Thursday, 17 December 2009

Is nothing sacred?

The other day I heard a song on the radio which bears an uncanny resemblance to Voila by Francoise Hardy. It was early morning, I was half asleep, but every now and then a snippet of that unmistakable piano line wafted out of the speakers, and sections of the chord progression sounded very familiar too.

It has taken me until today to look up what it is. Fucking Robbie Williams. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

He can't possibly get away with this can he? Yes, unfortunately he can. Being a payed up member of the PRS I was able to look up who is credited as a writer on the track. There on the database is HARDY, FRANCOISE MARIE AUBINE, though rather cheekily she's not actually been assigned a royalty percentage for having her song heavily sampled/ripped off. I imagine Robbie and his writers first heard Voila when it was used on a Horlicks advert - he's about that cultured.

Enjoy Francoise's original. Then suffer Nobbie's monstrosity if you must...

Right, I'm off to email Francoise to tell her. That'll show Nobbie.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Serge et Charlotte

I am rubbing my hands together with great excitement and intense friction at the prospect of the Serge Gainsbourg biopic Vie Héroïque which is set for release on 21st January 2010. And if it doesn't get a screening in Brighton or London, I am seriously considering moving to a more Serge-friendly country.

Here is the teaser that's been posted on YouTube recently:

Universal Pictures France has uploaded a few more teasers onto YouTube, some of them even have English subtitles which is promising for a UK release. Look out for some fine prosphetic nose action...

La Musique

There is also an introduction to Les Femmes de Gainsbourg, but for some reason embedding is disabled on that video

Charlotte Gainsbourg, meanwhile has been working with Beck on her new album. The first fruits are very promising: think Broadcast, United States of America, and Can

You can download IRM for free if you sign up to her mailing list

Bandwidth problems solved (for now)

I have moved to a better file space provider, so hopefully all those 'bandwidth exceeded' problems will be a thing of the past.

All active files have been moved to the new location, and links have been updated, but if anyone finds any broken or missing links, please leave a comment to let me know, thanks.

Love and Electronics

Monday, 23 November 2009

SETLIST from 24 October 2009

Better late than never, here is last month's setlist, plus an mp3 of one song from each of us...

Brigitte Bardot – La Madrague
France Gall – Pense à Moi
Chantal Goya – Il Court Les Filles
Françoise Hardy – Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles
Ria Bartok – Tu Te Moques de Moi
Serge Gainsbourg – Ches Les Yé- Yé
Pulp – Separations
Pink Grease – The Pink G.R.Ease
Datarock – Computer Camp Love
Kamerakino – Polizei Macht Schule
Stereo Total – Plus Minus Nul

Stereolab – Motoroller Scalatron
Kraftwerk – Radioactivity
Jacques Dutronc – Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S’Eveille
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip
Michel Polnareff – Y’a Qu’un Ch’veu
Act - Ping Pong
Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling
Sebastien Tellier – Kilometer
Ladytron – Mutron

Coralie Clémént – Vis à Vis
Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con
Schaatz – Jean Les Pins Michel
Jean-Jacques Perrey – E.V.A.
Les Soundtrack – Ce Soir C’est Ma Fête
Françoise Hardy – Je Pense à Lui
Brigitte Bardot – Harley Davidson
Karo – Sur Ta Moto
All Seeing I – Luxury I
Katsen – Let’s Build A City

Dauerfisch – Ride My Bike
Piney Gir – Hello Chanel
Relaxed Muscle – Rod Of Iron
National Bandit – Pardon My French
Add N to (X) – You Must Create
Sukia – Vaseline & Sound
Christie Laume – Rouge Rouge
Sylvie Vartan – Ballade Pour Une Fugue
Orlane Paquin – Le Train de 10h03
Jacqueline Boyer – Oh Chéri, Je T’aime

Stereo Total – Vive Le Weekend
Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
The Knife – Heartbeats
Françoise Hardy – Je Veux Qu’il Revienne
Mareva Galanter – Pourquoi Pas Moi
Depeche Mode – Boys Say Go
Yelle – 85A
Jane Birkin – Di Doo Dah
Air – Kelly Watch The Stars

Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson
Michel Polnareff – Le Roi De Fourmis
Jacques Brel – Jacky
Gillian Hills – Oublie
Stereo Total – Supergirl
Trost – Sans Ta Scie
Human League – Love Action
Telex – Moskow Diskow
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Takako Minekawa – Fantastic Cat
Michel Polnareff – Beatnik

Les Roche Martin – Tu as Peur de Bruit
Chantal Goya – Dans La Nuit
Sparks – Tryouts for the Human Race (long version)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?
Brigitte Bardot – Tu Veux ou Tu Veux Pas
France Gall – Baby Pop
Add N to (X) – The Vic Hallam System

OMD – Souvenir
Yazoo – Only You
Deux – Dance With Me
Serge Gainsbourg et Charlotte Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Michel Polnareff – La Michetonneuse
France Gall – Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges
Brigitte Bardot – C’est Rigolo
Jacques Dutronc – Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ça
Françoise Hardy – Et Même
Belle & Sebastian – Electronic Renaissance

Stereo Total – Orange Mecanique
Jina Miko – Dum Dum
Jacques Dutronc – Le Responsable
Les Problèmes – Pop Jerk
Polysics – My Sharona
Cats In Paris – Loose Tooth Tactile
Michel Legrand – Digue Ding Ding
Ultravox – Vienna
Zombie Nation – Nightclubbing

Fat Truckers – Teenage Daughter
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Swamp Buggy Badass
Les Georges Leningrad – Monster Klaw
Chicks On Speed – Lovelife
Tom Tom Club – On, On, On, On…
Stereo Total – Miss Rebellion Des Hormones
The Associates – Club Country

OMD – Red Frame/White Light
Antoine – Les Élucubrations D’Antoine
Mareva Galanter – Les Cornichons
Yazoo – Don’t Go
The Knife – We Share Our Mother’s Health
Human League – Empire State Human

Fad Gadget – Fireside Favourite (I Monster toasted crumpet remix)
Les 5 Gentlemen – Si Tu Reviens Chez Moi
Annie Philippe – C’est La Mode
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Stereolab – John Cage Bubblegum
Dusty Springfield – Reste Encore Une Instant
Johnny Halliday – Noir C’est Noir

A-ha – Manhattan Skyline
Pulp – Seconds

Hot Butter – Popcorn
Serge Gainsbourg – Docteur Jekyll et Monsieyr Hyde

France Gall – Computer Nr 5
Fernand Reynaud – Oh! He! Hein! Quoi

Eurythmics – Love Is A Stranger

mp3 links
Schaatz - Jean Les Pins Michel
[visit Schaatz at their myspace]
Jane Birkin - Di Doo Dah
Chantal Goya - Dans La Nuit
[buy Chantal Goya:]

Monday, 16 November 2009

Let's take a Trip

Happy Birthday Lysergic acid diethylamide – 71 today!

