£16.99Emblematic of that French touch which tinged new-wave with a bit of sunshine, their electro, retro-futuristic songs have that slight sweet and sour flavour between casualness and sophistication.Visit product page →
The birth of Cha Cha Guitry in 1981 was a landmark for its members, Serge, Dominique, Charly and Marie.Once their hippie phase was over, the guitar, sax and flute were abandoned in the closet while machines took over: an EMS AKS synth, a Roland SH101, a Roland TR808 rhythm-box. The two couples met in the congenial atmosphere of their “home studio” to record their songs.
The boys composed and sang, the girls sang and designed minimal costumes, the elegance of which was enhanced by some DIY touches: no need for fabric, paper will perfectly do. As deceivingly offhanded stylists, the Cha Cha crew carefully crafted a music that was both studied and charmingly quirky, making collages of pop raw materials and avant-garde stuff.
Scissors in hand, they took what they wanted from the Bauhaus, Moholy Nagy, or Sonia Delaunay’s dresses, taping these iconic bits onto the sounds of Kraftwerk and what remained of pop culture (comics, movies, songs of the 30s or easy listening).
Cha Cha Guitry, wisely ingenious, modelled tropical landscapes out of cellophane, thus elaborating its own synthetic surrealism.
£14.99Cheveu now enters 2014 heavy-hearted and red-eyed, just like those wrecks of humanity blinded by the lights at closing time, their misery, bad skin and unachieved schemes exposed before dawn.Visit product page →
Cheveu built its third LP on the ashes of those unholy hours, around the majestic « Polonia », a track on which David Lemoine recites a few lines from Bertrand Blier’s Buffet Froid with the set expression of a man empowered by the fact he just shit his pants, while Etienne Nicolas and Olivier Demeaux slowly unwind the rapturous scenery of a theologian western. The song is beautiful, grotesque, heart-rending, just like a scene out of Jean Ray’s Malpertuis backed by a funeral choir of angelwitches, and is definitely one of the most amazing things you’ll hear this year.
> BUM, just like « Polonia », is an inner trip, an odyssey bordered by the walls of an antique mansion, full of baroque embroidery and padded club chairs, perfect aural counterpart for the paintings, of Rousseau, master of the exotic which –paradoxically- never ventured out of France. Cheveu’s third record is full-on excess and absurdity, but is also much more legible and effective than their previous efforts (see « Juan In A Million » or the sure-fire hit « Albinos », which lyrics are taken from a monologue in Harmony Korine’s Gummo), even traditional at times (« Pirate Bay » seems like the very first Cheveu song where guitars sound like guitars).
This time, the band opted for a much more live-based, organic and fully-produced sound, replacing 1000’s messy cut-ups and Cheveu’s shitgaze blur by throbbing organs (played by Xavier Klaine and recorded at Saint Merri Church) and wall-of-sound choirs (arranged in Tel-Aviv by Maya Dunietz, already in charge of the lush string arrangements on 1000).
The result : 10 tracks drier and sharper than anything Cheveu has done before, definitely out-of-this-world but elegantly mannered, veined with unaltered genius and ending with the spectacular « Johnny Hurry Up », an unreal track which owes Wall Of Voodoo and X as much as François de Roubaix and crowns Cheveu as the masters of a new world where love burns over piles of rotting meat and shit.
£13.99True French cold wave classic for the first time reissued in vinyl.Visit product page →
If you are into minimal synth music, you of course know the track and except if you have 200 euros to spend in an original copies, you're still looking for this killer record.
1. Demain Berlin
2. Peine perdue
£12.99Visit product page →
1. My Ears Are Dust
3. I Walk In A Lonely Light
5. Sexual Sewer
7. Horse Glue
8. Crab In The Pipeline
9. Entertainment Centers
10. Crushed Up
11. La Brea Tar Pits
12. Witch In Outer Space
£16.99Back in print. A French psyche pop odyssey selected by Dirty Sound System.Visit product page →
The LP features Dashiell Hedayat, Christophe, Brigitte Fontaine, Cheval Fou, Bernard Lavilliers and more.
1. Christophe - Ferber endormi
2. Bernard Lavilliers - Les aventures extraordinaires d'un billet de banque
3. Brigitte Fontaine - Il pleut
4. Dashiell Hedayat - Long Song for Zelda
5. Cortex - Cortex A
6. Nino Ferrer - Looking For You
7. Jean Jacques Dexter - Be Quiet.
1. Alain Kan - Speed My Speed
2. François de Roubaix - La frite équatoriale
3. Cheval Fou - La fin de la vie, le début de la survivance
4. Christophe - Sunny Road to Salina
5. Ilous & Decuyper – Berceuse
6. Karl Heinz Schäfer & Arabian – Utopia
£16.99The long awaited follow up to Jeunes Gens Modernes volume 1.Visit product page →
With 5 killer unissued tracks from french 80's vaults. Between the late 70s and mid-80s, in the wake of the punk wave and in parallel to other types of music like disco, funk, ska and reggae, a prolific and chaotic music scene began to develop in France, combining the energy of rock and the nihilism of punk with electronic experimentation.
The period was not, on the whole, one of optimism and joy, played out as it was against a background of economic crisis and the cold war. The tendency was rather towards disillusion, accompanied by a clear-sighted recognition that a stalemate between the generations would be unavoidable in the short term. Paradoxically, as it would appear, a kind of hope and frenzied vitality could also be detected during these years. Both were fed by a sort of modernist utopia, which was sometimes wilfully ironic.
