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JMJ at Jodrell Bank


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I was lucky enough to be at the Bluedot festival this weekend (thanks to my lovely wife!) under the Jodrell Bank radio telescope. It was a really cool festival, lots of electronic acts of various flavours mixed in with plenty of physics-based exhibits and talks by scientists. It ticked most of my boxes! The real highlight though was JMJ's headline set on Saturday night.


You can see his whole setlist here but it doesn't quite convey how powerful his set was. Drawing heavily on the Electronica albums all the sweeping orchestral statements he's known for were swept away in favour of absolutely pulverising beats and energy that shamed the younger and ravier acts on the bill. Most of the older tracks had been reworked with the new material in mind (only Oxygene 2 followed the record) with the already beat-heavy tracks from Equinoxe benefiting the most. Tight segues and blinding video walls on the front and back of the stage only pushed the intensity higher. It couldn't have been further from the last concert of his I saw, the Oxygene 30th anniversary.


But enough about the music and the boring emotional connections it brings, what gear did he have! ;)


The lights meant I couldn't see much but I had a quick chance at the end of the show to see his command station. He had:


* JD-XA over (probably) an A-800 Pro in front

* Memorymoog under a GRP A4 on his left - the later sounded terrifying on Oxygene 2!

* Nord C* on his right with a Roland Handsonic above

* A few unidentified drum pads dotted around the rig

* RK-100 keytar

* iPad with Animoog - used for I can't remember what

* Gibson Les Paul (!!) used briefly I think at the end of Automatic


He also had something that looked like a huge glass panel on his right which he touched and tapped occasionally - I didn't get a good look at it to find out what it was but it sounded like it was triggering the VCS3 noise sweeps and bubbles in Oxygene. I would love to know more about it! He also had two other musicians on stage, both with electric drum kits and various synths dotted around - no idea what they had. Oh and the laser harp made an appearance on The Time Machine. I did a bit of wee at that.


There's another review with a good picture of his rig here. Based on that performance I'm going after a ticket for when he comes to Cardiff later in the year.

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