Monday, September 21, 2009

Les I - Dans L'Hemisphere Nord

With their second album, Les I came into their own. The oblique, deceptive themes are more assured, the play where they ain't arrangements more finely etched, the melodies more hooky, the textures thicker and edgier and the instrumental interplay more incisive. Feuillet's wordy texts are woven deftly through the tunes with a rhythmic precision reminiscent of those on Etron Fou's Les Sillons de la Terre, recorded the same year. Christiane Cohade takes slap bass to eccentric lengths of attack and timbre, putting her playing beyond funk and venturing into spring loaded Colin Hodgkinson territory, without the latter's blues licks. Dominique Lentin, having the greatest pedigree, his percussion credits extending back to the early 70's cult recordings by Fille Qui Mousse, employs the crisp, scrabbly, propulsive style that went on to grace albums with L'Empire des Sons, Ferdinand et les Philosophes, Best Before, as well as duets with Violinist Takumi Fukushima. Bruni Meillier, here called Maillo, has already developed his lyrical style, which seems to owe something to Braxton. Some may recall his showcase piece here, Larvaire et Latent, from the EFL Live in Cleveland tape posted some time ago. Unfortunately I ran into some terrible distortion problems on this track, which I was unable to completely solve, but it's as clean as I could get it. The writing credits are spread pretty equally among the band members and the disc was recorded at THC in Switzerland with engineer Michel Engeli, and was self produced, with Ferdinand Richard being credited as artistic director. How that differs from producer, I'm not certain.

01. Dans L'Hemisphere Nord 3:44
02. Graffiti 3:23
03. Par Un Beau Jour d'Ete 4:57
04. Dansk (Tu Dis) 4:02
05. Zukini 2:45
06. Bombe 0:31
07. Wagons-Lit 3:44
08. Le Secret du Volcan 4:22
09. Larvaire et Latent 2:56
10. A.B.C. T. 3:49
11. La Fin de la Faim de L'Ogre 2:34

download | Vinyl rip | mp3-320 kbps | 78 mb | Scans |

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Les I

Sometimes erroneously identified as an offshoot of Etron Fou, Les I actually began in 1979, three years before Bruni Meillier's stint in EFL. Musically, though you can hear similarities, their sound is a distilled funk lyricism, at some remove from EFL's fast and furious swapping of traditional instrumental roles. I once saw a concert of Leroy Jenkin's electric band Sting, which despite the obvious differences in approach, style and instrumentation, evidenced a similar detailed and nuanced funky delicacy, reminiscent of Les I. It seems Les I's primary similarity With EFL is in the chanson vocal style, but here again, this is a bit misleading. It may well be that Marc Feuillet's arch vocal style influenced Ferdinand rather than the other way round, as Richard's singing morphed from the roaring, joyous blunt quality characteristic of the first three EFL recordings and his solo album, En Forme, to an increasingly subtle lampoon of chanson styles and stylists over their final three recordings and his second solo, En Avant. Smack dab in the middle of this shift in perspective we find him producing the first record of Les I in 1981.

A1 Plus Une Minute À Perdre 2:47
A2 Hypnose 3:29
A3 Moi, Grand Sorcier 3:59
A4 Robots, Fusées ... 4:39
A5 Côte D'Azur 3:25
B1 125 Battements De Cœur 3:03
B2 Les Jeux Sonts Faits 3:37
B3 Recto 3:39
B4 Turbulences 2:13
B5 Looping Formica 4:11
B6 Science Tenante 1:27

Christiane Cohade - Bass
Dominique Lentin - Drums
Yves Ranchon - Guitar
Bruni Maillo* - Alto & Tenor Saxophone
Marc Feuillet - Voice, Harmonica, Trumpet

Producer - Ferdinand Richard
Engineer - François Riether

* aka Bruno Meillier

Download | vinyl rip | mp3-320 kbps | 77.5 mb | Scan |

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The first self titled release by Bruniferd from 1986. In Andrew Jones' Plunderphonics, 'Pataphysics & Pop Mechanics, Ferdinand has this to say about the Bruniferd project.

If a note is there, it is because it has to be there. Our music is very concentrated. As such it is not a spectacle, it's not a show. Bruniferd is very powerful as it is trying to give a maximum of things with a minimum of element. Just one bass, no effects, one saxophone, no effects, and some poesie. We could eventually play with no PA; we could play in your bathroom.

Elsewhere he wrote that "we don't send our shoes into the piano". Someone who had seen them at Mimi, told me she thought they were a little too dry, but I think that matter of fact approach is part of what I like so much about Richard's projects.

01. Tiens Tonton 3:39
02. Pipolaire 2:58
03. Cap Frehel 4:23
04. Chronology 3:51
05. Regrets des Bruits 4:34
06. Traditionnel Syldave 2:41
07. Rompre Les Armes 2:42
08. Tu M'as Seduit 6:22
Sorry about the image, my little scanner can't handle album covers and that was all I could find on the web. I'll get the cover scanned and swap out the jpg, but in the meantime, here is the music.

download | vinyl rip | mp3-320kbps | 66 mb |

A Tasty Assortment

This is a curiosity. A Japanese group, released early 80's on Heat Heart Records and the label contains the equal sign, as in the cut out on the cardboard cover. No personnel are listed, no track titles. Sonically, its non-Reggae dub mixing, wordless female vocals and variety of styles suggests a somewhat less developed Wha Ha Ha. If anyone knows anything more about this, I'd be keen to hear it.

With Lejonet av Ljuga, the Zamlaz tackle Reggae, sort of. Clearly the references to Rastaman, Haile Selassie and the spliff smoking lion on the cover suggest that more than the form is involved with Jamaica, but the Residential vocal harmonies make one doubt that it's intended very seriously. The flip is the Zamlaz in spirited folkloric mood. This is a brilliant single. I've never understood why this wasn't added to the reissue of Familjesprickor or Schlagern's Mystik. Perhaps, because it came out on the Finnish Love Records Label rather than Silence, but I'm certain they could have licensed it. Was this included in the massive Japanese box set of Samlas / Zamlaz and related material, does anyone know? The Zamlaz were probably the only group of the 70's, that for sheer musical breadth, could give Henry Cow a run for their money. Lars Hollmer is greatly missed.

Both of these songs are on Enclume, but these are obviously earlier demo like versions and thus worth hearing if you're a fan. Les Belles Images seems to be imagery derived from famous paintings, while Une Bonne Correction is Ferdinand's fulfillment of David Thomas' provocative question "Is hyperbole man's best rhetorical friend?". A man enraged by the noise of a passing fighter jet, which has awakened his baby, runs out into the street armed with a crowbar and a small knife to confront it. A comically absurd image gives way to the hero's battle with a hideous flying beast of myth. Quite a satisfying song for those of us lacking in respect for aerial death machines.

Not too much to say about this one. Heiner Goebbels with Chris Cutler and Christoph Anders, done around the same time as the first Cassiber recording, Man or Monkey.

Both of these songs appear on the first Caveman Shoestore recording, Master Cylinder. There is no guitar on this record. All the fuzzed out sturm und drang is performed on bass guitar. Fred Chalenor and Henry Franzoni began working together in the late 70's in a group called Face Ditch. Fred is one of the great unsung bass innovators, while Henry is a master of complex polyrhythms. Fred was the first person I ever saw use an ebow and slides on a bass, do two hand tapping or play heavily distorted power chords. CS was formed late 80's, or perhaps 1990, as a duo which improvised along broad conceptual or generic frameworks. Then they brought in singer / keyboardist Elaine di Falco, presently with Thinking Plague, and began crafting real songs.

The other group from northeastern Ohio, known today primarily for being the band which loosed Ralph Carney upon the world. They had a brief brush with major label success with their Robert Wyatt inspired arrangement of I'm a Believer and the subsequent Contents Dislodged During Shipment album, which featured one, if not both of these songs. Unfortunately, the AOR production job drained all the charm out of the music. This mono single released in '78 is much more organic sounding and sympathetic to their eccentricities. Listening to Robert Takes the Road to Lieber Nawash, one wonders if it is some sort of homage to Wyatt, as the imagery appears to allude to Rock Bottom and the accident, when all of a sudden they break into a jam clearly derived from Little Red Riding Hood Hit the Road, erasing all doubts. They released one other single or ep around this time, but I've never seen it.

This one sided single with an etching on the reverse came, if I recall correctly, as a subscription item with Recommended's reissue of Slapp Happy - Sort Of. In the mid 80's my friend sonimage had moved to New York and arranged to have dinner with Peter Blegvad and talk to him about his work. He'd sold all his albums before moving, so I spent four hours on the phone reading Peter's lyrics to him as he wrote them down, so as to be prepared for the meeting. I have cassettes somewhere of their conversation. He asked Peter about Alcohol, and essentially his response was, Chris Cutler has weird taste. He said, again if I'm remembering correctly, that this was done while camping in Germany with a tape recorder in the boot of the car. I guess I have weird taste as well, because I like it a lot.

01. Equals - Side A 6:41
02. Equals - Side B 7:26
03. Zamla Mammaz Manna - Lejonet av Ljuga 3:37
04. Zamla Mammaz Manna - Ryssland Island varför är väl inge a va rädd för 2:32
05. Ferdinand et les Philosophes - Les Belles Images Du Temps Passe 4:50
06. Ferdinand et les Philosophes - Une Bonne Correction 3:50
07. Heiner Goebbels - Die Letzte Buche 2:30
08. Heiner Goebbels - So Wird der Schrecken ohne Ende langsam normales Leben 3:43
09. Caveman Shoestore - An Angel Flew By 2:40
10. Caveman Shoestore - Spill 2:08
11. Tin Huey - Robert Takes the Road to Lieber Nawash 4:05
12. Tin Huey - Squirm You Worm 2:45
13. Peter Blegvad - Alcohol 2:52

These are the first vinyl rips I've ever done, hope you enjoy some of it and sorry about the pops and surface noise, as some of these are in better shape than others.

Note: there was a problem with track one, Equals Side A. The link to the fixed track may be found in the comments.

download | 7# vinyl rips | mp3-320 kbps | 126 mb | Scans |

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Frigg - Brecht

At Lucky's request here is the final album by Frigg, featuring guest vocalists Phil Minton and Meira Asher and co-produced by Elliott Sharp. Despite the title, these are self penned songs by Bert Wrede and not settings of Brecht, though something of his sensibility appears to be in residence.

01. Introduction 1:21
02. Sailors Song 6:44
03. Liebeslied 4:28
04. Anne Smith Relates the Conquest of America 12:18
05. Tahiti 5:27
06. Interlude 3:34
07. Die Welt Gefällt Mir Nicht Mehr 1# 5:30
08. The Shipwrecked Man's Report 5:37
09. Matrosensong 4:31
10. Die Welt Gefällt Mir Nicht Mehr 2# 3:50

Download CD Rip | mp3 - 320 kbps | 114 mb | Scans|

[Lucky notes 11/2009:
Isn't it a Tango (1994) + Døenerfressing Wøman (1995) here,
Dust Diary (1997) @ Downtown Music.]