If there was a mainstay, a workhorse of every chill out, lounge compilation of the late 90s / early 2000s era it was St Germain. The project of Frenchman Ludovic Navarre originally began as part of the early wave of French Touch producers. Over the course of a few EPs Navarre moved from the filtered house that helped spawn the likes of Daft Punk and DJ Falcon towards a more jazz and dub influenced style. House music was still a big part of his 1995 full length, Boulevard, but it was as if he had stumbled on something completely different. Working with live musicians he was able to weave together the disparate strains of jazz and house, and add his contribution to what would become known as acid jazz. Five years later, following a relatively quiet period, St Germain returned with Tourist. Now on Blue Note (and Parlophone), with acid jazz in full swing, things were falling into all of the right places. And even though I keep saying acid jazz, please don't take it the wrong way. The material featured on Tourist has aged remarkably well. Far from being the gimmicky sax solo over house beat, the music is produced and arranged with skill. Many of the tracks would not be out of place in a Theo Parrish mix. The opener, "Rose Rouge," sets the stage for everything that is to follow. It takes its time to develop and that is part of the quality of the track. Given the standard that was set with Tourist it is no surprise that it still sounds so good today. Remastered, high quality 180 gram double LP.
- music label: Blue Note 2000 / Parlophone 2012