and Boodjie & Veronica take elements from the classic "Oxygene," and re-create it in three "phases" completely out of sync with the source material and out of context. In other words, track ten is first and done three different times by different artists and "Oxygene 8" is done four times! DJ Cam remixes "Oxygene 7" and it is the only time it appears here; he remains somewhat faithful to the source, though he warps its time/space continuum a bit. In addition, there are a pair of bonus tracks in remixes of "Oxygene 13," and "Rendez-vous." The rest of the material from the album is ignored here. Musically, it's like any remix outing, some of it smokes -- Hani's version of "8" is another standout in phase one, and Resistance D's redo of "10" in phase two is pretty spaced out and lovely -- and some of them miss the mark entirely (they shall remain nameless). Ultimately this is a bit of a drag, there are too many tried and true house beats pumped into the abyss with Jarre's material being a backdrop for updated beats that don't sound all that new. A brand-new album by Jarre himself, in or out of touch, would have been preferable -- like why didn't he just remix and recontextualize it himself? Perhaps to make the purchase more palatable, Jarre collaborated with the Belgian company ArKaos to offer a multimedia desktop for punters who get ahold of this where the user can create "paintings" to accompany the various selections. Yawn.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek