St Germain – St Germain (Warner France, 2015)
In the 15 years since his breakthrough sophomore album Tourist made a splash among jazz aficionados and downtempo fans alike, France’s Ludovic Navarre has remained relatively quiet. It seemed as though the famed producer had essentially run out of things to say, accomplishing a feat in itself by bridging two unlikely audiences. Though St Germain adheres to a few of the producer’s staples, namely his penchant for combining the deep house pulses of the early ‘00s with cool jazz instrumentals, the album takes on a new flavour in the form of world music. Infusing elements of West African Mande music, Navarre brings a modicum of new life to his tried and true formula; rather than simply beating the same horse for a third time, Navarre’s ambition is genuinely appreciated. As a long-awaited follow-up to a critical peak however, St Germain simply suffers from being too little too late.
Trial Track: “Real Blues”