Sunday, 29 April 2012

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.12

Problèmes, problèmes, we've all got 'em.  Violaine had them decidedly, Antoine had them too.

Here is a cover of Antoine's backing band and "1er Groupe Authentique de Rhythm and Blues 100% Français" Les Problèmes by London's premier defunct Jacques Dutronc covers band, DUTRONC.

Recorded at Toe Rag studios and coming from the same stable as Billy Childish, you just know you're in for a good ol' garage racket. Indeed, producer Liam Watson has done a great job of capturing the sound of a garage band playing in a studio but sounding like they are playing in a garage, and I'd like to imagine it's pretty close to what Les Problèmes sounded like live and in the flesh, back in the day (save a few bad pronunciations in the vocal delivery!)

The album is mostly Dutronc covers, plus a couple of Childish originals and the wonkiest version of/response to Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus I've yet heard.  The sleeve has been authentically set out in the style of a 60s Disques Vogue release, including informations en Français, par example 'Stereo "Watsonique"' and 'Coiffure de Parsley: Gino de Cricklewood' (Parsley is the singer, and this is probably only funny to anyone who, like me, has actually been to Cricklewood. Although there is a rather poignant tribute to Gino, who died in 2006).

Ladies and Gentlemen readers, I give you DUTRONC!

Dutronc - Dodecaphonie
[buy Dutronc! Dutronc! Dutronc! by Dutronc from Damaged Goods Records]

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 ChaîneFrançoise Hardy - Je Changerais D'Avis > Les 5 Gentlemen – Cara-Lin > Add N To (X) – Monster Bobby > Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas > Les Shades – Orage Mécanique > Gillian Hills - Rentre Sans Moi > Zombie Zombie - Psychic Harmonia > Michel Polnareff - Qui a Tué Grand'Maman? > Christine Pilzer - L'Horloge De Grand-PèreViolaine - J'ai Des Problèmes Décidement > Dutronc - Dodecaphonie > ?

setlist from 28 April 2012

Seeing as it was our 2nd to last ever L'Amour Electronique I felt I should at least make an effort and get the setlist up on here so people can kick themselves/congratulate themselves on missing out if they didn't come!

It was a good night, I think, nicely busy with a good crowd who seemed to appreciate the music - some even came and asked what things were, which is always a sign you're doing something right.  I'd even go so far as to say it felt a bit like it did back when we used to DJ at The Penthouse in the early years!

Thanks to all who came out on such a wet and turbulent night.

Michel Colombier - Ballet Des Soupirs /
H. & G. Rapid Learning Systems: French – General Expressions: Salutations
Michel Polnareff – L’Oiseau De Nuit
Christophe – Excusez-Moi Monsieur Le Professeur
Fabienne Delsol – Ce Jour La
Stereo Total – Lunatique
Jean-Claude Brialy – Boomerang
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Space – Magic Fly
Grimes – Oblivion
Léonie – En Alabama
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Le Chat du Café des Artistes
Chantal Goya – Mon Ange Gardien
France Gall – Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges
Les Roche Martin – Les Mains Dans Les Poches
Stereo Total – I Wanna Be A Mama
Vic 20 – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Ladytron – The Way That I Found You
Bat For Lashes – Two Planets
Glass Candy – Beatific
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Torso Corso
C++ - Comme Dans Les Films
Add N To (X) – Hey Double Double
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Hair (version original Française) – Laissez Entrer Le Soleil
Jacques Dutronc – Je Suis Content
Michel Polnareff – La Mouche
Fat Truckers – Anorexic Robot
Jean-Michel Jarre – Magnetic Fields Pt. 2
YACHT – Le Goudron (edit)
Air – Parade
Jacky Chalard – Super Man–Super Cool
The Blackburds – Absolument Hyde Park
Anna Karina – Rollergirl
Katty Line – Un Petit Peu D’Amour
Jenny Rock – Mal
Brezel Göring – Ich Bin So Süchtig (feat. Christiane F.)
David Whittaker – theme from The Tube (ZX Spectrum 128K)
Dakkar & Grinser – I Wanna Be Your Dog
Christophe – Macadam
Guerre Froide – Ersatz
Ruth – Polaroid-Roman-Photo
DAF – Kebabträume
John Foxx – 20th Century
OMD – Pretending To See The Future
Devo – Girl U Want
The Knife – Kino
Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling
Ray Davies/BBC Sporting Themes – Breezy Bounce
Stereo Total – Tas De Tôle
Jacques Dutronc – On Nous Cache Tous, On Ne Dit Rien
Brigitte Bardot – Ca Pourrait Changer
Mareva Galanter – Les Cornichons
The 6ths (feat. Gary Numan) – The Sailor In Love With The Sea
Yazoo – Only You
Michel Polnareff – Qui à Tue Grand’Maman
Stereolab – Escape Pod (From the World of Medical Observations)
Patricia Carl – Le Lion
Jocelyne – Nitty Gritty
Arlette Zola – Je Suis Folle De Tant T’Aimer
Les Gammas – Satsfaction
Larry Greco – Comme Un Poker
Johnny Hallyday – Noir C’est Noir
Pussycat – Aucune Fille Au Monde
Claude Denjean – Venus
Add N To (X) – Revenge Of The Black Regent
OMD – Messages
Simple Kid – The Road
Les Bel-Air – Ils Parlaient Dans Mon Dos
Jacques Dutronc – L’Espace D’un Fille
Brigitte Bardot – Un Jour Comme Un Autre
Stella – Pourquoi Pas Moi
Françoise Cactus – You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Soft Cell – Memorabilia
The Human League – Only After Dark
Eurhythmics – Love Is A Stranger
Stereo Total – Hallo Damenklo
Devo – Swelling Itchy Brain

Strike a pose... MOOG!

Claude Denjean – The House Of The Rising Sun
Stereolab – Sun Demon
Antoine – Ma Fête Foraine
France Gall – Cet Air La
Les Sunlights – C’est Fini
Pussycat – L’Arret D’Autobus
Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan – Electronic Movements: Syncopation
John Baker/BBC Radiophonic Workshop – The Chase
Bainc Didonc – 4 Cheveux Dans Le Vent
Les Brummels – BOF!
Marc Hamilton – Tapis Magique
Sandie Shaw – Toujours Un Coin Qui Me Rappelle
Françoise Hardy – Les Petits Garçons
Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con
Cerrone – Supernature
Sebastien Tellier – Sexual Sportswear
Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene pt. 4
Deux – Dance With Me
Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi
Visage – Fade To Grey
Dauerfisch – Peter Thomas Kann Nicht Zählen
Nicoletta – Ca Devait Arriver
Christophe – Sunny Road To Salina
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Pioneers Of The Stars
H. & G. Rapid Learning Systems: French – General Expressions: Salutations
“Goodbye: Au Revoir; Au Revoir…”

Thursday, 26 April 2012

the (pen)ultimate party

This Saturday we invite you to join us for our penultimate L'Amour Electronique soiree.

We will be entertaining guests with our usual late night cocktail of vintage French pop, synthesized sounds and electronic delights- plus some new hits from my recent Marseille acquisitions.

L'Amour Electronique - Saturday 28 April
9pm - 3am
venue: The West Hill pub, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

Treasures from Marseille

I've just got back from a trip to Marseille.  I made a bit of time to visit a few record shops and a flea market and came home with quite a haul.

Here is the motley assortment in all their goodness (and maybe not-so-goodness?).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tarred and Fontaine-d

Back from my holidays and working hard this morning, I was stopped in my tracks when this came on the wireless (merci the Lauren Laverne 6music show) - a cover of Brigitte Fontaine by Portland, Oregon DFA recording artistes YACHT.  And the bestest thing is that they've made it available as a free mp3 download (see below...)

Listen to the original.

And now enjoy YACHT's rather banging electro-disco-pop re-working

YACHT are heading out on a European tour throughout April and May - full details on their website

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Big Daddy and his Casio VL-Tone

I suppose you could say we at L'Amour Electronique HQ are something close to avid followers of Luke Haines - we have copies of the majority of his records under various guises, from the earliest Auteurs' albums, through his terrorist-funk Baader Meinhof project, the chart-bothering, sugar-coated/acid-tongued Black Box Recorder, and his later acerbic, and mostly 70s-obsessed, solo material, not to mention his memoirs firmly stating his part in Brit Pop's downfall, and the years following...