This was largely based on a certain fascination with technical progress and, by extension, on a belief, tinged with mistrust, in the infinite perspectives that the new technologies now seemed to offer. A whole section of France’s youth found itself confronted by the contradictions of the times it was living in: young people were torn between the sensation of living on the edge of an abyss and hope for the dawning of a new world; they were deprived of tangible ideological landmarks but resistant to the posthippy utopias of the previous generation.
In search of an identity, they recognised themselves in the dark lyrics, the cold synthetic music and the laid-back attitude of the new groups bursting up all over the country, as much in the provinces as in Paris.
1. Adn Ckrystall - Mini Romance
2. X Ray Pop - La Machine À Rêver
3. Eli & Jacno - Les Tarots (Ost Les Nuits De La Pleine Lune)
4. Les Fils De Joie - Les Plaisirs Chers
5. Les Stagiaires - Airport
6. Medikao - Wc Boy
7. La Bande Au Col Roule - 60 Amor
8. Radio Romance - Etrange Affinité
9. A.R.T - Foolish Virgin
10. Kas Product - Holycow
11. Frantz Kultur & Les Krames - Ultime Atome
12. Meca Rythm - Night Virus
13. Perspective Nevski - Un Billet Pour L'eternité
£19.991968. France, Incorporated. The entire building was being consumed by flames and was slowly collapsing. Nothing would survive. Out of the rubble of the old world jumped the children of Marx and Coca-Cola, ripping the white and blue stripes off the French flag. Yet, the socialist revolution was more mythic than real and music did nothing to mitigate people’s behavior. It was time for innovation. While singles from the Stones, Who, Kinks and MC5 provided an incendiary soundtrack for the revolution, it was Black Americans who truly blew the world from its foundations in the 60s.Visit product page →
Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp left behind the jazz of their fathers’ generation, liberating the notes, trashing the structures, diving headfirst into furious improvisations, inventing a new land without boundaries – neither spiritual nor political. Free jazz endowed the saxophone with the power to destroy the established order. In 1969, the Art Ensemble of Chicago arrived at the Thétre du Vieux Colombier in Paris and a new fuse was lit.
Their multi-instrumentalism made use of a varied multiplicity of “little instruments” (including bicycle bells, wind chimes, steel drums, vibraphone and djembe: they left no stone unturned), which they employed according to their inspirations. The group’s stage appearance shocked as well. They wore boubous (traditional African robes) and war paint to venerate the power of their free, hypnotic music, directly linked to their African roots. They were predestined to meet up with the Saravah record label (founded in 1965 by Pierre Barouh), already at the vanguard of as-yet unnamed world music. Brigitte Fontaine’s album Comme à la radio, recorded in 1970 after a series of concerts at the Thétre du Vieux Colombier, substantiated the union of this heiress to the poetic and politically committed chanson française (Magny, Ferré, Barbara) with the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s voodoo jazz and the Arab tradition perpetuated by her companion Areski Belkacem. A UFO had landed on the turntables of French teens, who were discovering underground culture via publications like Actuel, Libération, Charlie Hebdo, Rock & Folk and a vigorous free press. It was a generation ready for any and all combats: alongside farmers on the Larzac plateau and the Lip factory workers; fighting the Creys-Malville nuclear plant, the Vietnam War, the death penalty, discrimination against women, gays and immigrants.
For 20 year olds in the early 1970s, making music was a political act; they grabbed a microphone to advance a cause, not to become rock stars. While the price of oil skyrocketed and Pompidou went overboard building horrible concrete apartment buildings for public housing and “adapting the city for the automobile,” some took refuge in the countryside. Alternative communities formed all across France, giving rise to groups (or rather, collectives) with open-minded structures, cheerfully mixing music, theatrical happenings and agitprop, along with a good dose of acid. Projects bordering on the ridiculous were often tolerated (progressive rock was one of the primary banalities the era produced), while those who followed the route paved by spiritual jazz often ended up elsewhere. The vehemence (if not grandiloquence) of their declarations was carried and transcended by the finesse and brilliance of their musicianship.
For the “straight” France of Claude François, it was something from another world. Simultaneously spatial, pastoral and tribal, the tracks in this collection represent an ideal intersection between a sort of psychedelic legacy, the space jazz of Sun Ra and Afro Beat (then being created by Fela in Lagos): they are as much incantations (often driven by the spoken word), war cries or poems as they are polemics. 1978. Giscard was at the helm. Punk and disco were busily decapitating the last remaining hippies. Peoples’ blood was still boiling, but it was already too late. The war was over, lost without anyone noticing.
1. Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Je suis un sauvage – 1970
2. Areski & Brigitte Fontaine - C’est normal – 1973
3. Atarpop 73 & Le Collectif du Temps des Cerises - Attention… L’Armée – 1973
4. RK Nagati - De l’Orient à l’Orion – 197?
5. Frédéric Rufin & Raphaël Lecomte & Capucine - Les Eléphants – 197?
6. François Tusques & Le Collectif du Temps des Cerises - Nous allons vous conter … – 1973
7. Mahjun (Mouvement Anarcho Héroïque des Joyeux Utopistes Nébuleux) - Nous Ouvrirons Les Casernes – 1973
8. Full Moon Ensemble - Samba Miaou – 1971
9.Baroque Jazz Trio - Orientasie – 1970
10. Michel Roques - Le Cri – 1972
11. Chêne Noir - Hey ! – 1976
12. Béatrice Arnac - Athée ou A té – 1973