LSD was first synthesized on 16 November 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. 5 years later, he accidentally ingested an unknown quantity of the chemical, and felt a bit funny – he had discovered that LSD had psychedelic properties. He also learned to never bite his fingernails in the lab without washing his hands first.

In 1943, Hofmann intentionally ingested the chemical as an "experiment", he freaked out on the cycle ride home, and became convinced his neighbour was a "malevolent witch". I imagine his peers took his research papers less seriously from that day on…

Set the guitars to Pictures-of-Matchstick-Men octave-up fuzzzzzzzz, slap a blotter on your tongue and psych out to the sound of Les 5 Gentlemen. The group were from Marseille; LSD-25 was an early code-name for the drug more commonly known as acid; I have no idea who Margaret Steinway** was – a lonely spinster perhaps, whose world was turned upside down after some serious malpractice on the part of her Doctor. He fed her a harmless looking little square of paper, you see, he told her it was a cure for her overwhelming melancholy. She tripped for two hours in beautiful rapture, but in a flash she plunged deep into freak-out hell. Oh Doctor, what have you done?

Les 5 Gentlemen - LSD 25 ou les mėtamorphoses de Margaret Steinway
[Les 5 Gentlemen - L'Integrale 1965/1968 is out of print]

**Margaret Steinway does, of course, have her own myspace.
She has 5 friends. None of them are Tom.

And now, Serge Gainsbourg has a cautionary tale for all you RockandRoll little Lord Fauntleroys flouncing around in your fine lace threads, behind the wheel of your chocolate-brown Rolls Royce. He’s seen you, cruising for teeny boppers: you take them for a wizzz in the country, racing down the winding roads, they giggle as they slide around in their knee-socks and mini-skirts on the leather upholstery of the backseat.

There’s a bag of sugar lumps in the dashboard, you offer one to your little filly, she shouldn’t take sweeties from strangers, but, sure, she knows you…

Then the real trip begins, a trip down the river to the edge of madness, flowers of exquisite colours drifting and bleeding in the strong currents. Is that Mick Jagger in the Thames? She dives in to get a kiss off ol’ rubber-lips, and she drowns in her beautiful Biba twin-set.

France Gall - Teenie Weenie Boppie
[buy France Gall: iTunes |]

The moral of both of these stories is that girls can’t handle their pharmaceuticals. At least that’s what the boys in the sixties would have us believe. As for Dr. Hofmann, he recovered from his "Bicycle Day" and continued to research hallucinogenic substances, convinced of their benefits for use in psychoanalytic practice. He died of natural causes on 29 April 2008. He was 102.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Creepy Crawlies (the return of the...)

At our monthly L'Amour Electronique soiree back in July someone came and asked me if I had any Jean-Claude Vannier. "I have Histoire de Melody Nelson", I replied. But he wanted Vannier solo. He said there was this Jean-Claude Vannier solo album that was recorded around the same time as Melody Nelson, and it was even more nuts.

I did my research a few days after and found L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, which was re-released by Finders Keepers Records in 2006. I made a mental note to get with the times and purchase a copy as soon as I had a bit of spare cash. In September I picked up it up on CD from Rough Trade, and it has made a gleeful romp of a soundtrack to my washing-up sessions ever since. At times I've been caught laughing out loud at the sheer ingenuity and craziness of it all. And I can't help recommending it to anyone and everyone who shows a passing interest in anything French or off-the-wall.

Released in 1972 under the guise of the fictional group Insolitudes, Vannier's composition and production technique throws everything AND the kitchen sink onto tape, then chops it up with razor-blades and re-arranges it: the taut Melody Nelson core-session players; Vannier himself on harpsichord, piano, flute, recorder, toy pianos, chimes and bells, klaxons, whistles and tape recorders; a powerful choir of eerie, valkyrie-like voices; and a simple string quartet, multi-tracked twohundredandfifty-fold to create his trademark lush, sweeping "1001-piece orchestra".

The story goes that Vannier dropped by chez-Serge with a test pressing of his new record, seeking the opinion of his friend and collaborator. Serge asked him to leave the copy with him for 24 hours, and put pen to paper. The result: a strange and macabre story to accompany the strange and unhinged music, L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches or The Child Fly-Killer.

The re-release has an English interpretation of the typically Gainsbourg-ian tale in the sleevenotes (hmmm, methinks some of his twisted sense of humour may have been lost in translation):
[click the linked titles for mp3s]