Which brings me to his latest release, of which he writes:
"This album is an affectionate homage to the wrestlers who preoccupied my unfreaked out pre Rock n Roll mind (mid '70s - early '80s).
The concept couldn't be more simple: nine songs (and one spoken word story) putting wrestlers into psychedelic situations. I give you '9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s and Early 1980s'.
Surrender your minds boys and girls, surrender your 21st Century minds."
Only a twisted crackpot like Luke Haines could dream up such a concept.  And then see it through to completion. The man is quite possibly a GENIUS. A twisted, dry-witted genius, but a genius nonetheless.

The inner sleeve of the album features 12 lo-fi portraits, lovingly(?) painted by Haines himself, of the album's various wrestling perpetrators, such as this of Big Daddy...

In his own particular vignette, we hear the story of how 'Big Daddy Got A Casio VL-Tone':

"He just wants a calculator, but he got an oscillator" set to a Casio Rock 2 beat.

I remember the Christmas my big sister got a VL-Tone - a tiny, white electronic keyboard, that gave out tinny beats and rudimentarily synthesized versions of string and woodwind instruments.  My favourite thing, whenever I got my mitts on it, was to stick the demo song on and let it cycle through all the various beats and sounds. To the point where it drove my family to distraction. I think I even made up my own words to the tune...

"...and he can't turn it off."

And just in case there was maths homework to be completed, Casio had included a handy calculator at the flick of a switch. WOAH! Crazy scenes! I jest.  Properly exciting, though, was the day we saw that skinhead bloke from TRIO produce one from the confines of his tatty dinner jacket with a cheeky grin on his face.

"And his mind has been blown, yeah his mind has been blown... A.D.S.R! A.D.S.R!"

Now the one thing that didn't blow my young mind was the ADSR, for me all that the setting had to offer was a strangely stilted, percussive toc-toc-toc sound. Little did I know that if I were to read the manual, like sensible Big Daddy presumably did, I would unlock an almost infinite number of new sounds via the calculator and an octidecimal binary coding system.

But enough of my misty-eyed recollections, here's what happened the day Big Daddy bought a Casio VL-Tone...

Luke Haines - Big Daddy Got A Casio VL-Tone

The CD of 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations... has sold out, but you can buy it as a download direct from Plastic Fantastic Recordings.

There is a limited run of 500 only Vinyl LPs of 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations... (+ CD copy) being pressed up exclusively for Record Store Day this Saturday 21st April.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ripping Vinyl - Tienou

Finally got around to finishing off some vinyl ripping I started a while ago. First up, I give you Tienou...

Here are some wise words from the elusive Sasha Monett on the back of that G.i.t.G vol. 12 album I'm still raving about. 
"Les Princesses is a cool French-style girl group. Perhaps they were trying to be the French Supremes. This band features Ariane, Erma and Tienou. Ariane and Tienou (born French Guyana in South America) also went on to release records on their own, some of which (especially Tienou) are very good - look for them!"
Look for them is what I did... And the results of all that looking: I took a punt on a couple of Tienou vinyl 45s without even hearing any of the tracks (nothing on YouTube, no mp3s, nothing on any P-2-P sites, nowt, zero, rien).

So they appeared, wrapped in folded picture sleeves with the same picture front and back, and, behold, they were pretty damn fine - early 60s orchestral pop with clean'n'twangy guitar licks from that brief period between the tail-end of the Rock'n'Roll years and the explosion of the Beat boom. Released in 1964(?), both sides are co-written by Tienou and someone called Gil Carasso (Encyclopédisque has this listed incorrectly as Carso or Gil Carso) with orchestration by Jean Bouchéty - which is always a sure stamp of quality!

File alongside Gillian Hills' early output; Louise Cordet; Bardot's early 60s material.

I really love the tension where the guitar goes TWAANNG-NG-NG-NGGGG and there's just a slight pause - Magic!

Tienou - Si J'Entends Frapper à Ma Porte

This one's got those deep, male backing vocals, played off against super high-pitched strings with Tienou sitting in the sweet spot right at the centre.

Tienou - Tu N'Peux Pas T'Empêcher De Rire

So you might be wondering what happened to the other seven-inch.  Well, I put it in my record box and took it out to DJ a couple of times, but never got round to playing it.  Then one day I took it out of its sleeve and found a large chunk of vinyl missing from the edge - GUTTED!

