Dec 23, 2006

Stage 09, France, ici Paris deux

Ici Paris part 2, plenty of artists out there and my choices are but a small sample. With Alansky and Burgalat we have 2 very different anti-hero's, Ekova wouldnt have been without Paris , DJ Cam fuses Paris' streets into his music and Encre..well is our ticket out of Paris onto the skies of Normandy and into oneself again.

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Jay Alansky - Les yeux crevés (2002) Flac 325mb)

Jay Alanski is one of the most prolific French songwriters of the 80s, the man behind a whole string of chart hits for a host of stars. However, Jay grew tired of the showbiz world and became a recluse in the 90s, locking himself away in the studio to experiment with trip-hop and ambient sounds. Greying at the temples, Alanski totally reinvented himself and signed to Éric Morand and Laurent Garnier’s hip indie electro label F-Com. After earning a cult reputation with his Reminiscent Drive albums, he has now moved on to what he himself admits is a moodier, darker sound. "Well, my new album does follow a period of crisis in my life," he says, " I’d just been through a lot of doubt, questioning myself about where I was going, I’ve always tried to translate those kind of emotions into my art as a way of working them through in some way."

With Les yeux crevés Alanky takes us into a world of crispy warm elektronic sounds. At times there's a real germanic feel to his analog assembled sound aesthetics. Alansky creates a melancholic sometimes pathetic then again ironic electronic album that will do nicely on a crisp winter morning aswell as a brighter spring day .Im not sure if your eyes will pop or burst as the title announces, i guess it reflects his own feeling staring at the layers of screens when creating this album.

01 - Un Maximum De Lumière (6:32)
02 - The Captain Of My Ship (5:01)
03 - Compassionate (4:23)
04 - Special Contract (4:32)
05 - Les Yeux Crevés (3:32)
06 - Schmaltz (4:16)
07 - My Life On Porn (1:57)
08 - Manipulate (5:27)
09 - Sir Robert (2:17)
10 - Nan (5:37)
11 - Free At St Pete (11:32)

Alansky @ Fcom

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Ekova - Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks ( 99  flac  452mb)

"I think Paris is the most extraordinary city. I mean, every culture has its own history but what's really amazing about Paris is that you get to see living cultures - some of them thousands of years old - existing side by side and influencing one another. I love the idea of this process of mixing and exchange going on right under our noses. And I think it's fair to say that if it hadn't been for Paris, Ekova might never have existed at all!"-Dierdre Dubois

This Paris-based trio - which doesn't contain a single Frenchman, draws its name from a word coined by American-born singer Dierdre Dubois, echo and ova, signifying the feminine side. Dubois, despite her Celtic and French name, was raised by her Italian-American mother in Northern California, and has lived in Paris long enough that her English is noticeably accented. Like the name of the band Dierdre creates words as sounds, she creates her own improvised language, a kind of multicultural glossolalia that is as mysterious as it is musical. "I don't understand it all myself," she acknowledges. "It just comes out by itself. But I like that sense of mystery about it." The other two members of Ekova,Iranian percussionist Arach Khalatbari and Algerian guitar/lute player Mehdi Haddab, have invented a musical language to match. Khalatbari is from Tehran but has lived and worked in Paris since the Islamic revolution in Iran. And Haddab is half Algerian, half French; born in Algiers, he lived in Burundi in Central Africa before finally making his way to Paris. Freed from the weight of any of their individual traditions, Khalatbari and Haddab weave together strands of Celtic and African music, inspired by many of the world's music traditions without literally drawing on them, Ekova has created a sound that is at once elusive but familiar.

With their debut album "Heavens Dust" they released a classic, that deserved more attention than it got, even though many were raving about it. ( politically incorrect lined-up perhaps ?). Happy to experiment and fuse further Ekova offered their album up for remix, the result "Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks" was released one year later, it was a bold choice as these electronica remixes wouldnt perse suit their first fans. And admittedly it veeres off widely from the more acoustic original and presents us with a jazz-electro downtempo dub album that firmly stands on its own.

In 2001 Ekova released "Space Lullabies and Other Fantasmagore" , they went on some extensive touring but to date haven't released any new material.

Ekova - Soft Breeze and Tsunami Breaks (flac 452mb)

01 - In My Prime (Gekko From Ekovaland)
02 - Helas And Reason (Jérôme Pacman - Neti Neti Remix)
03 - Starlight In Daden (Da Lata-Aurora Remix)
04 - Temoine (Farmakit Extended Remix)
05 - La Nef Des Fous (Niktus Design Size Remix)
06 - Taksim (Popodi - Un Taksim Pour Tobruk)
07 - Sister (Lofofora - Tsunami Sister Remix)
08 - Venus And One (Boscheron, Smadj - Reconstruction)
09 - Todosim (Roudoudou - Ali Baba Remix)
10 - Sebrendita (DJ Cam - Dark Jazz Remix)
11 - Ditama (Bab & F2F - Kalenda Remix)
12 - Sabura (Max Pashm - Desert Delight Remix)
13 - Chant Of Diem (Doctor L - Golden Days Remix)

Ekova @ Label
Ekova @ Amazon

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DJ Cam Substances (96 flac 252mb)

DJ Cam (born Laurent Daumail in 1973) is a French DJ. After trading his instruments for a set of turntables he spend his days listening to the likes of Eric B and specially Public Enemy At 16 Laurent created his own place hitting bars and clubs with his Bomb Rush . At 20 he started his own label to release himself, undettered by the absence of initial succes he recorded his first LP was "Undergound Vibes" in 1994. It was revolutionary for it's time, featuring familiar jazz samples and loads of vibe samples and heavy hip-hop influences, "Undergound Vibes"got him noticed by the international music press. DJ Cam's style coined as abstract hip hop merges blunt street rhythms with languid samples and atmospheric soundscapes.

"Substances" experimented with a change of direction from DJ Cam's previous albums. The tracks on "Substances" were more melancholy in feel than usual, featuring a variety of slick cool-jazz samples from the likes of Alice Coltran. Cam fused his smooth easy-listening jazz samples with the usual hip hop rhythms, but this time round the emphasis was definitely on mellow - listen to the soft, velvet vocals of the Indian singer Kakoli Sengupta on the track "Meera" . "Substances" feels like a late night trip thru the streets and bars of Paris ending at the Arc de triomph in the early morning twilight, unsure about what it means you experienced but content. Life's a stream, it goes on.

Dj Cam was on the map and in demand to produce ever since releasing a string of ep' .s albums and projects with jazz artists or the likes of bill Laswell too much to get into here, his latest 2006 release a remix project DJCam revisted .

01 - Intro (0:13)
02 - Friends and Enemies (6:25)
03 - Essence Part One (0:38)
04 - Meera ft- Kakoli Sengupta (7:15)
05 - Essence Part Two (0:33)
06 - Sound System Children (6:47)
07 - Alexandra's Interlude (0:46)
08 - Innervisions (4:40)
09 - Essence Part Three (0:40)
10 - Hip Hop Pionneers (4:23)
11 - Essence Part Four (0:33)
12 - Lost Kingdom ft- Kakoli Sengupta (4:00)
13 - Essence Part Five (0:32)
14 - Angel Dust (6:25)
15 - Essence Part Six (0:34)
16 - Twillight Zone (4:46)
17 - Outro (0:46)

DJ Cam @ HisSpace
DJ Cam @ Amazon

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Bertrand Burgalat - Sssound of Mmmusic (2000 * 102mb)

Bertrand Burgalat, the epitomy of "the trendy Parisian", whilst tapping into the glamorous easy-listening groove of the 60s and mixing it with electro beats, has established a reputation as an avant-garde pioneer. The multi-talented Burgalat, whose inspiration ranges from the classical compositions of Ravel to the early electronica of Kraftwerk, has worked as an arranger, composer, producer, soundtrack writer and remixer.Bertrand Burgalat was born in the Corsican town of Bastia in 1963, the Burgalat family moved several times in the course of Burgalat senior's career so young Bertrand grew up in several different French towns.

Coming from a well-to-do, bourgeois background, Bertrand was introduced to classical music at an early age and began taking piano lessons at the age of 6. A few years later his musical tastes would change dramatically, however. After seeing a Pink Floyd concert at the age of 10, Bertrand opened his mind to a whole range of other musical possibilities. The budding young musician went on to set up his own rock and jazz bands. But one of the most formative influences throughout Bertrand's teens in the 1970s was his discovery of the work of cult German electro pioneers Kraftwerk.

Burgalat went on to launch his own career in the music world in the 1980s, starting out as a producer and an arranger. Steering away from the musical mainstream, Burgalat marked himself out as a man with alternative interests, producing an album by Slovenian 'electro Goths', Laibach, when he was just 25. He went on to work with a host of other major underground stars such as the German band Einstürzende Neubauten .

In the early 90s Burgalat became increasingly involved in the easy-listening movement. Fusing the best of 60s and 90s electronica with layers of smooth, slick strings, revolving around a light, upbeat sound. The vogue was perfectly suited to Burgalat's own interest in the aesthetic and music of the period, most notably theme tunes from kitsch TV series.

In the 90s Burgalat's career largely revolved around his production work for artists such as Jad Wio , Julien Baer and Japanese electro/pop diva Kahimi Karie. Meanwhile, Burgalat also continued a parallel career as a musical arranger, working with the likes of Ollano, Mick Harvey, the Japanese group Pizzicato Five, and the Australian star Nick Cave.

In 1992 Burgalat branched out in a new direction, working on the soundtrack of Cyril Collard's film "les Nuits fauves". Five years later Burgalat turned his hand to film composition once again, writing the entire soundtrack for Valérie Lemercier's movie "Quadrille". Meanwhile, advertising creatives also came knocking at Burgalat's door, asking him to compose the music for various ad campaigns for luxury brands such as Yves Saint-Laurent.

Burgalat also found himself in demand on the remix front and went on to cook up a series of cutting-edge remixes for mainstream stars such as Jamiroquai, Soul II Soul, Depeche Mode ("Easy Going") and hip French electro outfit Air ("Sexy Boy"). Renowned as a brilliantly creative musical mastermind with a certain air of mystery about him, Burgalat soon found himself dubbed "the French Phil Spector."

TricatelWhen "France's answer to Phil Spector" set up his own record label, Tricatel, in 1995. he established himself as a key player on the French music scene. Positioning itself at the musical cutting-edge, Tricatel soon showed itself to be an innovative force, promoting original, up-and-coming talents from a broad range of musical backgrounds. Meanwhile, Burgalat was also extremely active on the home front. In 1996 he produced the album "Valérie Lemercier chante" for singer and French comedian Valérie Lemercier (also his partner in real life). Then in 2000 he went on to mastermind "Présence humaine", an album recorded by controversial French author Michel Houellebecq. These two albums – deemed exciting and original by fans, and dismissed as trendy and "snobbily intellectual" by critics – appeared to sum up Burgalat's image in the public eye.

Straddling the divide between kitsch, old-fashioned "variété" sounds and avant-garde electro, Burgalat forged a reputation for top-quality production work, but his music was often considered overly elitist (a criticism which, incidentally, Burgalat was only too happy to have levelled at his work!) Burgalat also got something of a reputation for his extravagant parties, which he liked to organise in unusual, off-beat settings such as empty swimming pools and bowling alleys.

The Ssssound of music
Finally, after decades of working for other people, Burgalat went into the studio on his own account. His debut solo album, "The Ssssound of music", was released in 2000 under the name Bertrand. This album, which Burgalat had, in fact, been working on since setting up his own label in '95, contained the usual Burgalat inspirations – i.e. a healthy dose of electronica, pop culture and psychedelia, soaring backing choruses and string sections and some beautifully-crafted melodies. Infused with a "private joke" sense of humour, "The Ssssound of music" made no attempt to win over fans on the musical mainstream, but brandished its difference loud and clear. Besides featuring numerous instrumental tracks, "The Ssssound of music" also found Burgalat trying his hand at vocals or inviting close friends such as Katerine and Michel Houellebecq to guest on certain songs, but it was Burgalat's group, A.S. Dragon, which lent musical coherence to the whole.

Bertrand Burgalat - Sssound of Mmmusic    flac 398mb

01 - Pas Perdus (0:42)
02 - Tsom (2:57)
03 - Ok Skorpios (4:10)
04 - Aux Cyclades Electronique (3:36)
05 - Ma Rencontre (5:38)
06 - Ile De Beton (5:37)
07 - Attention Amiante (4:16)
08 - Chaque Jour (2:52)
09 - (Come Potrei) Scordare (3:05)
10 - 14 H (0:36)
11 - Nonza (4:31)
12 - Sunshine Yellow (5:43)
13 - Gris Metal (3:40)
14 - Des Yeux Roses (1:29)
15 - L'Observatoire (3:23)
16 - Le Pays Imaginaire (2:30)
17 - Coeur Inapaise (4:00)

Burgalat @ MySpace
Tricatel @ Base
Burgalat @ Wiki
Burgalat @ Amazon

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Encre - Flux (02 ^289mb)

For my last post en France, we leave the pressure cooker Paris to seek some quiet and solitude in the Normandy, a place where one can get in touch with nature and oneself again. Yann Tambour, the author/composer/performer who hides behind the Encre project, was born in 1978. He grew up in Courtances, Normandy, in a family with little love of music. At the age of 7 he learnt classical guitar. At high school, he set-up different pop groups, in which he sang in both French and English. It was through his friends that he got his musical education, discovered Joy Division, the Velvet Underground, Nick Drake and Palace. On returning to the faculty, he found himself alone to record pieces on his 4-track recorder, with some little synthesizers on which he put French lyrics.

He next moved to technology, first using a family computer, on which he installed music software and directed himself progressively to the composition of instrumentals, like his first single “Pente est” released on the label Active Suspension under the name of Encre. Yann continued to refine his writing up until June 2001, and the publication of the first eponymous Encre album on French label Clapping Music. Lasting 33 minutes, he performs 8 pieces on 2 instruments, from dark pop to obsessive spoken-song. The music is constructed by a guitar (acoustic or electric) and samples (a range of samples of songs which already exist) diverse: drums, strings, brass, piano and various noises. Despite this Yann Tambour refrains from making electronic music, arguing that the fact of using a sequencer doesn’t place his music automatically in this category, and that according to him “generating sounds from a computer or an instrument comes out the same…”. On ‘Flux’ Encre weaves organic sounds with precise programming to deliver ambitious electronica that fluctuates in intensity throughout. The title track is a perfect example. Starting with a melodic acoustic guitar and whining keyboards, the track adds processed violin and builds into a complex myriad of isounds that increase in concentration until its unfurling finale.

01 - Flux (4:44)
02 - Marbres (4:42)
03 - Hassan (6:47)
04 - Us (8:39)
05 - Galant(es?) (5:36)
06 - Sèves (5:39)
07 - Missive Bis (3:07)
08 - Plexus (5:58)

Encre @ Base
Encre @ Amazon

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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...

Dear Rho, is there any chance to get France back up? It's such a nice mix.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the re-ups!