1. L'Enfant la Mouche et les Allumettes
The Child the Fly and the Matches: A wounded fly is in a fluster. The child gets his matches ready. He chases the fly and tries to burn it.
2. L'Enfant au Royaume des Mouches
The Child in the Fly Kingdom: The wounded animal leads the child into an underground, humid and dark place: the fly kingdom. The child crosses the stream that runs along the entrance to the forbidden caves.
3. Danse des Mouches Noires Gardes du Roi
Dance of the Black Flies, The King's Guards: As the child approaches, the king's guards take up a warrior's stance, then move aside revealing the king of the flies playing billiards**
4. Danse de L'Enfant et du Roi des Mouches [Dance of the Child and the King of the Flies]
The king of the flies invites the child to dance with him. But during the dance, the child plans an act of treachery.
5. Le Roi des Mouches et la Confiture de Rouse
The King of The Flies and the Rose Jam: The child rips the cellophane off a pot of rose jam and pours it onto the floor. The huge lake of jam slowly covers the king. The king of the flies efforts to break free only get him stuck even more, watched helplessly by the guards who slowly draw away.
6. L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches
The child Fly-Killer: The king, hindered by the jam, drags himself to the human's beach. The child joins him there, jumping around and tormenting him with a rod.
7. Les Garde Volent au Secours du Roi
The Guards fly to the King's rescue: Several troops of black flies harass the child one after the other and try to save the king, but in vain.
8. Mort du Roi des Mouches
Death of the King of the Flies: The child murderer ruthlessly pursues the king of the flies lashing out at the tall grass with his stick. The king of the flies is beaten to death.
9. Pattes de Mouches
Spidery Scrawl / Fly Legs: The fly people take counsel together and prepare their revenge.
10. Le Papier tue Enfant
The Paper Child-Killer: The whirling flies meake the child's head spin. They try to stick him onto a paper child-killer. The child tries to escape the flies punishment twice, then gets stuck onto the paper child-killer***.
11. Petite Agonie de L'Enfant Assassin
The Death Throes of the Child Murderer: The child is covered in flies.

**Serge's cunning plot device to explicate a sound collage-d game of snooker.
***Giant, child-sized sheet of stinky, sticky fly-paper

[Buy Jean-Claude Vannier from Finders Keepers Records]

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Quelle Horreur!

I promised my friends Nick and Jane a French Hallowe'en CD for their party, so I thought I might as well post it here. There are a few Yé-Yé classics and some truly freaky oddities guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies*.

1. Stella - Si vous connaissez quelque-chose de pire qu'un vampire, parlez m'en toujours, ça pourra peut-être me faire sourire
2. Serge Gainsbourg - Docteur Jekyll Et Monsieur Hyde
3. Christine Pilzer - Dracula
4. Les Maledictus Sound - Kriminal Theme
5. Evariste - Connais-Tu I'animal Qui Inventa Le Calcul Integral
6. France Gall - Frankenstein
7. Jany L. - Mon Joli Vampire
8. Gérard Manset - Animal on est mal
9. Les Maledictus Sound - Monster Cocktail
10. Nicole Paquin - Mon Mari C'est Frankenstein
11. Brigitte Bardot - Le Diable Est Anglais
12. Stereo Total - Film D'Horreur

[*I'm pretty sure I picked up a few of the tracks on other blogs over the last few years, so hopefully they won't mind me re-posting]

L’amour à trois

Some of you may have been lucky enough to see the sublimely chaotic Stereo Total at The Luminaire in London town on Thursday. If you did, you will also have been unlucky enough to witness my brief cameo during their set...

It certainly wasn't a planned appearance... And it was mighty strange being on a stage with nothing to do, so I grabbed Françoise's drum sticks and banged along Stray Cats-style on a bar stool. Then I accidentally hit her on the hand (oops), then all of a sudden I was the filling in a Brezel/Françoise mock-gang-bang sandwich.

Thankfully there doesn't yet appear to be any footage on t'internet, but this will give you a bit of an idea of how it was (awkward!?!)

If you go to the special 'superhits' section of the Stereo Total website you can download the song.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Bandwidth limit exceeded again

Hmmm. It would appear we have exceeded the bandwidth limit on at least one of our file hosting spaces again - that's at least 3 months in a row!

I'm looking into alternative hosting spaces, but in the meantime it might be nice if some of you lovely people who enjoy downloading the mp3 files could find the time to leave a comment. Just a few words would do, so I don't feel quite so much like I'm simply whispering into the void.

Love and Electronics

ps You should all make sure you watch the BBC4 documentary Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany
(60 mins, available on the iPlayer until 1st November)
Documentary which looks at how a radical generation of musicians created a new German musical identity out of the cultural ruins of war.

Between 1968 and 1977 bands like Neu!, Can, Faust and Kraftwerk would look beyond western rock and roll to create some of the most original and uncompromising music ever heard. They shared one common goal - a forward-looking desire to transcend Germany's gruesome past - but that didn't stop the music press in war-obsessed Britain from calling them Krautrock.
Additional viewing: Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum (60 mins, available until 30th October), which hopefully will not be just footage of them standing dummy-like behind laptops as the image suggests.
Compilation of live performances by the godfathers of electronic music, Kraftwerk. Filmed during the Teutonic foursome's 2004 world tour and featuring some of their most notable tracks, including Autobahn, Radioactivity and Trans Europe Express.

Friday, 23 October 2009

L'Amour Electronique et le Chat Fantastique

Come to L'Amour Electronique this Saturday!

ps I heard this for the first time on the wireless the other day and now I am a smitten kitten.
>>>Takako Minekawa's Fantastic Cat = Japanese electro-pop JOY!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Great Bleep Forward

You know that woman wailing operatically on the theme tune to Star Trek? Well it is not a woman. It is the Ondes Martenot.

Yes, more homework: This time it's 6Music's 4-part history of Electronic Music The Great Bleep Forward (2004)

Episode 1 (30 mins, available until 25 Oct) explores the history of electronic music, from the early pioneers to the birth of punk and the bloated retreat of prog in 1977.

I wish it had paid a lot more attention to the early instrument makers, rather than dismissing them as a bunch of egomaniacs for naming the instruments after themselves (they had no other points of reference, what else could they have called them?)

Episode 2 (30 mins, available until 27 Oct) covers the emergence of bands with synths during and post-punk. Apparently OMD used to just stick their synths under their arms and get on the train to gigs (They obviously never had an Arp Omni - 19.5kg and built like a tank!). We hear from nearly all the late 70's/early 80's synth bands and their daily struggle with temperamental analogue technology. Oh, and the arrival of the DX-7.

Episode 3 (30 mins, available until 28 Oct) introduces sampling, from its roots in musique concrète, via the Mellotron (including the legendary cheesy-listening patches see below), through the Fairlight CMI, industrial sounds, record sampling, and drum machines (scourge of the drummer corps of the Musicians Union). And somehow completely omits any reference to the late 70's New York Hip Hop and Electro scene.

Episode 4 (30 mins, airs at midnight tonight 22-23 Oct, and will be available until 29 Oct) Here's what you can expect, a glimpse of what could be happening now from 2004:

In the final part of the series, Andrew Collins gives us a glimpse of the electronic future as it appeared to him in 2004. As electronic music reaches maturity, new artists are going back to the original synthesizers and mixing them with the most up to date technology to create new fusions. Computers rule the planet and music. You no longer need to be a musician to make music, you can be a programmer. Vintage instruments can be re-created on your laptop. Electronics have become sophisticated in the live environment with bands like radiohead sampling and replaying vocals during a live track. You can buy a software singer and guitarist for under £200 each. Have we finally created Kraftwerk's Man Machine?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

more homework

Another bit of prep-work for L'Amour Electronique this weekend:

Last Friday night BBC4 showed Synth Britannia
"Documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Voltaire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard and dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain.

The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan's appearance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army's Are Friends Electric heralded the arrival of synthpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound whilst post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of the NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits.

By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were showing that the future of electronic music would lie in dance music.

Contributors include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant."

[available on the iPlayer for 5 more days.]

I particularly enjoyed the footage of Walter-now-Wendy Carlos with a Moog modular system towering over him, and Daniel Miller in his analogue-nest showing off Kraftwerk's original Autobahn vocoder *drooooool*

ADDITIONAL VIEWING: Synth Britannia at The BBC

TIP: don't watch either of them with a pair of Synth-nerds like Verity and I, we'll only sit there going "That's not a MiniKorg 700s, it's a MiniKorg 700", and wondering why they didn't choose some better Roxy Music footage with more Eno synth-action.

SETLIST from 26 September 2009

We were joined by guest DJ Nick Hills (with a silent H) and his trusty box of seven-inch disques des années Sixties. Verity was busy finishing her PhD, and so there were just three.

Here’s the setlist, with our picks of the night, including TWO Kinks cover versions - one in French and one on Synths:

Devo – Patterns
David Bowie – Fashion
Roxy Music – The Thrill of it All
Les Roche Martin – Les Mains Dans Les Poches
France Gall – Baby Pop
Serge Gainsbourg – Le Poinçonneur des Lilas
Stereo Total – Cannibale
Large Number – The Number People
Chicks on Speed – Give Me Back My Man
Ladytron – Olivetti Jerk
Gillian Hills – Oublie
Stereo Total – Exakt Neutral
Monty – Que Me Reste-t-il
Silicon Teens – You Really Got Me
Petula Clark – Si, C’est Oui, C’est Oui
Japan – Quiet Life
Jean et Janet – Je T’aime Normal
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Marie Laforêt (avec Gérard Klein) – Le Vin De L’été
Koko Von Napoo – Polly
Anna Karina – Rollergirl
Rokes – The Works of Bartholomew
Antoine – La Tramontana
Rokes – Siamo Sotto Il Sole
Michel Polnareff – La Mouche
Erick St Laurent – Eleonor Rigby
Les Compagnans de la Chanson – Le Sous-Marin Vert
Petula Clark – Un Jeune Homme Bien
Sylvie Vartan – De Ma Vie
Sylvie Vartan – Moi Je Danse
Claude François – Si Tu Veux Etre Heureux
Claude François – Comment Fais-tu?
France Gall – Laisse Tomber Les Filles
Brigitte Bardot – La Madrague
Chantal Goya – Mon Ange Gardien
Ria Bartok – J'y Pense Tout Bas
Sylvie Vartan – Irrésistiblement
Tom Tom Club – On, On, On, On (remix version)
Toni Basil – You Gotta Problem
A-Ha – We’re Looking For The Whales
The Associates – 18 Carat Love Affair
The Human League – Crow and A Baby
Soft Cell – Chips On My Shoulder
Isabelle – Amstramgram
Katsen – Let’s Build A City
Les Shades – Orage Mecanique
Jacques Brel – Jacky
Françoise Cactus – You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Ultravox – Vienna
Françoise Hardy – Non, Ce N’est Pas Un Rêve
Bertrand Burgalat & Robert Wyatt – This Summer Night
Die Dorau & Die Marinas – Fred Vom Jupiter
[we have no song data for Nick’s set]
Michèle Richard – Dou Da Dou
Alice Dona – Les Trois Couleurs De L'Amour
Brigitte Bardot – Le Soleil
Chantal Goya – La Pluie Du Ciel
Depeche Mode – Master and Servant
Euryhtmics – Love Is A Stranger
Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
The Human League – Rock ‘n’ Roll
Stereo Total – Orange Mecanique
Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene pt.4
John Foxx – No One Driving
Jean-Claude Vannier - L’Enfant Au Royaume Des Mouches
Ronnie Bird – Chante
Bazooka – Dada Dodo (version instrumental)
Eileen – Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher
Antoine – Les Élucubrations D’Antoine
Dave Rogers - theme from Cybernoid (Zx Spectrum 128K)
Serge Gainsbourg et Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie & Clyde
Françoise Hardy – Pourtant Tu M’aimes
Röyksopp feat. Robyn – The Girl and The Robot
Michèle et Ses Wouaps – Dam Dam
Datarock – Computer Camp Love
Dauerfisch – So Gut!
Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
Jean-Claude Vannier – Danse De L’Enfant Et Du Roi Des Mouches /
French language disques - Numbers
Delphine – La Fermature Éclair
Michel Polnareff – Qui a Tue Grand’maman
Sebastien Tellier – Divine
Denim – Romeo Jones Is In Love Again
Add N to (X) – Incinerator No.1
Stereo Total – Tu M’as Voulue
Chantal Kelly – Notre Prof D’Anglias
Stella – L’Idole Des Jaunes
Magnetic Fields – I Thought You Were My Boyfriend
Brezel Göring – Ich Bin So Süchtig
The Blue Minkies – You Make Me Blush
Luke Haines – Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop
Au Revoir Simone – Shadows
French Language disque – Thank You/Merci … Goodbye/Au Revoir

mp3 selection
Silicon Teens – You Really Got Me
[buy Silicon Teens: iTunes | Mute Records shop]
Petula Clark – Un Jeune Homme Bien
[buy Petula Clark:]
Denim – Romeo Jones Is In Love Again

[buy Denim: iTunes |]

Saturday, 17 October 2009


In preparation for this weeks L'Amour Electronique, you should all be listening to La Chanson de Serge: The Serge Gainsbourg Story which was aired on BBC Radio 2 last Wednesday. It will be on the iPlayer until 20th October (so there's a few days if you missed the first broadcast).

