Wednesday, 24 July 2013

L'Amour à la Chaîne pt.20

Looking at my blog stats the other day, I was heartened, yet slightly baffled, to see some of the most visited posts are those from my ongoing L'Amour à la Chaîne sequence. So with that knowledge under my hat, I s'pose it's time I added another link to the ongoing chain.

Previously on L'Amour à la Chaîne it was a Portuguese cover of Serge's 'Ford Mustang'...

The Mustang was named after the free-roaming horses descended from those brought to the Americas by the Spanish, and now regarded as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people."

Each and every Ford Mustang has a metal horse emblem affixed to the radiator grill (unless it's been half-inched), so in tribute to this iconic hunk of chrome, here is METAL HORSE!

"Glittering horse, you were sold, in a shady shop on the Edgeware Road"

I still love this hefty slab of cutandpaste 8-bit reductivist electro pop by Simon Bookish, hope you like it too!

Simon Bookish - Metal Horse
[Metal Horse was originally released in 2005 as a limited seven-inch on Tomlab Records. You can still buy it direct from Tomlab's European and US online outlets. There was no mp3 release.]

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 > Fabienne Delsol - Ce Jour LaJohnny Hallyday - Son Amour Pour Un Jeu > Miss Kittin & The Hacker - L'Homme Dans L'Ombre > Andre Popp - L'Homme Invisible > Future Bible Heroes - Love Is Blue > Sandie Shaw - L'Orage > Ars Post Tergum Introet - Ford Mustang > Simon Bookish - Metal Horse > ?

Monday, 22 July 2013

L'Amour Electronique mix 4

!!!NEWSFLASH!!! Part 2 of this mix now added below!!!

I felt I should commemorate the fact that a whole year has passed since the final L'Amour Electronique soirée on 26 May 2012, so I dug out a mix I had sitting on my hard-drive and dusted up for your listening pleasure.  This one was mixed live at one of our nights on 26 February 2011. Hopefully it'll keep y'all entertained while we wait for the mp3s to come back...

Here is some blurb that I spewed out to introduce it on mixcloud:
You want an epic prog-electroni-folk lament from Air? CHECK! You want a seriously DEVO-lved Toni Basil space-oddity? CHECK! You want to swoon as Gillian Hills makes dragging on a cigarette sound like the sexiest thing EVER? *PUFF PUFF* You want naked thighs and leather boots? CHECK! You want the Kili-watch rush of a surf-guitar instrumental? CHECK! You want early J-J Perrey Moog-pop? CHECK! You want Da Da Da en Français? CHECK! You want Christophe to leave behind his blue-eyed years and get on a grinding, motorik groove? CHECK! You want obscure pre-beat orchestral pop from Tienou; electro-pop from The Knife and Future Bible Heroes; Françoise Hardy, Liz Brady, Adèle (not that one), Polnareff and Brigitte Bardot? yé-yé! yé-yé! yé-yé! THEN HIT PLAY NOW >>

tracklisting for mix 4 (pt.1)
Air – Sex Born Poison
Stereo Total – Cannibale
The Knife – Kino
Toni Basil – Space Girls
Brigitte Bardot – Le Diable est Anglais
Adèle – J’ai Peur Parfois (acoustic version)
Gillian Hills – Ma Premiere Cigarette
Françoise Hardy – Pas Gentille
Serge Gainsbourg – L’Homme à Tête du Chou
Philippe Nicaud – Cuisses Nues, Bottes de Cuir
Liz Brady – Palladium
Léo Petit et Ses Guitares et Ses Rhythmes – Kili-watch
Jean-Claude Vannier – L’Ours Parasseux
Michel Polnareff – Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Porcupine Rock
Toss – Da Da Da (Est-ce qu'on s'cherche ou est ce qu'on triche?)
Christophe – Rock Monsieur
Tienou – Tu N’Peux Pas T’Empêcher de Rire
Future Bible Heroes – Love Is Blue
Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe (pt.4)
Françoise Hardy – Le Premier Bonheur du Jour

And now for PART 2! 
Allez-Allez! The mix continues >> obscure indie-poppers do Serge > pure synth-pop > moody French disco > sugary & soulful femme pop > In/Out > lo-fi electro-pop > analogue synth abuse > filthy dirty freakbeat > a hefty dose of road rash > proto-electronica > sounds of summer > psyche-noir. And all for your listening pleasure.

