By: Cicely C. Mitchell
***LUDOVIC NAVARRE aka ST GERMAIN
At the court of Louis XV in 18th century France, there was a character who amazed everyone by pretending to be several centuries old. He went by the name of Saint Germain. On the threshold of the 21st century, the person we’re concerned with today is just as impressive, but claims to be only 30 years old and is neither a swindler nor an aristocrat, but rather a maestro and a handyman. Ludovic Navarre, aka St Germain, pioneer of the French Touch, the new electronic music Made in France, has become an indisputable and respected reference on the international music scene.***
He’s back and his music as well as his message are still mesmerizing to millions. His unpredictability, creativity and ingenuity have captivated live audiences and his soulful, artful sounds find their way into the hearts, minds and consciousness of many.
St. Germain is one of the most progressive, unpredictable and complex artists ever to grace a stage or a studio.
In terms of his backgrounds in the realms of “Acid Jazz”, “Nu Jazz” “Sensual House”, “Deep House”, “World Music” and “Electronic Music”, St. Germain (born Ludovic Navarre in France) lives beyond the labels. “I discovered and followed house music from Detroit and Chicago circa the early 90’s. I listen to that as well as music that’s coming out now from South Africa too,” Navarre stated.” I would say I’m more into the Deep House style mixed in with jazz, Blues or Reggae – and now this time with African instruments.”
With rich textures and rhythms, Navarre plans a methodical and intensive strategy for beginning music. “When I start working on a new song, I already know what I want,” he stated.” I’ve got a global vision.”
That “global vision” has garnered past musical successes for him. For example, Navarre’s album “Boulevard” was released in July of 1995 and went on to sell well over one million copies globally. His United States debut “Tourist” was released in 2000 and sold 300,000 copies in the USA, while selling four million copies worldwide.
“Rose Rouge” a stately and well-known single from “Tourist”, garnered tremendous critical acclaim. It was also featured in the official movie trailer for Joss Whedon’s 2013 cinematic treasure Much Ado About Nothing.
Without limits, Navarre, takes his vision and begins the recording process. “When I start working on a new project, I’ve got a global vision and then I start to record with each musician one by one,” Navarre said. “The music continuously evolves with each musician’s own way of playing. After that, I work alone with a new pattern and incorporate all of the elements,” he added. “It could take one month working my way through one song…so… no I’m not easily satisfied – I do my best to not repeat the same thing I did before. I try to find a new, attractive sounds and colors that excite me.”
Navarre’s newest project, an eponymous album, serves as his fourth studio album, which was released back in October of 2015. Furthermore, it offers fans another layer of Navarre to explore; throughout the musical escapade this album takes fans within, the project features traditional Malian instruments, intertwined with electric instruments.
The first single off of the album, “Real Blues”, seemed to be the perfect introduction into the odyssey of sound, soul and light Navarre offers on this eponymous album : “’Real Blues’” incorporates the vocals of blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins and the participation of African musicians with a deep sound that I always did since “Boulevard” but with traditional instruments from Mali,” Navarre stated.
For Navarre, the creation of music is fluid. He finds himself in unlikely places, but learning lessons that he parlays into rich and deep musical rhythms and textures: “[In terms of my new eponymous album ] We found a studio in Bamako where we recorded the vocals and I recorded with some other musicians and vocalists in Paris,” Navarre stated. “I discovered the hunters [of the land] and their songs from Mali on the internet. They are like preachers singing Blues in loops that are hypnotic, [rhythms and sounds similar to those] in electronic music.”
Speaking of Blues, Navarre also shares that the Blues is his favorite musical genre: “That’s been the case for a long time,” Navarre said. “I think there are two kinds of Blues – one comes from Africa and one from the US. I try to mix the two in “How Dare You [another single from my new eponymous album]. ’”
Regardless of what he is thinking, crafting, and playing, for St. Germain, music is an art form and takes various shapes, definitions and refinement. For St. Germain, it’s deliciously and invitingly perplexing and endless “Music is for the soul, for peace and for unity,” he stated.
