Minimal : Demo (Selfreleased)
France, electro, minimalism, basic, flesh, pop, beaux-arts, mixed duo, metronomism, English, decadence, objects, game, dissimulation...
Lean Tales : Christmas 2008 demos (selfreleased)
At first it felt exactly like Black Tambourine’s ‘Throw Aggi off the Bridge’, like a mixture of action, pure speed and shy seduction. The girl put her lipgloss on. She adjusted the heart-shaped barrette in her hair and watched over the banister as Aggi was falling – eternally. It felt like something sweet could actually come out of something scary. The girl had a funny, strawberry-scented smile, a smile that said: ‘Stephen Pastel is now mine’.
Glasgow-based Lean Tales have something of the now-defunct Organ. They’re shivering in a winter of souvenirs. They have something of the Smiths, too: something that gleams within – the lace-like light of the guitar, maybe. Imogen sings icily, yet passionately: she’s the queen of cool playing with fire. LT have something, and it might be for you. Look. It’s a piece of music and it’s a piece of their hearts, it’s a part of guitar and a part of themselves – it is both the interrupted line of the bass and the flimsy line of the sky.
LT are a simple, humble, boys-and-girls band. Their demo recordings result from the clumsy collision of souls and sounds. They are deeply imperfect and deeply attractive: the power of the void. ‘The taste of Superglue’ and ‘Penny on the Floor’ are the most delicious time capsules I’ve tasted in a long time.
How old is the sound of Scotland today? It is still young and gripping, a continuous, contagious bliss. It is still in motion: the draft of the love letter you never sent.
Pathos is pretty. Pathos is alright.
The Candees - Candyfloss LP(Unreleased 1986 - Issued Accident Records 1997)
Yummy yummy yummy supersweetened pop was not the kind of music targeted for 80's kids, and it's no surprise that this 1986 demo release from all-girl combo The Candees remained hidden in the suburbs of hell for more than a decade, being only fully released by those treasure seekers at Accident Records in 1997 !
At the exception of several acts like The Jet Set, Mari Wilson or The Maisonettes or a record label like The Dance Network, happy bubblegum immediacy was not quite hip on those dark and depressed times indeed...
In effect, behind this "manufactured" girl group ( no no no, not the 4 sixties' chicks pictured on the cover) we found Paul Bultitude (Advertising, Secret Affair & Dance Network producer) with the help of Jet Set's multi-talented songwriter & incidentally pop genious Paul Bevoir, mysteriously credited on the LP as C. Stephens...Contrived innocence, yearning for love, childlike themes and catchy melodies, this is music for pop lovers who never grew up !!!
Soon to be released on CD on Accident Records
Le Couleur : Petit piano électrique (Self-released)
Sometimes, discovering a new band name or an artwork is sufficient to perceive it could be great stuff. And, when you get both of these clues, you're almost sure you're not wrong...You call this in french "Un a priori positif". No need to traduce it, huh.
Once you read it is produced by your fave francophone artist (!), Xavier Paradis aka Automelodi, you just know you will be conquered, without having heard a single note of it. You say in french "C'est dans la poche!", "It's in the bag", well yeah it directly was !!
This debut EP by Montrealese quartet Le Couleur is everything we cherish indeed, from synth pop ritornellos "petit piano électrique" to nymphet melody "deux et 2", to modern waltz "Bonaventure" to metronomico-electrico minuet "Concerto Rock" to polysonic yé-yé-disco tune "Africola", all of this galvanized by Laurence Giroux-Do' s unperfect voice (in the sense of perfect, of course). Miam miam.
Paddington Distortion Combo "frän hat till handling" CDr (Self released)
Those of you who think Swedish indiepop is all about fluffy, dare I say twee, Sarah records loving bands, think again !The diversity of great new Swedish POP shouldn't be underestimated and just to prove my point here is Paddington Distortion Combo. Theirs (or his, as PDC is basically Carl Olsson) is an old school electro sound in the vein of early Kraftwerk or the Human League when they were still The Future (pun intended!).
Paddington Distortion Combo songs glisten like dark crystals: always the sense of foreboding is sweetened by a supreme sense of melody. The album "fran hat till handling" (of which there are sadly only 100 copies) opens with "industrial skyline", an electronic waltz to rival Kraftwerk's "neon lights". The more up tempo, almost rave-like synth melody of "Lilja 4-ever" hides a dark heart (no wonder when you know the movie after which it is named is just about the most heartbreakingly bleak movie ever)
Another song "allt är förbi" begins with a long piercing Throbbing Gristle like intro only to suddenly change track and pick out one of the loveliest synth motifs on the album, like finding a multicoloured flower in a desolate dark industrial estate. The title track "frän hat till handling" gurgles like an electronic waterfall, while another track "minnen hem & fran" is a Cabaret Voltaire like mantra, repeating the words "memories from home" over and over again. "Let's create a new world" could be prime time Warp records (think LFO) with it's stomping techo like undertow.The album closes with the crystaline melody of "ship" which adds some guitar and creates an almost Japanese ambience.
There's no doubt that "fran hat till handling" is one of the finest electronic sounds of the year.