tracklisting for mix 4 (pt.2)
Addictive Larsen – Bonnie & Clyde
The Human League – Open Your Heart
Kraftwerk – Airwaves
Michel Polnareff – La Mouche
Mareva Galanter – Les Filles C’est Faites Pour Faire L’Amour
Bébé Suong – Mine De Rien
Elizabeth – Madame Superman
Les Roche Martin – Les Mains Dans Les Poches
Serge Gainsbourg – Qui est ‘In’, Qui est ‘Out’?
Sue Wilkinson – You’ve Got To Be a Hustler
Stereo Total – Baby Ouh
Add N To (X) – Ann’s Eveready Equestrian
Jesus – L’Electrocuté
Christophe – Macadam
The Normal – T.V.O.D.
Mathématiques Moderne – Disco Rough
Bertrand Burgalat & Robert Wyatt – This Summer Night
Johnny Hallyday – Noir C’est Noir

Tour de France, Tour de France

Huge congratulations and much awe and respect for Chris Froome, following in Sir Bradley of Mod's cleats and taking 1st place in the 2013 Tour de France yesterday. This one's for you...

Meanwhile, Kraftwerk performed at the Latitude festival on Saturday night. It was a "3-D concert" - er, aren't all concerts 3-D if you are there watching? No, apparently this was even more 3-D than real life as there were huge projections which made you feel sick unless you were wearing 3-D glasses which probably made you look like a bit of a twerp.

You can watch an impressive 35 minute show of highlights from their set on the BBC website. And you may also want to try and werk out if they are actually playing anything behind each of their neon lecterns. Sadly, no Tour de France though...

You can watch Kraftwerk at Latitude for the next 4 weeks via the BBC iPlayer

Here's the setlist for the film:
* The Robots
* Numbers
* Computer World
* Home Computer
* Computer Love
* The Man Machine
* The Model

Saturday, 20 July 2013


First there was C'est Chic! Now there is Très Chic! The new Ace Records compilation of 'more French girl singers of the 1960s'.

It's a tough job putting together a comp like this: trying to make it a captivating, immediate listen for the newcomer, as well as aiming to create a strong overview of the French yé-yé scene; meanwhile there's probably the nagging thought at the back of your mind that there are people like me out there who have got all the more populist stuff and want some new treasures unearthed and plonked on their stereo. And that's before you get to the tooth-pulling task of trying to get licensing permission for the material you WANT to put on it.

I say: give me anything with some 60s French music on it and I am a happy bunny!

The 24 track CD version has Gillian Hills on the cover, and I had a nice surprise (and a little flush of pride) whilst scanning through the inlay booklet: the L'Amour Electronique blog gets a mention under 'other reference sources'!

There's an abridged (blue!) vinyl version too, with a very un-sixties Anna Karina photo on the front.

If I can find the time, I'll write a little review of it...

You can buy both direct from Ace Records: CD version | Vinyl version.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ripping Vinyl - Karo

Would Madame et Monsieur care for a little vinyl warmth to start le weekend? How about a double-serving of pure, unadulterated Québécoise sweetness by Karo, on the Trans-Canada Vedettes imprint?

You French pop fans will probably know Karo (real name Caroline Vallée), for her sugar-y 60s HIT 'Un Garçon En Mini-Jupe' (what was it back then with all those boys with long hair and mini-skirts and girls with short hair in trousers?). What you may not know is that she penned the music and lyrics to most of her songs, which certainly wasn't the norm for most female pop artistes back then. These two being perfect examples of her oeuvre, encapsulating an, undoubtedly rose-tinted and very saccharine, world view.

Here she is in double-vision with her ever-present smile and schoolgirl bunches:

And here she is oiling up her motorbike, though possibly not getting ready to join the Ton-Up Club...

...As this evidence suggests...

Could anyone make the prospect of riding pillion with a roaring motorcycle between your legs sound quite so twee as Karo does? "VRROOM! VRROOOOOM!" She squeals as she wraps her arms around her leather-clad beau and they race off down the Route TransCanadienne.

Karo - Sur Ta Moto

On the flip-side, Karo hauls a gang of school kids in and together they summon up the joyful sound of going away on summer holiday (and not a Cliff in sight!). It's absolutely brimful of sunshine and happiness, and then she slips in a key-change and the cup of glee runneth over.

Altogether now, everybody cheer: "HEYYYYYY!"

Karo - Je M'en Vais En Vacances

[you can download a compilation of Karo's 60s material Un Garçon En Mini-Jupe from 7digital or If you'd like to buy the 45, there's one in the US on musicstack, a snip at £22.37.]

I have a couple more Karo 45s hanging around, so if you like these songs and want to hear more from her, leave nice comments and it will encourage me to dig them out.