Tuesday, 31 May 2011

COMING SOON! L'Amour Electronique DJ mixes

In the next couple of weeks I will post the first of a bunch of 2-hour DJ sets recorded live from our monthly L'Amour Electronique soirées. The first mix features songs from the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Stereolab, Christie Laume, Charlottte Gainsbourg, Pierre Henry & Michel Legrand, C++, and Francis Lai.

Check back in the next 2 weeks, or click the 'follow this blog' link in the sidebar to stay in the loop.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sébastien Tellier 'French Classics' mix

I'm currently enjoying the Sébastien Tellier 'French Classics' mix.  51 minutes of kitsch, jazzy, psychedelic French chanson, easy listening, pre- and post-yé-yé, and dreamy synthtronica.

The blurb from Mixcloud:
Ever since back in the '50s, France has been a fertile ground for genuinely out-there (and oftentimes well-dressed) pop music that came forward from the margins and ended up moving the rebels and the bourgeoisie alike. This mix - conceived and tracklisted by Record Makers' very own universal genius Sébastien Tellier for RBMA Radio's monthly 'Crème Brûlée' show - pays tribute to this heritage, with timeless cuts from some of the country's all-time greats

As an aside: Verity and I once DJ'ed as support to Monsieur Tellier when he played in Brighton. Judging from his selections, I'd like to think he enjoyed what we played - especially Serge's 8-minute proto-disco s&m sleaze-fest Love On The Beat, and our closer: Polnareff's melancholy epic Qui a Tue Grand-Maman.

Friday, 27 May 2011

the great Blow-Up Doll mixtape exchange

Mordi at the brilliant and scarily prolific Blow-Up Doll blog is in the midst of a grand mixtape exchange.

Doll readers and fellow bloggers have submitted mixtapes of pure girl-goodness and femme-fantastic-ness, and Mordi is gradually posting them - so far we've been treated to girls from all over the place including some ace picks from Portugal, Holland and the Eastern Bloc.

Mine is scheduled to appear on 1st June, so keep 'em peeled.

L'Amour Electronique => Samedi Soir + Setlist from 23 April 2011

Our next L'Amour Electronique soirée is this weekend:
9pm - 3am
The West Hill, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

Join us for another evening of French pop, yé-yé, electronic delights, synthcore, Gallic freakbeat, synth-sounds, bubblegum and popsike.