Track Listing For St. Germain:
2. Sittin’ Here
5. Family Tree
6. How Dare You
7. Mary L.
8. Forget Me Not
HE’S BACK. AND HE’S STILL THE SAME, ONLY MORE UNPREDICTABLE THAN BEFORE. TWENTY YEARS AFTER BOULEVARD, FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER THE MULTI-PLATINUM ALBUM TOURIST (OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE) AND A WORLD TOUR SPANNING SEVERAL CONTINENTS, LUDOVIC NAVARRE, ALIAS ST GERMAIN, FINALLY FOUND HIS WAY BACK INTO THE STUDIO. AN UNCONTESTED AND RESPECTED FIGURE IN THE WORLD OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES, A PIONEER OF THE “FRENCH TOUCH” AND A CREATOR OF INTELLIGENT, SENSUAL AND ORIGINAL DEEP HOUSE, ST GERMAIN HAS ALWAYS STOOD OUT. HIS CONSUMMATE ART THRIVES ON A SUBTLE MIXTURE OF MACHINES AND INSTRUMENTS, OF AUTHENTIC ROOTS AND MODERN INFLUENCES.
HIS MUSIC IS A COMPLEX BLEND, REFLECTING HIS LOVE OF THE BLUES, JAZZ AND BLACK MUSIC OF ALL KINDS, WITH HYPNOTIC ELECTRONIC LOOPS AND HARMONIOUSLY INTERTWINED VOCAL SAMPLES. WHO CAN FORGET THE RENOWNED “ALABAMA BLUES” OR “ROSE ROUGE”, THE HIT SINGLE PLAYED ALL AROUND THE WORLD… EVEN DURING ROLLING STONES’ CONCERTS! THIS NEW EPONYMOUS ALBUM IS A COLOURFUL AND EXCEPTIONAL MUSICAL JOURNEY. RECORDED WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF AFRICAN MUSICIANS, THE ALBUM FEATURES TRADITIONAL MALIAN INSTRUMENTS LIKE THE KORA, THE BALAFON OR THE N’GONI, THAT MINGLE WITH ELECTRIC GUITARS, PIANOS, SAXOPHONES AND ELECTRONIC LOOPS,
FOLLOWING A SECRET FORMULA ONLY ST GERMAIN COULD CONCOCT.
THE FIRST SINGLE, “REAL BLUES” A PERFECT SUMMER TRACK, SETS THE LEGENDARY VOICE OF LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS TO THE BEAT OF WILD, FIERY DRUMS AND PERCUSSION. THE ORIGINAL SINGLE SLEEVE IS DECORATED WITH A 3D MASK CONCEIVED BY URBAN ART CREATOR GREGOS, KNOWN FOR HIS SMILING AND FROWNING FACES STUCK ON WALLS THROUGHOUT PARIS AND EUROPE.
ST GERMAIN IS BACK AND THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING…
APR 10 VIC THEATRE – CHICAGO, IL
APR 11 FITZGERALD THEATER – ST PAUL, MN
APR 13 OGDEN THEATRE – DENVER, CO
APR 16 MEZZANINE – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
APR 18 COMMODORE BALLROOM – VANCOUVER, CANADA
APR 21 FONDA THEATRE – LOS ANGELES, CA
MAY 13 LE FORUM DE LIÈGE – LIÈGE, BELGIUM
JUN 24 HIPPODROME DE LONGCHAMP – PARIS, FRANCE
JUN 26 HIPPODROME DE LONGCHAMP – PARIS, FRANCE
JUL 08 AIX LES BAINS – AIX LES BAINS, FRANCE
JUL 10 AIX LES BAINS – AIX LES BAINS, FRANCE
JUL 15 DE BIJLOKE – GENT, BELGIUM
JUL 16 SOMERSET HOUSE – LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM