27/11/2006

Japanese delights

 

Before being a teen idol, cuttie girl Yuko Ogura was a swimsuit model. "Onna no Ko, Otoko no Ko" is part of manga "School Rumble (1st season)" OST and was a big hit back in 2005. Get it HERE with a Yuko calendar !

==> Yuko Ogura - Onna no Ko, Otoko no Ko

Polysics has built a solid worlwide reputation by touring a lot in Europe and US and claim to be "the Japanese Devo"! Q : Are we not men ? A : We are Polysics ! This awesome 10 years old robot-dancer, known as "Strong Machine 2",  is not part of the band yet ! Get this HERE

This is the latest single by futuristic electro girl band Perfume. This smashed Japanese Billboard several weeks ago. All of their 3 singles are huge ! Get it HERE

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26/11/2006

Swan Lake

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Swan Lake : Beast Moans (Jagjaguwar)

The story was in the air some months ago : a super-super canadian group with Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade), Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes). Any excited, curious or even skeptical you could be about this, you'll have to accept, after hearing "Beast Moans", that this music succeeds in fusing all 3 actors' antagonisms, bringing them into a fully new own original sound, solemn, exploratory and beautiful at the same time...

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20/11/2006

Mikado forever...

Despite only one official album and some singles, Mikado (1982-1991) is one of the most emblematic acts generated in the whole France pop history. Weirdly however, the band had to wait being famous in Japan before having some recognition in its own country... Mikado, it is firstly Pascale Borel’s inimitable voice, simultaneously sweet and grinded, transforming each syllable into a graceful evanescent moment. Mikado, it is secondly Gregori Czerkinsky’s happy-go-lucky yeasty electro-pop. Let’s remember Mikado story through 3 songs and let’s make this in French hé hé :

 

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Par Hasard” (Les disques du Crépuscule – 1982)

Mikado est fondé en 1982 par Pascale Borel (paroles) et Gregori Czerkinsky (musique). C’est le gourou du Crépuscule Michel Duval qui leur fait signer leur premier single très confidentiel « Par Hasard » et c’est de là que tout partira. Au Japon tout d’abord, où ils remplacent presque « par hasard » Antena au pied levé pour une mini-tournée avec Winston Tong et Durutti Column via le label cousin « Le Crépuscule au Japon ». Grâce à cette tournée et les autres qui suivront, Mikado s’y retrouve vite en haut de l’affiche, finit par signer sur un gros label et y devenir extrêmement populaire.

 

 

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« Naufrage en hiver » ( Non Standard-JP-1984 ; Vogue-FR-1986)

Tandis que le 1er album éponyme sort au Japon en 1984 (avec une pochette de Pierres  et Gilles), Vogue en prend la licence en France et décide de sortir « Naufrage en Hiver » en single, le soutenant par une promotion très active. Le succès est au rendez-vous : concerts, passages en radio et enfin une certaine reconnaissance en France. Suivront une reprise en main par CBS-Sony et la sortie du single « La fille du soleil »

 

 

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« C’est le vent » (Unreleased-1990 ; Le Village Vert-FR-1998)

Après 2 enfants et quelques années de pause, le couple Borel-Czerkinsky présente en 1990 les maquettes de nouvelles chansons  pour un second album assez autobiographique où Grégori s’affirme davantage au chant. Sony fait mine de s’y intéresser puis décline. Suite à des problèmes personnels entre Gregori et Pascale, l’aventure Mikado s’arrête en 1991. Le second album ne verra jamais le jour …jusqu’en 1998 où, dans la foulée du 1er excellent album solo de Czerkinsky, le label Village Vert sort « Mikado Forever », une compilation de 23 titres comprenant la quasi-totalité du 1er album, des titres sortis au Japon, en Hollande et en Angleterre de même que des inédits dont certains titres du « second album », comme ce « C’est le vent ».

 

 

Il ne reste plus qu’à souhaiter peut-être que les 2 albums soient (ré)édités intégralement en digipack (on verrait bien Ze records ou Les Temps Modernes), avec pourquoi pas une pochette inédite de Pierres et Gilles pour le second. En attendant, regardons devant nous en continuant à écouter le miraculeux dernier album de Pascale Borel tout en scrutant l’arrivée du prochain Czerkinsky (c’est sûr il nous prépare quelque chose le petit Grégori, foi de Katerine…).

 

Sources :

-Pascale Borel Official Website

-The Crepuscule and Factory Pages

-Pascale Borel interview on lalalala.org

-Tequeno, a Japanese webpage about Mikado

-« Mikado Forever » compilation on « Le Village Vert »

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17/11/2006

Sarandon

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Sarandon : The Completist's Library (wrath records or hhbtm)

As a kick-off for the week-end, let’s push the PAUSE button for club-orientated hyp-bands à la Klaxons, Shitdisco & New Young Pony Club and let’s try to concentrate on something more flailing and sharp: Sarandon is here for us at the right time with those 28 songs compiling all their four 7”s, 28 tiny post-punk influenced pieces (think Gang of four, Wire,…). It couldn’t be best described than “a contemporary clean-cut Josef K driven by Television melodico-intellectualism”. Got it ? Get it ! HERE !

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14/11/2006

Peachy Little Secrets

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Peachy Little Secrets...a fruit records compilation
 

Third release for beloved Fruit records label, and this time it is a special world tour trip for twee boys & girls, featuring unreleased tracks, unsigned stuff, Asia’s fine fleur, classic international acts and pure discoveries, old or new : bands from fruit catalogue (Serenaide, Ferns), popular asian acts (Mocca, Annemarie - see video below -, The Marshmallow Kisses, My Little Airport with the wonderful demo of “Je pense à toi” becoming “Japan ‘Sut Gua”), swedish acts (Ingenting from Labrador label and too-short-living band The Castavetes), well-known international pop bands ( Lucksmiths from Australia, La Casa Azul from Spain, My Favorite from USA), totally unknown – as far as I’m concerned-  asian outfits (the very funny Odfellows, Sally Faerie, 1900 Yesterday, Couple, My Writes, Purplepaige, the Monophones), promising brazilian act Luisa Mandou Um Beijo - see great video below - and finally, Little Name from UK, a talented one-man project previously heard on Indiepages demo section. The most heterogeneous AND homogeneous comp of the year…get it now in the fruit basket !

 

==> Annemarie : "Apple"

Luisa Mandou Um Beijo : "Amarelinha"

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12/11/2006

Blam Blam Blam

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Blam Blam Blam : “There is no Depression in New-Zealand” (7” on Propeller – 1981)

 

The lightning-existence of the band BLAM BLAM BLAM  is deeply linked to both musical and political New-Zealand History. Born in 1980 from the ashes of The Wizzkids an The Plague, at a golden time and in a country where many independent labels (Ripper, Reaction, Propeller, REM, Flying Nun…) were coming to life – after a moribund decade -, the trio quickly signed to Propeller Records. Behind their first eponym EP, they released the single “There is no Depression in New-Zealand”, a song that became an almost-national anthem during the 1981 Anti-Springbok Tour  protests and riots. Shortly after their 1982 debut Album, the band sadly disintegrated following a serious van crash. It is beyond question Blam Blam Blam  highly influenced all of the next-to-come-world-breaking NZ indie scene…

 

Sources :

 

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-          “It’s Bigger than Both of Us” NZ singles 1979-82 (Propeller)

-          Simon Grigg Website

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08/11/2006

Mirafiori

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Mirafiori : No Podemos Volver A Casa (Autopop)

It’s been 4 years since the first and only Mirafiori EP, produced by Guille Milkyway (La Casa Azul), saw the light on Annika Records (now extinguished label).  After a long delay ( see  story HERE), this is the debut album for Nacho Fernandez’ project. Melancholia in the –Spanish- verb, humbleness in the art, grace in the –sometimes jangling -chords, this is not only a good early-Trembling Blue Stars’ inspired piece, but also a truly consistent original work.

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06/11/2006

Marsmobil

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Marsmobil : Minx ( Compost / G-stone)

Munich-based multi-instrumentist Roberto Di Gioia is known for his collaborations with Console and The Notwist and has got a huge jazz and classical pedigree. This is the second album for his project Marsmobil, clearly influenced by the likes of Portishead & Air (should I say Barry and Gainsbourg). These 11 space-electronica-trip-pop moments are made of visionary smooth-skinned melodies, magnified at times by Martine Rojine’s crystal-cut voice. This will most certainly calm down all your worries.

 

                                                                                                                               

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02/11/2006

la Variété by Weekend

WESingles

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la Variété by Weekend (Rough Trade 1982 - Reedition on Cherry Red 2006)

La Variété” is the French term for diversity and this is what this classic album is all about… Back in 1982, following the mysterious dissolution of Young Marble Giants, while the Moxham Bros reunite as “The Gist”, Alison Statton forms WEEKEND with Simon Booth and Spike. The result is “LA VARIETE”, a sort of brilliant improvisation combining strings, afro-rythms, lite jazz and atmospheric moods, a total counterpoint to the minimalist YMG masterpiece “Colossal Youth”. This is not the first time the album is reedited on CD (Rough Trade & Vinyl Japan did it before) but the wondrous idea here is to add as bonus tracks the demos of 3 songs (sounding very YMG !) plus the great 7” and 12” preceding the album (A view from her Room, Past Meets Present, Drum Beat for Baby,…). Tasty return in the past.

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01/11/2006

Clinic

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Clinic : Visitations (Domino)

The surgical crew is back for operation n° 5. Many of the instruments and formulas stay unchanged – still very CLINIC! - but, at times, some new devices make a conspicuous appearance: a strongly marked “garage” sound and saturated psychedelic backgrounds...Although perfect achievements of operation 1 “first EP's compilation” and operation 2 “Internal Wrangler” are out of reach for the time being, the “masks” are moving forward in a very interesting direction again... and that's great news !

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