And now, for those who like lists, here is what we played on 23 April 2011

Jacques Brel – Amsterdam
Telefilme – Pop-Corn Videodrome
Françoise Hardy – Il Est Trop Loin
Brigitte – Battez-Vous
Michel Legrand – Digue Ding Ding
Pussycat – Hymne Au Soleil
Marie Laforêt – A Demain My Darling
Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux et Daniel Beretta – La Drogue
Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin – 69 Année Erotique
Chantal Goya – A La Sortie De Ma Classe
Cléo – Madame La Terre (Et Ron, Et Ron …)
Black Box Recorder – Andrew Ridgeley
Ladytron – Commodore Rock
Bis – Action + Drama
Stereo Total – Plus Minus Null
Add N To (X) – Steve's Going To Teach Himself Who's Boss
Human League – Being Boiled (fast version)
A Trois Dans Les WC – Contagion
Pulp – Ladies Man
Goldfrapp – Train
Petula Clark – L’Amour Avec Un Grand A
Dump – Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
Serge Gainsbourg – L’eau à La Bouche
Anne Marie Peysson – Comme Un Manège
Dubstar – St. Swithin’s Day
The Delgadoes – Sacré Charlemagne
Françoise Hardy – Quel Mal y a-t-il À Ça?
France Gall – Christiansen
Les Gam’s – Il à Le Truc
Les Rolling Bidochons – Plaintes En Vrac
Comix – Touche Pas Mon Sexe
Die Dorau & Die Marinas – Fred Vom Jupiter
Cats In Paris – Loose Tooth Tactile
Fabienne Delsol – C’est Jour La
Eric Charden – Amour Limite Zéro
Pierre Henry et Michel Legrand – Psyché Rock
Christophe – La petite fille du 3ème
Katty-Line – Un Petit Peu D’amour
Jacqueline Perez – Go Home
Ria Bartok – J'y Pense Tout Bas
Maryene – Cette Fille N’est Rien Par Lui
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Torso Corso
C.K.C. - 20h25
Air – Lucky and Unhappy
Sukia – The Dream Machine
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Dream Captain
Neon Neon – Raquel
Stereolab – Les Yper-Sound
Silver Apples – Oscillations
Christophe – Les Marionettes
France Gall – N’ecoutes Pas Les Idoles
Hair ST – Laissez enter Le Soliel
Sebastien Tellier – L’amour est La Violence (Boys Noize remix)
Michel Polnareff – Qui à Tué Grand-Maman?
OMD – Red Frame/White Light
Stereo Total – Barbe à Papa
Claude Dubois – La Tourne
Joe Gracy et Michel Paje - Valérie Se Rebelle
Marie Laforêt (avec Gérard Klein) – Le Vin De L’été
Michel Polnareff – Time Will Tell
Vetty – Nicolas
Isabelle – Amstramgram
Humbert Humbert – Self-Misunderstood
Berthe – Les Emberthements
Minouche Barelli – Boum Bada Boum
France Gall – Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son
Léonie – Lilith
Stella - Pourquoi Pas Moi
Sophie Makhno et Colin Verdier – Obsessions 68
Michel Arnaud et Serge Gainsbourg – Les Papillons Noirs
Stereo Total – I Wanna Be A Mama
Future Bible Heroes – Don’t You Want Me?
Bis – Kill Yr Boyfriend
Smarty Pants – Knee Sox Girl
Trouble Vs Glue – No More No More
Françoise Cactus – You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Add N To (X) – King Wasp
Jane Birkin – Jane B
Pet Shop Boys – Rent
Marie Laforêt – Mais Si Loins De Moi
Kraftwerk – Ohm Sweet Ohm
Yazoo – Only You
Serge et Charlotte Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Human League – Love Action
Brigitte Bardot – St Tropez
Evy – Une Question Qui se Pose
Elizabeth – Je Suis Sublime
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Danyel Gérard – Sexologie
Brezel Göring - Ich Bin So Süchtig (feat. Christiane F)
Trio Sourire – Satisfaction
Chevette – We Can Dance Again
Adèle – C’est Bon
Liz Brady – Bas Les Pattes
Sylvie Vartan – Irréstiblement
Chantal Goya – Dans La Nuit
The Chap – They Have A Name
Pulp – Separations
Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity
Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe pt.5
Stereo Total – Villaines Filles, Mauvais Garçons
Violaine – Dam’Dou Ah!
Serge Gainsbourg – Qui Est ‘In’, Qui Est ‘Out’?
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
Simon Bookish – Terry Riley Disco
Dauerfisch – Peter Thomas Kann Nicht Zählen
Future Bible Heroes – Love Is Blue

Thursday, 26 May 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.5

Whenever I’m on the Paris Métro the doors-closing horn always reminds me of that opening klaxon-salvo on Monster Bobby (see pt.4).

Deep in the belly of the Porte des Lilas Métro station, the ticket-puncher sits, going slowly crazy in the half-light.  Day after day after day, over and over, again and again and again: punching "Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He dreams of getting away. He's seen exotic places in the Reader's Digest, places he can only dream of reaching on his pitiful wage - if the Métro doesn't go there, neither will he.  He eyes a first-class suit with jealousy as he punches another first-class hole: summer holidays are coming, and I'll be stuck here with this ever growing mountain of little holes gathering at my feet.

And at night: he dreams of nothing but the little punched holes that he leaves in Hansel & Gretel-style trails all the way back to his flea-pit of a home.  He wakes in a cold sweat in the dead of night, the little holes falling like confetti from the ceiling, littering the squalid bed-clothes, and peppering the floor as he staggers to the bureau and feels for the cold, hard steel of his papa's army-issue rifle.

