Oct
15
2010
3
Sep
08
2010
5

Sounds From The Future Past

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Thanks to Waxidermy & The Growing Bin blogs for bringing this album to my attention. Released in 1980, René Roussel’s Rubriques on the French Editions Montparnasse 2000 record label is the sound of the future all the way from 1980. After listening to the tracks, my immediate thought was, where did René Roussel get his ideas from?

The first track Caramel sounds like it could have been recorded last week never mind thirty years ago. It is almost eerie how the minimal drum loop and stabbing synth sound anticipates the future sounds of Chicago and when the broken piano melody comes in near the end, you suddenly realise, René Roussel not only duplicated the sound and structure of house music but anticipated it by at least five years.

Rene Roussel – Caramel [1980]

If the first track echoes the music of Marshall Jefferson and Jamie Principle, then the second track Manigance sounds like nothing less than the sound of Detroit techno and more specifically, the third wave techno futurism of Derrick May, and Cybotron with its strange Strings Of Life neo-classical beauty.

Rene Roussel – Manigance [1980]

If it were not enough that René Roussel engaged in an act of sonic precognition with two different but intertwined genres of music; Chicago house and Detroit techno, this third offering Noctilucque sounds closer to and has more in common with the early nineties ambient music paradigm of Peter Namlook, (and other horizontal sounds coming from the Fax label) and the UK’s Mixmaster Morris AKA Irresisitible Force than it does to Roussel’s electronic contempories such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Richard Pinhas. There is a curious early nineties feel about the minimalist synth sounds and the way the rising and falling tones are repeated.

Rene Roussel – Noctilucque [1980]

So there we have it, sonic anticipations of  future music recorded by someone called Rene Roussel (who I can find no information about whatsoever), released thirty years ago on a relatively obscure French library music label and retrieved from the memory hole by some cool bloggers. I think that for anyone who thought albums like Black Devil Disco Club and Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat were just amusing anomalies, they should start wondering how many more records like Rubriques are out there just waiting to be discovered? Enough to start re-writing the linear causal narrative of late 20th century western electronic music perhaps…

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Sep
05
2010
0

Dancing In The Moonlight

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Tonic – Dancing In The Moonlight (1980)

Bouncy, unpretentious… and Belgian. Sold for as low as €0.5 on the Net. Thanks to Antoine Bonan from Belgium for the hints.

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Jul
30
2010
6

Allo, Le Réseau

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Allo, Le Réseau – Allo Maman Allo (1981)

Allo, Le Réseau – Allo, Le Réseau (1981)

Once again, Massiera and Torelli are on board. The “concept” behind the single appears to be all about phone calls, first a son tells his mother that he loves her, then a depressed man looks for a feminine presence over the phone. Yep, they’re in top shape.

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Jul
29
2010
12

Année 1978

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Bons baisers d’Antibes – Année 1978 (1977)

Massiera and Torelli revamping their Daddy and Mama for some kind of a promotional event for new year’s eve. It’s the same track, with just a few extra vocals and some slight re-arrangements, but it’s even rarer than the original version.

Released on Lizard Record as a 7”, the cover sleeve displays a penis-shaped lipstick and some woman’s lips – yeah, you can’t miss the record if you happen to see it 🙂

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Jun
20
2010
5
May
30
2010
2
Feb
25
2010
1

Hold-Up

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Alain Band/Hot City Simphony – Hold Up (1977)

The B side of the Alain Band 7” record features a conventional piece of instrumental disco, with drums and horns.

Louis Chedid, the composer, remade Hold Up in 1984, but it’s honestly not as good as the original one. A much better remake was recently done from samples off this 1984 track by the great LoSoul:

Louis Chedid – Hold Up (LoSoul Re-Edit) (2010)

It also appears that a very first version of this tune exists, dating back from 1974: I really don’t know whether it’s the same as the 1977 one.

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Feb
25
2010
2

Grendizer Themes

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The Italian theme of an old Japanese anime from the mid 70s called Grendizer (aka UFOロボ·グレンダイザー, Grandizer, Goldrake, and Goldorak.)

Not really groundbreaking in any way – but well produced, the Atlas UFO Robot LP appears to be in high demand though, for some odd reasons.