If anyone out there has mp3s of either of the tracks I'd be truly grateful for copies, as I really can't afford to buy another copy.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

SYNAPSE The Electronic Music Magazine

Thanks to my friend Simon who passed on this link to the Dangerous Minds site where they shared links to a digitized archive of 70s US electronic music magazine Synapse.

You can read all issues online at, and here are a couple of the covers, featuring DEVO man-child Booji Boy and Mr Robert Moog, to get yr synapses firing.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Un petit peu d'amour

Because of the title I gave my little introduction to Gillian Hills, I couldn't resist posting this toe-tapper.

I first heard it on the already classic Girls In The Garage vol.12 aka Swinging Mademoiselle vol. 3 and I've given it a fair few spins at L'Amour Electronique over the past year (yes, a whole year has passed since I first placed that clear blue vinyl lp on my turntable, dropped the needle and held my breath).

As you can tell I'm quite smitten with Katty Line's take on the Los Bravos/Easybeats stormer Bring A Little Lovin'. That choppy muted guitar gets my salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs and brings about the same buzz I get whenever I hear the first few notes of Gimme Some Lovin' (the Spencer Davis OR the Sylvie version). 

As I think I said once before: Maximum R&B en Français! 

Now go Katty Line, GO!

Katty Line - Un Petit Peu D'Amour
[buy this on Girls In The Garage vol. 12 blue vinyl lp!]

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


All day on Saturday and Sunday I had this song going round and round inside my head - an Easter earworm, if you will. Good job it brings a great big Chesire Cat smile to my face whenever I hear it!

I just looked up the lyrics, which seem to be depict a clutch of absurdist anthropomorphic situations: a shrimp finds itself in trouble served up on a plate and just to make his day even worse he has toothache; or a weasel decides she needs a nose-job and opts for a (more Serge-like?) Roman nose; or the doe whose milk turned into cheese...  "SAPERLIPOPETTE!" they each cry in turn.

The term Saperlipopette seems to be an exclamation of surprise. So far I've found it translated as "Gadzooks!" or "Goodness me!" or "Fiddlesticks!" or "Goodness gracious!" and even, as an English translation of Tin Tin has Captain Haddock bellowing, "Blistering Barnacles!". [If anyone out there has a better translation/meaning for the word, please leave a comment and share it with the rest of us. Thanks.]

So, can you resist Germinal Tenas' everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink production and arrangement or Clothilde's butter-wouldn't-melt innocence?

Clothilde - Saperlipopette
[You can buy this song on the recently reissued Femmes de Paris complete box set.  Another Clothilde track is currently available on Girls in the Garage vol.12]

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Jesus is coming...

...look busy.

I was brought up a good Catholic schoolboy, and as a result I associate this time of year with going to church. A lot. (4 times in 1 week!?!)

The Easter story was preached at me from an early age.  I'm sure you all know it: Jesus died on a cross on Friday, and then a couple of days later he hatched out of a giant egg in a bunny-rabbit suit, in accordance with the capitalist script. At least I think that's how it goes...

But where's he been since he came last Easter, and why hasn't he called or sent an email? Well, SURPRISE SURPRISE, he's ditched the bunny suit and he's here today and what's more he's made a dark&freaky, skronking-sax inverse Pop record* with a little help from his psychédélique disciple Jean-Pierre Massiera.

Jésus - L'Electrocuté
[buy Jésus on Midnight Massiera from Finders Keepers & on WIZZZ! Vol. 2 from Born Bad Records]

*voiced by Marc Roland/Rolland

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The End of The Road

I never really noticed Simple Kid when he was active, (maybe I was put off by the trucker's cap he always seemed to be hiding under), and now it seems he has sold all his music making toys and kit and retired from "The Biz".

But he did at least leave us all with something to remember him by in the form of a "lost demo" which was picked up by Mister Marc Riley and played out on his 6music show.  The response was good and in turn the good people at Static Caravan Recordings had their arms twisted to put it out into the wider public domain.

So, here it is, The Road: sounding like simultaneously listening to a life-instruction tape whilst playing a Death Race 2000-style game on the Commodore 64. Which, in case you were wondering, is a good thing.

You can download The Road by Simple Kid from Static Caravan Recordings.

And maybe, if the response is good, Simple Kid might unlock the cupboard where he keeps his "lost album" and share that with the world too.