"Little holes, little holes, always little holes…"

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and makes one last little hole


And then some poor sod has to dig another, bigger hole to put him in.

There is now a "garden" at Porte des Lilas, dedicated to Serge and his song. Not much bigger than a metro ticket and overlooking the Boulevard Périphérique, it's hardly an oasis of tranquility for your average stir-crazy ticket-puncher. Perhaps they've planted some ornamental cabbages...

If you do go to Paris, visit Serge's house, or go and leave a metro ticket on his grave at the Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas
[buy Serge Gainsbourg from iTunes | Amazon.uk]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la Chaîne > Françoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > ?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.4

Hmm, seem to have gone a bit off the boil with these. Hopefully this will kick start la Chaîne again [see pt.3 for the story so far]...

In response to the terrace-style stomp of Cara-Lin we awaken the terrace-style chanting of this little terror.
I reckon by the time Bobby and his thugs are through with us we'll all be going home in a fucking ambulance.

Monster Bobby first reared his ugly head on Add Insult To Injury, the 4th album from, now imploded, analogue synth fetishists/abusers Add N To (X).

But who are Add N To (X)?

Add N To (X) formed in 1994, with a motley arsenal of vintage synths and a perverted mind-set at their disposal.  They delighted, confused and titillated with their Avant-Hard brand of proto-electronic sci-fi robot-sex rock.  They also made some saucy videos, which you can view at your risk: here and here. Then they fell apart in 2003, and an ugly synthesizer custody battle ensued.

There used to be a cool (Channel 4?) documentary about them, but it got removed from bloody youtube

Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby
[buy Add N To (X) from Mute Records | Amazon.uk]

L'Amour à la Chaîne: what will be the next link in the chain? Leave your suggestions and reasons in the comments.
Jacques Dutronc - L'Amour à la Chaîne > Françoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > ?

ye-ye! no-no?

I can't believe it's a year since Verity and I went to Japan***...

[the Tokyo Tower, built in 1958 and "inspired" by the Eiffel Tower, only 8.5 metres taller and painted white and orange]  

I was whittling songs down last week for a mixtape for Blow-up Doll, and this is one that ended up on the cutting room floor.  It triggered a memory of when I first heard it in a cramped record shop in Kyoto: as we flicked through the vinyl and chuckled at the section (mis?)labelled 'Gram Lock', this kitsch bit of 60s Jap-pop came on with an ear-catching chorus of "Yé-Yé! Yé-Yé!". The shop owner was playing an Ace Records compilation called 'Nippon Girls - Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova 1966-70'. I would have bought it there and then, but seeing as it was an import it was ridiculously expensive. So I tracked it down when I got home.

It's not actually even in French but since most of the lyrics are just "Yé-Yé", I thought I'd just let it slip by.

Confusingly the pronunciation of "Yé-Yé" is very close (to my ears) to the Japanese for "No": "Iie".  So is it positive homage to the 60s Euro-pop fad or a playfully negative riposte?

"Yé-Yé" or "No-No"? I dunno, but it's a shifty little number!

Eiko Shuri - Yé-Yé
[buy the Nippon Girls comp from Amazon.uk or via Ace Records]

***I also can't believe the terrible events that hit the beautiful people and landscape on the 11th of March this year.  The country is still recovering from the huge earthquake and tsunami and the fall-out and devastation it left behind.  You can make a donation to the Red Cross relief effort via the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Falling for Françoise

This Saturday 21st May, 10.30am on Radio 4, Falling for Françoise 
[it will then be available for 7 days on the iPlayer]

It was on a language-learning trip to Paris that John Andrew first heard the music of Francoise Hardy and fell for the sexy but shy singer. He was not alone - she was the dreamgirl of many an English schoolboy in the early 1960s.
In 'Falling for Francoise', he revisits Paris and the streets in which he first lost his heart and he talks to others who've suffered the same fate - the Hardy fan website curator, Yorkshireman Warren Gilbert; musician Ben Christophers, who's written songs for the mature Francoise; journalist Laura Barton, who's besotted with the whole French 60s 'ye ye' scene... and in a real coup, John gets to meet the singer herself, falling for Francoise all over again!