Actarus – Shooting Star (1978)

Actarus – Vega (1978)

According to Tempera and Albertelli, they were asked in January 1978 by a RAI executive to write the theme songs for a new program for kids: a Japanese cartoon (i.e. Grendizer). They were given no information about the story, but they could see some scenes of the anime in Japanese some days later and understood more or less it was about a “good” robot fighting against some “bad” space invaders. This was enough for Albertelli to write the – somehow surreal – lyrics of “Ufo Robot” and “Shooting Star” (which originally was intended by the authors to be the song for the initial credits, but was refused by RAI executives for the role so becoming the ending theme), while Tempera involved Tavolazzi in the music writing process and thought to musical themes that could be played by an orchestra and sung by everybody so avoiding solo parts (a big novelty in Italian songwriting for theme songs, particularly referring to programs for kids). The whole writing and recording process of both two first theme songs lasted circa one month.

Excerpt courtesy of Goldotriomphe.

For comparison purposes, here’s an alternate disco-ified version of the Grendizer theme, especially made for the French-speaking Canadian market:

Michel Smith – Disco Goldorak (Vocal) (1980)

The sole credits of this second-rate theme are the rarity of the record on the market.

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Feb
07
2010
0

Le Chat

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Pussycat – Le chat (1983)
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A surprisingly good piece of fluffy Italo Disco. The lyrics can be roughly translated from French into English as “You wanted to touch the neighbour’s pussy/pussycat“. It’s the same ambiguous word in both languages.

It’s in fact a cover version of a 1976 track by the same author, Albert Verrechia, who was also notably involved in the band Belle Epoque as a writer (her sister was the singer; you know, the one with the so distinctive voice).

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Dec
09
2009
1

San Ku Kaï

I long hesitated whether I should post it, because of its obvious kitsch content, but to hell with it, it will just become another ticket with a tasty ‘wtf?’ tag.

ecskk61768161681-5177981879 San Ku Kaï (aka 宇宙からのメッセージ or Message from Space) was a very low-budget sci-fi Japanese movie and television series from 1978.

Eric Charden – San Ku Kaï – Main Theme (1980)

This is the French version of the theme, the Japanese one is really forgettable.

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Dec
09
2009
7

Computered Love

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Carol Rich – Computered Love (1983)

The lyrics are just a mumbo jumbo of computer terms that must have sounded cool and geek back in the day.

Carol Rich was once selected for the Eurovision song contest, representing Switzerland. She then collaborated with Roland Romanelli of Space fame but I don’t know if he was involved in the production of this song.

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Nov
17
2009
0

¿Que Sucede Ahora?

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Vocoder – Radio (1984)

Vocoder – ¿Que Sucede Ahora? (1984)

The Spanish band also committed this. It’s clearly unpretentious but fun. And no, the voice and arrangements are quite misleading but these are not new Miss Plug Inn tunes in disguise.

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Nov
15
2009
0
Jul
01
2009
4
Sep
06
2008
0
Aug
04
2008
0

Si Tu Sais Compter…

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 Cesarez – Si Tu Sais Compter… (1983)

There is an alternative version of this Québecois tune and this time sung in English (the main chorus that goes like “Si tu sais compter ne compte pas sur moi” is now replaced by “If you can count don’t count on me boy”). The radio database contains both versions, the English one is courtesy of Blackberrie.

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May
27
2008
0

Manureva

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‘Manureva’ was the Tahitian name of a ship that sank during a yacht racing in 1978. It inspired the musical genius Serge Gainsbourg to write the lyrics for a Disco track written and arranged by Alain Chamfort and Jean-Noël Chaléat.

On a side note, J-N. Chaléat is also responsible for the incredible V.I.P., already presented in these pages.

Alain Chamfort – Manureva (1979)

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Apr
16
2008
0

Le jour se lève (Emotion)

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The last single from the French singer Jakie Quartz, surely one of her best.

Jakie Quartz – Emotion (1987)

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Apr
03
2008
0

J’veux Pas Rentrer Chez Moi Seule

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I don’t want to go back home alone…

A few lines of the original lyrics are really equivocal.
Regarding the music itself, it is quite conventional but well produced.

Regrets – J’veux pas rentrer chez moi seule (1983)

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