Watoo Watoo


Watoo Watoo : La fuite (Letterbox records) - Official release 11/06/07

Michaël Korchia is a photographer, marketing searcher/professor, Serge Gainsbourg's mailing list webmaster, and musician...but all Michaël's friends will beg you not to give him any guitar cos' he's a "very bad player". Maybe that's also because they're a bit jealous of his songwriting skills... During the last 12 years (wow), the guy has indeed highly contributed to French indiepop nobility with both his bands Watoo Watoo and Mumbly, having collaborated with such labels as Clover Records, Marsh-Marigold, Shelflife, Radio Khartoum or Le Grand Magistery...

A few months that we were awaiting this long-delayed new album, first expected on Skipping Stones and finally released on Letterbox Records (California Snow Story, Morning Bride, The Arrogants,...) ! From n°1 to n°11 hits, Watoo Watoo's previous natural Felt-esque and bossa/indiepop songwriting abilities, have now been wrapped in  a fancy production and completed with many other influences : jazz hints (Si tu me crois), 70's funk (lpb) + an epic last trip-pop trip (Un ami)...and yeah, I almost forgot...Pascale's voice has never been so beautiful...

Let's have a chat with Michaël about all this and more :


How are you feeling several days before the official release of the album ?
I'm feeling... flat.
I just hope that some people will review the album, that some will buy it, that the label won't lose money &... that our listeners will be happy.

Supposing “La fuite” is not a commercial success...
This is quite likely. Of course, it depends on your definition of success. Does it mean to break even, to sell 1 000 copies, or more, to be played on tv & so on?

...can you count on your marketing students to find the way to drastically increase the sales?

Yes, I will force them to buy the record!
Nope, actually, they have a very bad teacher, so don't expect them to be good at this kind of work.

How did you come across Letterbox Records? Have you had “family” contacts with California Snow Story or Morning Bride ?
We first found another label but they had to let us down because of financial difficulties. Then I met David from CSS (great band) via myspace & he talked to me about Letterbox Records. Two or 3 weeks later, I signed a contract with this young, exciting label!


I read you made 2 live appearances this year, which is rather unsuspected. Any chance to see Watoo Watoo live again soon outside Bordeaux ?
It's not so easy because we're quite old now, both of us have a job, & we have 2 children. But if you have a good place to make us play, we're interested, as long as we can be sure that there'll be more people in the crowd than on the stage.

How is Bordeaux nightlife nowadays? Do you miss Paris?
I don't miss Paris except for gigs (I couldn't see Belle and Sebastian last time they played, & I will miss Dean & Britta & Lou Reed in june). Pascale doesn't miss Paris except for job opportunities. But Bordeaux is a beautiful city, I love it: http://www.watoowatoo.net/photo/bordeaux

Your other band Mumbly, who signed a record on Marsh Marigold label in 1997, has never split up! Can we expect new stuff in the next months/years? What are Pierre and Aurore latest news?
We started recording a 5 songs ep in 1998. It's almost finished (it was also almost finished in 2001, though). I'll try to finish it this summer. Oliver from MM was interested in releasing it but he wanted to go for a CDlp instead of a ep. It's not easy because Pierre still lives in Paris. Aurore's been living in Bordeaux for 3 years at least but I have only seen her 3 times since she's here!

Anything more you’d like to say to Pop’n Cherries readers ?
Don't hesitate to click "Commentaire" below & to write what you think about us :).

==> Pre-order the album HERE

==> "Perdu" ==> "La rue d'avant"

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Frànçois is French but lives in Bristol where he found a new home and a lot of mates. François is not making trip-hop. Frànçois’ music is the essence of pop. Frànçois was part of the latest Camera Obscura tour band. Frànçois is writing and singing his tiny stories in Frànglish. Frànçois is multi-instumentist, painter and vidéaste. Frànçois’ voice is marginal and fragile. Frànçois’ homemade website is a place where to be delayed for some time. François likes to tour a lot. Frànçois" new album "Brother" is out very very soon. François is to be seen in a city near you in June and July...check the dates HERE





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Keith Girdler RIP



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 1. The Camera loves Me

 2. Cecil Beaton's Scrapbook


(The Camera loves Me 7" - él records - 1988)




The story of  the Would-Be-Goods is made of come and go. Formed in 1987 by Singapore-raised Jessica Griffin and integrated in Mike Always’ él stalls, the band released its debut single “Fruit Paradise” in 1987, followed in 88 by second cult 7” and parent LP  “The Camera Loves me”, an essay without which "Kahimi Karie would never have existed"…  The WBG’s weren’t actually a band at the time but more Jessica and her sister Miranda on their own, backed by The Monochrome Set !! Enigmatic, sophisticated and evocative guitar pop, instituting Jessica Griffin as the spiritual heiress of Alison Statton and Amelia Fletcher…


 1. Emmanuelle Béart

 2. Je lèche les vitrines

 3. Everybody wants my Baby

 4. Words

(Emmanuelle Béart CDEP - Matinée - 2001)



After leaving the music industry and a brief 93 incursion on the Japanese market (Mondo album on Japanese label Trattoria), Jessica only reappeared in 2001 with the great comeback single “Emmanuelle Béart” on Matinée, notably joined by former Heavenly guitarist Peter Momtchiloff and former Monochrome Set keyboardist Orson Presence. Since then, the band has known several line-up changes and has released 2 highly recommendable albums (Brief Lives 2002 and The Morning After 2004) on Matinée / Fortuna Pop!

13 years between those 2 sleeves,

No Miranda anymore…

Jessica facing the mirror…

A bunch of new songs to be released soon and, in the meantime, Would-Be-Goods are playing the odd show, mainly in London, so stay informed at their Myspace page...

Would-Be-Goods are more important than ever...

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Love Dance


Love Dance : Result (Marsh Marigold)

Until not so long ago, it was obvious for me the Marsh-Marigold golden years were behind us, gathering secretly in those memories and starting to collect all missing catalogue numbers from the cult German label ….


So what happened exactly during the last months in Hamburg? Did the Blessed Virgin appear? I mean, a record like Cats on Fire’s “The Province Complains” can be called a miracle but now, listening to this Love Dance’s “Result”…2 miracles can’t occur at the same time !!!! If we follow the well-attested rule, can we expect a third one with “This Year’s Model” album to be released next month and establish Hamburg as a new pilgrimage place?…Why this spectacular MM comeback after so many years lethargy? Any clue on this ?

Let’s go back to Love Dance: no sensational new sound to expect here, the Norwegians are sticking to this 90’s Scandinavian guitar pop sound, part of the early MM tradition (Acid House Kings, Seashells, Poprace) : light & elegant arrangements, pleasant male/female vocals, soothing and graceful melodies, innocent lyrics…Excellentissima !!!

==> Love Dance : Losing Faith

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Rip it up Festival (Sweden)



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Silvia : S/T (Schallmauer 1982 - Genetic Music 2003)

Neue Deutsche Welle minimal electro pearl... released on Schallmauer, one of the great 80's Düsseldorf labels (along with Zick Zack and Ata Tak) establishing the city as the cradle of German New Wave. The man behind this wunderschöne album is the underrated Tommi Stumpff...

==> Silvia : Zuerst Ich

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Trembling Blue Stars


Trembling Blue Stars : The Last Holy Writer (Elefant)


This is not the latest Dead Can Dance in-the-mix album! This is Bobby Wratten’s return! Should we say resurrection? 2003 TBS’ departure from Shinkansen undeniably left place for less convincing and semi-deceiving essays on Elefant / Bar None so I was not expecting that much from this hypothetical sixth album and…huh… I was totally wrong!


Which supernatural act led Bobby to an inspirational mood again? Don’t have any clue but the melancholic beauty here is more touching than ever – especially on the first half of the bunch -, supported by synths, sequencers, drum machines, caressing guitars, unchanged Bobby’s sweet teddy boy’s voice and Beth’s superb deep backings (or mains). Besides the duo, band line-up is still involving the same people: Jonathan Akerman on drums, Keris Howard (Brighter-Harper lee) on bass and Ian Catt (St Etienne) at production…


Bodywork is voluntarily 80’s/90's -stamped, with some Factory Records and Shoegazing recalls, leading to a dark and profound contemplation overall feeling, making this album almost sound like an immediate successor to their great 2001 essay “Alive to every Smile”.


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Juni Järvi


Juni Järvi : Wherever thou art (Everlasting Records Sweden)

Visiting Records shops is like going to museum when I'm in a foreign country: "un passage obligé"! And the cool thing is there are usually always nice people behind the desk who can help you finding new records. That's how I bought Juni Järvi's album : recommended, listened in the shop and left w/it. Simply beautiful melodic songs with a great warm voice and maybe a kind of retro/old fashioned flavour. The atmospheric elements and the apparent melancholy of the songs render this record as an original soundtrack for an imaginary movie.

Let's meet the young talented Swedish guy behind Juni Järvi: Mikael Bergtsson and you can try to find the real "him" on the pics.


I read you started a band (Juniper) in 2003 and after the fail of recording songs under this name and split with others members you decided to change yr name for Juni Järvi. So, what is the difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi, except the line up?

Well, actually there is no real difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi. It's been me all the time. The reason for the name change was that I found out that several bands before me had been called Juniper, amongst others an American christian rock duo. I really didn't want to be confused with them in any way so I decided to change my musical name. The change also came at a time when I was changing my music from being guitar based singer/songwriter music to full scale productions playing all kinds. Though Juniper songs won't sound the same as Juni Järvi songs the concept is the same: me!



It's a little bit funny as the name you choose doesn't sound really swedish for me but more exotic ( Indian, or something like that). So, where does it come from? And I found an old pic of you on the web and-maybe i am totally wrong- it's like Juni Järvi is a "character", another side of Mikael Bengtsson, because on yr last pics you got this retro stylish look, well, quite different maybe it just for the pics and video??

Indian?... nope. But perhaps Finnish is exotic enough? Järvi is my Finnish family name and is the word for lake in Finnish. And Juni is just a name and also the Swedish word for the month June. So "June Lake", if you'd translate it.

Actually, it's not me in the pictures nor in the video. I couldn't find a good reason for being in the pictures except that it's the way it's supposed to be and I don't want to do what everyone else does. So I asked my friend Lina who is a drag-king if she could "act" me on the pictures and in the video. And she did it with style!


You are often compared to Jens Lekman and the Magnetic Fields, what do you think of this? Is it boring to always be compared to someone else or it's okay?

It's ok when people really have thought I through and have something smart to say about it. But usually people compare me with these two just by pure laziness. They listen to one song and give the verdict. And that's really boring.


Who or what influenced you to make music in the first place?

The Swedish punk movement and social injustice.



What have you been up lately? Any band you like to recommend?

Oh, right now I'm producing and recording Jenny Kellerman's (Tiger Lou's sister and Firefox AK's sister in law) project 'Pretty in Panic'?. She's a really good songwriter. And I'm also recording songs to my upcoming album. My plan is to release a cover EP this spring and then release the second full length album next fall.

Bands I recommend right now: Bobby Baby, Irene, Marble and Anna Ternheim. (all Swedish of course)


Can you give us one of your favourite addresses in Stockholm?

Mm, a hard one... just one? Ok, it has to be the shoreline of mälaren, a really big lake (goes from north of Stockholm to the very south and west of it) in the suburbs where I live. Great views on high hills and many small beaches.


What did you release so far? "Just" 'Wherever thou art', or could we find other stuff?

Officially I have released one full length album 'Wherever thou art'? and the single 'The stars above Indian lake'. But I have released many cd-r records with both Juniper and Juni Järvi. But you just wait, I've got stuff coming for sure.


Any last comment?

Ok, be nice to each other, don't eat animals and buy my record. Lots of love !


www.myspace.com/junijarvi        www.junijarvi.com




Interview by Katy from the wonderful Baka-Poï fanzine latest issue ever (RIP January 2007)



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Bruno Nicolai


Bruno Nicolai : Femmine Insaziabili Soundtrack (Easy Tempo 1999 - Original 1969)

One of the best 60's Italian movie soundtracks ever or when Morricone's disciple Nicolai equals his Master...Jazz, bossa and pop flavoured jewels, magnified by sugary and insatiable Edda del' Orso vocals.

==> Bruno Nicolai : I want it all

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