Posted on November 13, 2015 by Maynard G.
St. Germain
St. Germain
Warner Music France; 2015

   St. Germain,  (aka Ludovic Navarre), has come out with his first new music since 2000’s “Tourist.”  Many people were wondering where he had gone.  The answer:  St. Germain is still alive and well and throwing down his usual excellent electronic music.  This offering, the self titled “St. Germain,”  is more proof of the genius of Mr. Navarre.
   He has teamed up with several Malian musicians to create an electronic/world music experience that harkens back to “Tourist” while at the same time being fresh and new.  A couple of the cuts:  “Real Blues” featuring the voice of Lighting Hopkins and “How Dare You” utilize samples of blues singers to great effect, another similarity to tracks from “Tourist.”
  The Malian connection is made through the use of kora player Mamadou Cherif Soumano and guitar and n’goni player Guimba Kouyate, as well as vocalists Fanta Bagayoyo and Nahawa Doumbia.  These artists, and others, all combine with Navarre’s signature laid back production to create a world music experience that, at times, could have been a straight out of Africa offering, (“Sittin’ Here”, “Voila.”)
   That being said, other cuts, while still showcasing Malian instrumentation, can not be immediately pegged as so called “world” music.  Wouldn’t the fact that the tunes come out of France qualify it as a “world music” album?  The jazz/blues elements like saxophone and percussion bring you right back to the French Touch movement that St. Germain was central to.  Navarre’s deft production and use of sampling keeps this album flowing with just the right mix of old and new.  It’s great to see that an artist you admired in 2000 is still putting out excellent music after a fifteen year hiatus.  I look forward to hearing any future St. Germain projects.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another decade and a half.          Maynard G