Malcolm Mclaren is your guide, and thankfully he leaves the self-aggrandisation for the last 15 minutes, where he assimilates various personal exploits/happenings-he's-taken-claim-for into the last few years of Serge's life (though on the whole I have to say I was quite impressed with Mclaren's French accent, save for a few clangers).

There are many, more insightful, anecdotes from people who worked with Serge, or have been influenced by his vast output, including Petula Clark, Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy, Alan Hawkshaw, David Holmes, Mick Harvey, and Gainsbourg-biographer Sylvie Simmons.

So go and listen to it, before it's too late.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

l’histoire de Bonnie and Clyde

In homage to Brigitte Bardot who celebrated her 75th birthday last Monday, we bring you l’histoire de BONNIE AND CLYDE.

The year was 1967, Serge Gainsbourg had landed the job of writing and directing a few musical numbers for Le Bardot Show. A working relationship very quickly developed into a series of steamy romantic liaisons, much to the chagrin of every other Frenchman opening his copy of France Soir to see paprazzi snaps of their divine B.B. arm-in-arm with her frog prince, whom she nicknamed “gueule d’amour” or “love face”.

Their courtship didn’t all run smoothly for the louche, chain-smoking Serge, though: After a disastrous early-date, Bardot sent him packing, and requested that, by way of penance, he write her “the most beautiful love song you can imagine”.

He came crawling back the next day, bleary-eyed, a Gitane between his lips and a glint in his eye. A sleepless night had yielded not one, but two, love songs: Bonnie and Clyde, and Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus.

Gainsbourg based the lyrics to Bonnie and Clyde on The Story of Bonnie and Clyde (The Trail's End)
 a poem written by (the real) Bonnie Parker.

Gainsbourg and Bardot duetted as the heroes/villains, having apparently hi-jacked Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s wardrobe from the film of the same name (released in August 1967).

Mise en scène: a dingy hideout; Serge skulks furtively in the shadows, with a shoulder-holster and a cigarette; Bardot smolders, all panda-eyed in beret, maxi-jupe and bobbed wig, a tommy-gun perched on her knee.

Serge & Brigitte = Bonnie and Clyde (lyrics: once-removed, costumes: twice-removed)

Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie and Clyde
[buy Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot: iTunes |]

Mick Harvey recorded an English version of Bonnie & Clyde with Anita Lane in 1995, for his album Intoxicated Man (Songs of Serge Gainsbourg sung in English). Together with Alan Chamberlain he translated the lyrics from Serge’s French words, taking it one step further away from Bonnie Parker’s original poem. Anita Lane’s vocal is more sultry than Bardot’s deadpan delivery, and they even manage to nail the sounds-like-someone-punching-a-baboon-in-a-cage cuíca sound.

Mick Harvey & Anita Lane = Bonnie and Clyde (lyrics: twice-removed)

Mick Harvey with Anita Lane – Bonnie & Clyde
[buy Mick Harvey: iTunes |]

Also released in 1995: Luna made two French language versions of the song. These are more direct cover-versions of the Bardot-Gainsbourg duet, with frontman Dean Wareham as Clyde Barrow and Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier guesting as a slightly-softer-in-delivery-than-Bardot Bonnie Parker. The Clyde Barrow version matches the original for pace and it seems they even got someone to do a valiant impersonation of a monkey being tickled for the cuíca sounds (not sure if they got credited in the liner notes, mind). The Bonnie Parker version is more languid and pensive, with some shimmering wah-guitar - Bonnie & Clyde stripped bare, if you will. Both songs were re-mastered for the Best of Luna album in 2006 - the Bonnie Parker version fared particularly badly, losing a lot of the atmosphere and claustrophobia of this earlier mix.

Dean Wareham & Lætitia Sadier = Bonnie and Clyde (lyrics: once-removed)

Luna – Bonnie & Clyde (Clyde Barrow version)
Luna – Bonnie & Clyde (Bonnie Parker version)
[buy Luna: iTunes |]

And in 1998, Baby Birkin made a sugary lo-fi pop album of English versions of French language songs from les années sixties. It was called Classée X, and it was produced by Russell Senior who’d just jumped from the good-ship Pulp.

The vinyl version included a fun extended romp through Francis Lai’s instrumental St. Tropez (which was released on the 1968 album Brigitte Bardot Show or Special Bardot. Confusingly it was not featured in the TV special of the same name and year), which UK readers may remember from the low-rent opening credits of Eurotrash. The Baby Birkins had penned some witty anecdotal lyrics about holiday romance on a French exchange trip – “He said dansez-vous? I said askez-vous?”

The CD release of Classée X was missing the Eurotrash, in favour of a not-so-fun meander through the underworld of B. Parker and C. Barrow. Taking a nod from Luna’s wah-tinged Bonnie Parker version: Baby Birkin slow-burned it and layed on a really rather sinister whispered confessional, quoted directly from the original poem by Bonnie Parker.

Baby Birkin = Bonnie (not Clyde) (lyrics: direct-from-source)

Baby Birkin – Bonnie & Clyde
[buy Baby Birkin:]

And there’s more:
MC Solaar sampled his fellow Frenchman on Nouveau Western
According to wikipedia Belinda Carlisle covered it, along with Contact (another song Gainsbourg penned for the ’68 Bardot Show), on her 2007 French language album VoilaYouTube it if you must
And even Kylie isn’t immune to a bit of dirty ol’ Serge – she sampled it on her track Sensitized

Time for a personal anecdote:
Verity and I were drifting through the streets of the Île Saint-Louis, when she, with her bobbed hair and beret, caught the attention of some Parisian road-menders: “Bonneeee Parr-keuuurrrrrrrr” they called after us (in a very non-threatening way, I hasten to add). It is interesting to note that in Glasgow everyone thought she was French: “Ooh La La!

Having spent a good few hours compiling and researching this post, I note that Filles Sourires did something similar back in 2006, and managed to collect a far more definitive set of versions too – you can read that post here. Then come back and shoot me down.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Incoming cat news

*****************Incoming cat news********************
Our very good friends Katsen released their debut album "It Hertz!" this week on Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation - 12 tracks of sleek and bouncy electro-pop and nascent 8-bit hits.

Regular visitors to our L'Amour Electronique night will almost certainly have heard us play Katsen over the past few months, and followers of Miss Pain will know them for their purr-fectly formed, C64-driven re-make of Kiss Cuddle Torture.

Here's their charming video for my favourite: Let's Build A City! [which you can download for free here]

Another very good friend, and tamer-of-the-Miss-Pain-live-beast, Feline1 performs a special one-off, never-to-be-repeated live set this week:

Wednesday 30th September at the Prince of Wales, 47 Clarence Square, Brighton, BN1 2ED (you know, the one next to the dirty burger van by Churchill Square)
It is a Brighton Live event, so it's FREE ENTRY - Doors 8pm.

Expect bare-foot bass-pedal action and one man controlling more analogue synths than one man should be able to physically control by himself.

Here is Feline1 in action sometime in the past with the now defunct The Feline Dream:

Monday, 28 September 2009


Bon Anniversaire Brigitte Bardot: 75 today.

28 September 1934: God created Bardot

Serge penned this tribute to BB at the height of their steamy affair:

Friday, 25 September 2009

SETLIST from 22 August 2009

It seems we've gone over our bandwidth allowance again this month - apologies for that -everything should resume as normal on 1st October (If it happens again, I'll looking into an alternative space for hosting the mp3 files).

Last month's setlist is below, including one mp3 selected by each DJ for your listening pleasure.
See you Saturday...

Amadou & Mariam – Sabali
Jiji – La Fusée
Michel Polnareff – Voyages
Marie Laforêt (avec Gérard Klein) – Le Vin de L’été
Human League – Gordon’s Gin
Serge Gainsbourg – L’Hotel Particulier
Walter Carlos - Title music from A Clockwork Orange
Katsen – Let’s Build A City
Ladytron – Olivetti Jerk
Françoise Hardy – Et Même

Jacques Dutronc – Fais Pas Çi, Fais Pas Ça
Silver Apples – Oscillations
Depeche Mode – Shake The Disease
Human League – The Touchables
Eurythmics – Tous Le Garçons et Les Filles
Chris & Cosey - October Love Song
Kraftwerk – The Model
France Gall – Laisse Tomber les Filles
Françoise Hardy - Que Mal y a t’il à ça?
Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie & Clyde

Monster Bobby – Heaven Hides Nothing
Smartypants – Knee Sox Girl
Blue Minkies – Pick Your Records Up
Peepholes – Trouble in Heartbreak High
George Pringle – LCD I Love You But You’re Breaking My Heart
Katsen – Play For Today
Stereo Total – Tas De Tôle
Chantal Goya – Oh Raconte Moi
Brigitte Bardot – Ciel de Lit
Christie Laume – Agathe Ou Christie
Françoise – Hum! Hum!
Serge Gainsbourg – Sous le Soleil Exactement

Karo – Un Garçon en Mini-Jupe
Virginie – Commando Spatial (Space Patrol)
Kraftwerk – Numbers
Stereo Total – Furore
Michèle et Ses Wouaps – Dam Dam
Stereolab - Freestyle Dumping
Telex – Ça Plane Pour Moi
Françoise Hardy – Pourtant Tu M’aimes
Clothilde – Le Chanson Bête et Méchant

C++ - Les Hasards
Michel Polnareff – Oiseau de Nuit
Divine Comedy – Europop
OMD – Messages
Magnetic Fields – I Can’t Touch You Anymore
Desireless – Voyage Voyage
Etienne Daho – Tombe Pour la France
Heavenly – Nous ne Sommes Pas des Anges
Stereolab – John Cage Bubblegum
The Clicks - Seconds

Add N to (X) – Brothel Charge
T.Raumschmiere ft. Miss Kittin – The Game Is Not Over
Dandi Wind – Balloon Factory
The Associates – Helicopter Helicopter
Devo – Working in a Coal Mine
Soft Cell – Chips on My Shoulder
Ria Bartok – Ecoute Mon Couer
Chantal Goya – Si Tu Gagnes Au Flipper
France Gall – Pense a Moi
Sylvie Vartan – Ballade Pour Une Fugue

Chantal Goya – Laisse Moi
Les Bel-Air – Ils Parlaient Dans Mon Dos
Normand Frechette et Les Hou-Lops – J’Etudie Mon Grec
Michel Polnareff – Dans La Maison Vide
Madeleine Pascal – Dieu N’est Pas Vieux
Jacques Brel – Les Filles et Les Chiens
Stereo Total – Johnny (for Les Paul RIP)
Jacques Dutronc – Les Gens Sont Fous, Les Temps Sont Flous
Bazooka – Dada Dodo (instrumental version)
Space – Magic Fly

The Knife – Heartbeats
Françoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu
Mareva Galanter – L’Hotesse de l’Air
Sandie Shaw – Pourvu que ça dure (Long live love)
C++ - Comme Dans Les Films
The Normal – Warm Leatherette
Mick Harvey – The Barrel of My 45
Jane Birkin – Raccrochez, C’est Une Horreur
Simon Bookish – Handsome Girls
Depeche Mode – The Meaning of Love
Serge Gainsbourg – Torrey Canyon

France Gall – Ne Sois Pas Si Bête
Sophie Makhno et Colin Verdier – Obsessions 68
Françoise Hardy – Le Temps de L’Amour
Serge Gainsbourg – La Javanaise
Chantal Goya – Il Court Les Filles
Bunty – Achana
Stereo Total – Miss Rebellion des Hormones
M – Pop Muzik
Human League – Only After Dark
Roxy Music – In Every Dream Home a Heartache

The Chap – Now Woel
Isabelle – Amstramgram
Chantal Goya – Tu M’as Trop Menti
Brezel Göring – Ich Bin So Süchtig
Emanuelle – Le Reel Facile
Divine – Native Love (Step By Step)

OMD – Electricity
Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi
Serge Gainsbourg – 69 Année Erotique
Jacques Dutronc – Les Cactus
Patrick Wolf – Vulture
Nick Kershaw – Dancing Girls

Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rapping Hood (12” mix)
Toni Basil – Be Stiff
Bat For Lashes – Pearl’sDream
Clor – Love + Pain
Dauerfisch – So Gut

John et Jehn – 20L07
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Claude François – Eloise

Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

Sparks – Get In The Swing
Pulp – This Is Hardcore

mp3 selections
C++ - Comme Dans Le Films
Bunty - Achana
[buy Bunty direct from her myspace]
Chantal Goya – Tu M’as Trop Menti

Monday, 21 September 2009

L'Amour Electronique - this Saturday

Salut! Sorry the number of posts has fallen a bit on the wayside of late. Things are a little hectic and fraught and there's too much going on to sit down and do the necessary.

