Whistleblower Edward Snowden Just Dropped a Techno Track with a Legend
The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden just made his electronic music debut in an unexpected collaboration that could very well be considered one of the most important politically-fueled tracks in dance music history.
The former CIA employee is still living in exile after exposing the U.S. government's global surveillance operations in conjunction with telecommunication companies in 2013. Snowden leaked the classified information with the help of The Guardian and The Washington Post, inciting a national debate on the issues of government secrecy and mass surveillance as well as the boundaries between national security and information privacy.
The Guardian reportedly introduced Snowden to French dance music legend Jean-Michel Jarre after doing an interview with the producer and composer fro his 2015 album Electronica I: The Time Machine. The two proceeded to connect on Skype, and Jarre discussed working together to create vocal and speech samples to be used in his upcoming album of collaborations Electronica Volume II: The Heart Of Noise.
"Edward is an absolute hero of our times," Jarre told The Guardian. "When I first read about him, it made me think of my mother... She always told me that when society is generating things you can’t stand, you have to stand up against it."
Jarre's mother was an activist in the french movement opposing the Nazi German occupation in 1941. After meeting Snowden, Jarre was immediately inspired to create a track centered on technology, privacy and freedom of speech, so he traveled to Moscow and recorded speech samples of Snowden."I think that Edward was surprised to receive my invitation to collaborate on a musical composition, to voice his message via another media," Jarre told Rolling Stone.
And while he may have been taken back by the offer, Snowden told The Guardian that it was an immense treat to be able to participate in such a project, as electronic music has always meant a lot to him.
"The melodies I remember with the most fondness are from video games," Snowden said. "And I think people like Jean Michel are the ones who really popularized that and made that possible for us to appreciate it as more than just sounds, as more than just background, but as actual culture."
Snowden's vocal contributions combined with Jarre's impeccable, atmospheric and emotive sound design resulted in incredibly a compelling techno track entitled "Exit," which Jarre says "illustrate[s] the idea of this crazy quest for big data on one side and the manhunt for this one young guy by the CIA, NSA and FBI on the other."
Transferred through the efficacious combination of Snowden's speech and Jarre's visionary production, the message of "Exit" comes through powerful and clear...
"If you don’t stand up for it, then who will?”
Stream the track below, and then pre-order Jarre's upcoming album Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise before it drops May 6th to receive an instant download of "Exit" as well as previously released singles "What You Want" and "The Heart of Noise, Part 1.""Music, as with all art, is one of the only ways that we can create bonds and bridges between human hearts that are beyond semantic understanding, and that is reason, more than anything else, why we need music."
I'm a storyteller at heart, and music makes my world go round.