Introduction by John Andrew from the BBC Radio 4 blog
"Picture the scene. A girl walks down the street, alone and unloved, while around her loving couples hold hands and gaze into each other's eyes. That was the theme of 'Tous Les Garcons et les Filles de Mon Age', a self-penned melancholic song which in the early 1960s catapulted Françoise Hardy to Europe-wide fame, and achieved something rare: being one of the few French language songs to make the British charts. Globally it sold around two million copies-shifting more records than the legendary Edith Piaf did in eighteen years.
In Britain, Françoise had no shortage of schoolboy admirers. And I was one of them.
She suddenly made learning O and A Level French that much cooler. Hardy stood out from other girl singers of the time on both sides of the Channel. There was no fancy hair style or heavy duty cosmetics. Her hair was long and straight, her make-up minimal. She had a natural, wholesome look that made her the perfect 'girl next door.'
One of the fans I talk to in Falling for Françoise tells the story of a French girl who came to England to stay with a penfriend and turned out to be a dead ringer for Françoise. All his schoolmates made a beeline for her but he got there first. It was the start of a 10-day whirlwind romance that took in such delights as the Droitwich Lido.
But it wasn't just school boys who fancied Françoise. Just about every male rock star was effusive about her too. Mick Jagger called her his 'ideal woman' and David Bowie said that 'for a long time I was passionately in love with her. Every in male the world and a number of females also were.'
One of her most remarkable encounters was with Bob Dylan during his 1966 concert at the Paris Olympia. Dylan, she recalls, was 'in bad shape' and not singing well. In the interval he sent her a message to say he wouldn't complete the concert until she'd come to meet met him in his dressing room. It was an awkward encounter but later that day he gave a her a a private preview of two new songs later to become classics: 'I Want You' and 'Just Like a Woman'.
In a frank and often self-effacing interview, Françoise plays down the adoration and tells me she's always been uncomfortable with fame.
She says that like many of her early fans, she was a shy and anxious child and jokingly suggests it might be to do with the circumstances of her birth. She was born in Paris during an air raid warning in January 1944 when the city was still under Nazi occupation.
Home life was hard. Her father was largely absent. Her mother had to work hard to keep Françoise and her younger sister well fed and clothed On one of her father's rare appearances he gave her a guitar. Soon she was writing her own songs, as many as one a day. Eventually she successfully auditioned for the Vogue label. It was the start of a string of hits which included 'All Over The World' - a regular choice on The BBC Light Programme's Two-Way Family Favourites.
Though now approaching her seventies she looks as stunning as ever, though the long brown hair has given way to a grey, cropped cut.
More than fifty years since her first hit Françoise is still making albums. She's worked with a string of British musicians including Damon Albarn, the late Malcolm McLaren and the young singer/songwriter Ben Christophers.
EMI have signed her up for two more albums but with typical self-doubt she worries whether she can write enough new material to fill them.
This most reluctant of French icons though is sure of one thing. She says she's rarely happier than when curled up in bed with a book by her favourite author, Henry James."

Saturday, 7 May 2011

setlist from 26 March 2011

On 26 March 2011 we played this mix of French Pop, Synthesized Sounds and Electronic Delights at L'Amour Electronique.