There is, however, another L'Amour Electronique to keep things swinging.

This Saturday 26 September
9pm - 3am
at The West Hill pub, 67 Buckingham Place, Brighton, BN1 3PQ

6 hours of the finest and strangest of synthesized sounds, electronic music and French pop.

Sarah and I will be joined by our good friend Nick 'ills, who is amassing a fine collection of ye-ye seven-inches as we speak.

It is FREE ENTRY and drinks and snacks will be available to buy from the genial bar-staff.

There will also be Eiffel Towers and Tricolore decor, comme ca:

see you there

ps. August setlist should be up by the end of the week

Saturday, 12 September 2009

a post about Les Beatles

There’s been a big hoo-har this week about the new Beatles box-set – They’ve cleaned up all the albums and taken out all the extraneous sounds and pops and clicks and bum notes (i.e. everything that gave the songs character and charm). The back catalogue is now sterilised and polished and made far too shiny and new for the digital generation. In about 10 years time they will probably add noise and vinyl hiss to all the master tapes so that they can re-package them again and sell them to everyone who already has them, claiming that they now have all the analogue warmth of the original reel-to-reel tapes just as they were first heard in Abbey Road studio 1.

Did you know that back in the times of Les Beatle-mania, Liz Brady entertained The Fab Four? She flirted with them and they played along, she taught them some cute chat-up lines en Français and they dutifully bleated them back: a quartet of mop-topped Mersey-beat parrots. Ringo thumped out a beat on the table and a Pastis-fuelled sing-along was recorded. The boys had picked up a few tips to woo all those sweet mademoiselles they would meet as they toured around the French provinces. And Liz had a baudy little call-and-response number for her next single. They bid her adieu and trooped off in their Beatle-boots. She never saw them again.

In the cold light of day, it would appear Mlle Brady was duped by a gang of faux-Scouse chancers. Those comical accents are more Marx Brothers than Mersey Beat, and the hooky John Lennon just had to get the last word in “Soww Lanng Leeeez!”

Liz Brady – Un Garçon Dit a Une Fille
[this was re-released on Girls In The Garage Volume 10 - Groovy Gallic Gals!]

Pssst! Don’t tell Paul, but Françoise Cactus loves Ringo, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! It’s understandable, Françoise plays the drums. Ringo plays the drums too. Françoise thinks they could connect over rhythm methods. Just don’t tell Paul, he says Ringo’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles.

Stereo Total – Ringo, I Love You

Pssssssst! Definitely don’t tell Paul, Françoise loves Yoko too.

Stereo Total – I Love You, Ono
[buy Stereo Total: iTunes | Risi-Bisi Popshop]

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Jupiter, King of the Planets

Look to the south-east, somewhere in the twilight sky, and you will see Jupiter, the brightest star in the night sky. Jupiter: king of the planets, a vast and violent world of swirling hydrogen and helium gases. Jupiter: home of Fred, "the marvellous Kosmonaut".

Gazing through my telescope late last night, I thought I saw a small object breaking free from Jupiter's torrid, stormy atmosphere...

It was 1981 when Fred first visited our planet Earth. A gang of kinder-popettes saw him land and welcomed him. He couldn’t understand their Deutscher Kauderwelsch, but he sensed their enthusiasm and felt like an outer-space rockundroll star as they chanted his name "Fred vom Jupiter, Fred vom Jupiter" and confessed to how he made them go all weak-at-the-knees.

Sadly he couldn’t stay for long, but when he got home it was as if his life was lonely void, he longed for the attention and the worship he received on Earth as he gazed around at the gaseous emptiness of his home planet.

Die Marinas, those schulmädchen who welcomed him all those years ago have never forgotten him either. They are all in their forties now, but they keep him always in their hearts. Maybe they too have been stargazing, with their teenage daughters, looking up expectantly at the king of the planets. Did they see a tiny speck of light jettisoned from the brightest star in the night sky? They begin a playground chant, and their daughters soon catch the tune and join in...

Die Dorau & Die Marinas – Fred Vom Jupiter
[buy Die Dorau & Die Marinas: iTunes |]

Thursday, 20 August 2009

SETLIST from 25 July 2009

It seems so long ago now, but here’s what we played last month (can you spot the space-themed songs?) – one abiding memory: a guy came up and requested Sarah play a Miss Pain song. Presumably he new…

The next L’Amour Electronique is this Saturday, so come and treat your ears to a late night cocktail of French Bubblegum Pop, Synthesized Sounds and Electronic Music: from Serge Gainsbourg to Stereo Total, The Human League to The Knife, via yé-yé girls, early-electronic pioneers and glacial synth-pop classics.
[see info in the right column, or the flyer at the end of this post]

John Foxx – Underpass
Françoise Hardy – Ce Petit Coeur
Stereolab – Wow & Flutter
Serge Gainsbourg – La Decadanse
The Knife – Pass This On
Depeche Mode – See You
Add N to (X) – Barry 7’s Contraption

Jean et Janet – Je T’aime Normal
Liz Brady – Palladium
Zizi Jean-Maire – Mon Truc En Plumes
Nicole Paquin – Mon Mari C’est Frankenstein
Fabienne Delsoll – I’m Gonna Catch Me A Rat
Stereolab – Space Moth
Brezel Göring – Bad News From The Stars
Jacques Dutronc - Les Metamorphoses
OMD – Messages

