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BORN BAD

Bernard Fevre

Space Oddities 1976-1985

    Among the figureheads of French disco, Bernard Fevre, better known as Black Devil, probably had the shortest-lived career but was the most brilliant and unique mind of them all. Although his first album 'Disco Club', released in 1978, went unnoticed at first, it has since become a must-have, a collector's item which has led a lot of listeners to further investigate into his extensive work.

    From rock music to music hall, sound illustration to disco, pop to reggae, through film music and advertising, Bernard Fevre has experimented with so many genres that it has been hard not to lose track. One of his best albums even has such an unambivalent title as 'The Strange World of Bernard Fevre'. Please make your way to a cosmic dimension, verging on the unknown.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Bernard Fevre - Dali
    2. Bernard Fevre - Space Team
    3. Black Devil Disco - Follow Me (instrumental)
    4. Bernard Fevre - This Is To Be
    5. Bernard Fevre - Restless
    6. Old Gang Jah - Rasta
    7. Bernard Fevre - Foxy Spleen
    8. Bernard Fevre - Sunshine On March
    9. Milpatte - Cruzer
    10. Bernard Fevre - Odysee
    11. Bernard Fevre - Central Way
    12. Suspense - Weekee Way
    13. Bernard Fevre - Earth Message
    14. Bernard Fevre - Cosmic Rays

    15. Black Devil Disco - No Regrets

    16. Bernard Fevre - Cimes Eternelles

    17. Milpatte - Livel

    18. Bernard Fevre - 2043

    Various Artists

    A Moi La Liberte - Early Electronic Rai - Algerie 1983-1990

      Delving into the deepest recesses of raï, this compilation serves as a tribute to its roaring years, but also as a rejuvenation of the genre in its sulphurous, subterranean version.

      Through the pre and post-independence years, from 1950 to 1970, raï urbanised itself, with a generation listening to the traditional sounds, but also and mostly listening to twist, French variété and rock music. Including 6-page booklet with liner notes in French and English and download code.

      TRACK LISTING

      Cheb Hindi - A Moi La Libert?
      Houari Benchenet - Malika
      Chab Mohamed Sghir - Khalouni
      Chaba Fadila - Kii Kount Ouelite
      Cheb Tahar - Djehida
      Cheb Djalal - Mohal Nahna
      Benchenet - Ghir Hiya Salbetni
      Cheb Kader - Reggae Ra?
      Chab Hamouda - Zahri Mate
      Cheb Khaled - Li Bini Ou Binek
      Nordine Sta'fi - Rouh Ya L'mersoul
      Chaba Amel - Lala Kusti
      Chaba Malika Meddah - Sid Houari Ya Mlah
      Tchier Abdelgani - La'roussa Jate?

      Zombie Zombie

      Vae Vobis

        Fifteen years in and Zombie Zombie are going way back, the cinematic French synth trio's sixth studio album 'Vae Vobis' veers away from the science fiction overload of their 2017 opus 'Livity' to plunge their music deep into the Middle Ages. Joined by soprano singer Ange`le Chemin and Francois & The Atlas Mountains' Laura Etchegoyhen as part of the Doomed Angels choir on vocals, lyrics are sung in Latin, drawn from the proverbs of the Dutch humanist Erasmus.

        "We wanted to remain mysterious, to send cryptic messages" the pair say, "to dive back into a language from another time, like the copyist monks of the Middle Ages".

        Recorded with Laurent de Boisgisson at Studio One Two Pass It in Bagnolet, the result is something akin to a reverberating doom orgy. Previous work has always lent itself a cinematic edge - reaching its culmination in the form of two film soundtracks, for French films Irreprochable and L'Heure De La Sortie respectively - but here the sense of atmosphere and the scale of the sound has been blown up yet further. The choral arrangements hint at the work of David Axelrod or Ennio Morricone, with chanted syllables ominously arcing over the top of the likes of Lacrymosa bouncing analogue synth work and Consortium's portentous swirls of gothic sound.

        There are bangers to be found within the caverns too. “Nusquam et Unique” admittedly isn't your average 122 BPM floor filler but moves forward with an ominous dubby propulsion while vocoder vocals cut menacingly through. Ring Modulus meanwhile veers between minimal and maximal as it shudders along its more subtle gridlines.

        The ubiquitous vocoders are pushed to their limits on the album, while sax, trumpet and percussion come and add further colour.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Introitus
        2. Vae Vobis
        3. Nusquam Et Unique
        4. Ring Modulus
        5. Aurora
        6. Lacrymosa
        7. Dissolotum
        8. War Is Coming
        9. Lux In Tenebris
        10. Modus Operandi
        11. Erebus
        12. Consortium

        1968. 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. 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 Théâtre 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 Théâtre 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 and 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.

        TRACK LISTING

        01. Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Je Suis Un Sauvage
        02. Areski & Brigitte Fontaine - C’est Normal
        03. Atarpop 73 & Le Collectif Du Temps Des Cerises Attention… - L’Armée
        04. RK Nagati - De L’Orient à L’Orion
        05. Frédéric Rufin & Raphaël Lecomte & Capucine - Les Eléphants
        06. François Tusques & Le Collectif Du Temps Des Cerises - Nous Allons Vous Conter
        07. Mahjun (Mouvement Anarcho Héroïque Des Joyeux Utopistes Nébuleux) - Nous Ouvrirons Les Casernes
        08. Full Moon Ensemble - Samba Miaou
        09. Baroque Jazz Trio - Orientasie
        10. Michel Roques - Le Cri
        11. Chêne Noir - Hey!
        12. Béatrice Arnac - Athée Ou A Té


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