Mareva Galanter – Pourquoi Pas Moi
Souvenirs – Harley Davidson
France Gall – Nous Ne Sommes Pas des Anges
Kraftwerk – Computer Love
OMD – Messages
Nino Ferrer – Le Téléfon
Sébastian Tellier – Fingers of Steel
Michel Polnareff – La Michetonneuse
Les Papyvores – Psychedelic Badge
Jean et Janet – Je T’aime Normal
Marie Laforêt - Marie Douçeur, Marie Colère
Louise Cordet – L’amour Tourne en Rond
Stereolab – Space Moth
Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan - Electronic Movements: Syncopation
Cléo – Les Fauves
Karo – Sur Ta Moto
Jenny Rock – Douliou Douliou St Tropez
Michele et ses Wouaps – Dam Dam
Larry Greco – Jette-La!
Françoise Hardy – Je N’Attends Plus Personne
Jacqueline Perez – Go Home
Christine Pilzer – Dracula
Alice Dona – Les Trois Couleurs De L’Amour
Tokow Boys – Elle Hôtesse
Denim – Supermodels
Japan – Life in Tokyo
Human League – Circus Of Death (fast version)
TGV – Partie 1
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Dream Captain
Brigitte Bardot – Je Danse Donc Je Suis
C++ - Comme Dans Les Films
Hot Butter – Popcorn
Andre Popp – Love is Blue
Françoise Hardy – Non, Ce N’est Pas Un Rêve
Serge Gainsbourg - La Chanson De Prévert
Eurhythmics – Here Comes the Rain Again
Etienne Daho – Bleu Comme Toi
Stereolab – The Free Design
Stereo Total – Les Enfants Font Des Enfants
Michel Polnareff – Beatnik
Monique Thubert – Avec Les Oreilles
Chantal Kelly – Notre Prof’ D’Anglais
Les Problèmes – Pop Jerk
Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux et Daniel Beretta – Psychose
Christophe – Macadam
Die Hornissen – Zeittunnel
Trost – Sans Ta Scie
Air – Dead Bodies
Delphine – Le Fermeture Éclair
Chantal Goya – Sois Gentil
Françoise Hardy – Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles
Brigitte Bardot – L'Appareil à Sous
Stereo Total – Du Bist Gut Zu Vögeln
Mécanique Rhythmique – Extase
Relaxed Muscle – Muscle Music
Add N To (X) – Brothel Charge
Dandi Wind – Balloon Factory
Motormark – Eat, Drink, Sleep, Think
Bis – I’m a Slut
Devo – S.I.B. (Swelling Itchy Brain)
Fad Gadget – Ricky’s Hand
Deux – Minimaliste
Jean Michel Jarre – Magnetic Fields (Pt. 2)
Field Mice – Missing the Moon
Desireless – Voyage Voyage
Mareva Galanter – Laisse Tomber Les Filles
Patricia Carli – Le Lion
Jacques Dutronc – A La Queue Les Yvelines
Michel Polnareff – Le Saule Pleurer
Serge Gainsbourg – L’Anamour
Human League – Being Boiled
Fever Ray – Stranger Than Kindness
Space – Magic Fly
Virginie Rodin - Commando Spatial
Brezel Göring - Ich Bin So Süchtig (feat. Christiane F)
Sylvie Vartan – Donne Moi Ton Amour
Anna Karina – Rollergirl
Neo Miyako – 100%
Simon Bookish – Metal Horse
Knife – I Just Had To Die
Bat For Lashes – Glass
Sophie Makhno - Obsessions 68 (avec Colin Verdier)
Pulp – Do You Remember The First Time
Magnetic Fields – I Thought You Were My Boyfriend
David Bowie – Art Decade
Stereolab – French Disko
Stereo Total – Larmes De Metal
Serge Gainsbourg – Initials BB
Fat Truckers – Anorexic Robot
Add N to (X) – Adding N to (X)
Stereolab – Sadistic
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe de Restaurant
Les 5 Gentlemen – Si Tu Reviens Chez Moi
Nino Nardini - Catch That Man
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Danyel Gérard – Sexologie
Jean Jacques Perrey - Passport To The Future
Die Dorau & Die Marinas  - Fred Vom Jupiter
Michel Polnareff – Voyages
Serge Gainsbourg – Lunatic Asylum
France Gall – Bébé Requin
Françoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu
Stereo Total – Je Suis Nue
Stereolab – Margerine Melodie
Visage – Fade to Grey
John Foxx – Europe After the Rain
Jean-Jacques Dexter – Be Quiet
Sébastian Tellier – Sexual Sportswear
Serge Gainsbourg et Brigitte Bardot – Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus
Jean Jacques Perrey – Pioneers of the Stars