Farah – Dancing Girls
Ladyhawke – Paris S’Enflamme
Katsen – All Nighter
Data Panik – The Radical
Smarty Pants – Where Is Your Rhythm?
Trouble Vs Glue – No No More
Dan Deacon –The Crystal Cat
Husbands – Hidden Hands
Stereo Total –Miss Rebellion Des Hormones
France Gall – Dis à ton Capitaine

Ladytron – The Way That I Found You
St Etienne – Like A Motorway
C++ - Dérock‘n’rollisation
Brigitte Bardot – L’Appareil à Sous
Mareva Galanter – C’est Bon
Francis Lai - Samba Savarah (Un Homme et Une Femme OST)
OMD – Souvenir
TGV – Partie 1
Magnetic Fields – If You
Phil Oakey & Giorgio Moroder – Together In Electric Dreams
Neon Neon – I Told Her on Alderaan

Michel Polnareff – La Mouche
Cats In Paris – Foxes
Michèle et Ses Wouaps – Wouap-Wouap
Annie Philippe – Pour La Gloire
Christine et Ses Copains – Mon Mini-Croulant
Virginie Rodin – Commando Spatial
Les Bel-Air – Ils Parlaient Dans Mon Dos
France Gall – Laisse Tomber Les Filles
Toss – Da Da Da (est-ce qu'on s'cherche ou est ce qu'on triche?)

Jacqueline Taïeb – 7 Heures Du Matin
Ria Bartok – J'y Pense Tout Bas
Sylvie Vartan – De Bonheur
France Gall – Zoï Zoï
Michele Arnaud avec Serge Gainsbourg – Les Papillons Noirs
Momus – Amongst Women Only
The Chap – Fun and Interesting
The Associates – Love Hangover
Miss Pain – Shelf-Location ROM
Blue Minkies – Kevin
Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart

Kraftwerk – Radioactivity
Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con
Jocelyne – Nitty Gritty
Françoise Hardy – Et Même
Christophe – Les Marionettes
John Foxx – Europe After The Rain
Jacques Dutronc – Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S’éveille
Pulp – Styloroc (Nights of Suburbia)
OMD – Red Frame/White Light
M – Pop Muzik

Bazooka – Dada Dodo (instrumental version)
Isabelle – Amstramgram
Sebastien Tellier – Sexual Sportswear /
French language disque (time, numbers, colours)
Add N to (X) – Total All Out Water
April March – La Fille Sur Ta Moto
Ladytron – Olivetti Jerk
Claire Dixon – Fleurs, Vent
Françoise Hardy – Non Ce N’est Pas Un Rêve
Stereo Total – Je Rêve Encore De Toi
Michel Polnareff – Beatnik

Serge Gainsbourg – Dr Jeckyll et Mr Hyde
Les Roche Martin – Les Mains Dans Les Poches
Barcelona – Mirror Man
Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf
Fad Gadget – Ricky’s Hand
Depeche Mode – New Life
Devo – Whip It
Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene pt.4

Stereolab – Ping Pong
Mareva Galanter – Les Cornichons
C++ - Comme Dans Les Films
Heaven 17 – Temptation
Simon Bookish – Terry Riley Disco
OMD – Enola Gay
Stereo Total – Villaines Filles, Mauvais Garçons

Jacques Brel – Les Filles et Les Chiens
Michel Legrand – Digue Ding Ding
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Emmanuelle – Le Reel Facile
Kap Bambino – Hey!
Claude François – Eloise

Glass Candy – Candy Castle
The B-52s – Planet Claire
Serge et Charlotte Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Fat Truckers – Teenage Daughter
Stereo Total – Plastic

Liz Brady – Bas Les Pattes
Eileen – Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher
Die Dorau & Die Marinas – Fred Vom Jupiter

Datarock – Computer Camp Love
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Swamp Buggy Badass

Trost – Sans Ta Scie
We Are Enfant Terrible – Snap Dragon
Stereo Total – Cosmonaute

Orlane Paquin – Le Train de 10h03
Alice Dona – A Trop Repeter Bien

here are our mp3 picks of the night...
Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart
[buy Fever Ray: iTunes |]
Christophe - Les Marionettes
[buy Christophe: iTunes |]
We Are Enfant Terrible – Snap Dragon
[buy We Are Enfant Terrible direct from We Are Enfant Terrible]

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Houston, we have a problem...

Our apologies, it seems we've been ultra-popular this month and have exceeded the bandwidth our webhosts allow us for mp3 storage.

This means if you click on any of the mp3 links you will get an ERROR BANDWIDTH EXCEEDED message, instead of some sweet musique.

Please bear with us, and hopefully everything will be back to normal in the next couple of days.

love and electronics

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Mere Pawns in the Great Space Race

Earlier this week NASA celebrated the 40th anniversary of putting some good wholesome American men on the moon. It was one giant leap for mankind, and one great big Nerr-Nerrr-Ner-Nerrrr-Nurrrrr to the Russians who had, until now, been lapping the USA in the great space race.

But no one spared a thought for the lonely cosmonaut, sitting in his rocket, orbiting the moon, watching the live footage on his miniature control panel. He thinks of his girlfriend down there on earth, as he whistles a forlorn little ditty into his Soviet-issue tape recorder

Sometime in the early-90’s, a Berlin flea-market trader flogs a batch of old Soviet reel-to-reel tapes to Brezel Göring, he uncovers the crackly long-wave radio noise-laden humming of the love-sick cosmonaut, and Françoise Cactus pens an ode to all the long-lost space-men drifting out there in the cosmos.

Stereo Total – Cosmonaute
[buy Stereo Total: iTunes | Bungalow Popshop]

As the NASA moonwalk transmission came to a close, and the end credits rolled, a celestial melody of early electronic music wafted gently from the speakers. The French had hi-jacked the broadcast a little late in the day, but the spotlit-Moog majesty of this song lingered like the grainy shot of the Stars and Stripes flapping gently in the lunar wind.

Jean-Jacques Perrey & Gershon Kingsley – Pioneers of The Stars
[by Perrey & Kingsley: iTunes | Amazon uk]

ps. We will be dropping in these and more space-y music at L’Amour Electronique tonight: