Le Pop Encore
Le Pop Musik
Le Pop Encore
Le Pop Musik
Le Pop Encore! is a retrospective of the early era of nouvelle chanson. When Fredda debuted on Volume 3, when Mélanie Pain was only known as the singer of Nouvelle Vague, when Ludo Pin crossed indie hip hop grooves with Chanson, when Holden enraptured the press and franco fans with their cinematographic wide-screen sound, when Jérôme Minière discovered the cheerful groove for himself and when Françoiz Breut enchanted audiences outside of France for the first time. Le Pop Encore! brings together the first four editions and the two specials "En duo" and "Les Filles", all of which are no longer available, and sheds new light on this wonderful period. Because it was so beautiful: Le Pop Encore!
Jérôme Minière & Karine Vanasse - Histoire d'espions
Ludo Pin - 3 secondes
Thierry Stremler - Pas ce soir
Julie B Bonnie - Bonjour Monsieur
Jérôme Minière is a musical weaver of dreams, who travels
between genres. While working for the French cult label Lithium,
his music was shaped by electronic elements, hip hop influences
and dominated by spoken word, his sound relatively dark.
The nature of his music changed when the native Frenchman
made a new home for himself in Canada. Warmer sounds and
a fresh new ease found their way into his cosmos. The song
"Histoire d‘espions" (first released as a track on our "Le Pop en
duo") is from the soundtrack "Du pique au coeur", in which his
duet partner Karin Vanasse played a leading role. Minière has
been awarded with the Félix a number of times, the "Grammy" of
Franco-Canadian music. Show Artist
Toulouse is the place Mikael Lecumberry, aka Toma, calls home. On his debut album “Basse fidélité”, he artfully intertwines sounds from the early years of electronic music with quotations from fi lm soundtracks, trip hop and Muzak, creating a unique genre one would have to call Cocktail- or Lounge-Chanson. Toma, along with Jérôme Minière, was one of the two main attractions of our first Le-Pop tour. These days, he runs a bistro in Toulouse.
This piece came about when Fredda was still working under her real name, Frédérique Dastrevigne. Le Pop 3 is the only album so far on which the song can be found – indeed, it was her very fi rst solo release. It is fascinating to hear how much her expressive voice of earlier days has transformed in the mean time. However, this pleasant development has not altered the charm of this early composition. The song is almost euphorically elated and ingeniously arranged. The transition from reggaebeat and shuffle is organic, the temptation to hit the dance fl oor undeniable.
The legacy the now broken-up band Holden left is five wonderful albums. “Madrid” is from their masterpiece “Chevrotine”, which was produced by Uwe Schmidt (Atom Heart, Senor Coconut) in Chile. The similarity to bands like Stereolab and Broadcast is hard to miss. German magazine Musikexpress critiqued the recording after its release: “It goes without saying that it‘s better than Air”. The masterminds behind the band are Dominique Dépret (guitarist and songwriter) and his former partner, Armelle Pioline, whose voice resonates angelically over the magical soundscape on this track. Holden joined Pascal Parisot and Fredda as live acts on our Le Pop tour in 2007. The collective interpretation of the Gainsburg classic “Couleur Café” remains unforgettable.
Normally, we discover french artists, who then make it onto German radio stations. With Ludo Pin, it was the opposite. Francis Gay of WDR Funkhaus Europa played this track on his program, and it was then released on Le Pop 4. This is the closest any French artist has got to Beck‘s style of pop-indie-hiphop-crossover. “3 Secondes” combines slacker coolness with melodious rap, which is occasionally modifi ed through various fi lters – pretty crafty and effective. Incidentally, Ludo Pin, just like Jérôme Minière, has found a new home. Love has lead him to the largest French-Canadian city, Montreal, where he has successfully integrated himself into the local music scene.
Some people believe if Françoiz Breut were to read out from a phone book, it would sound like music. Her voice is unique, her intonation soft and natural. She switches skillfully from head to chest voice, and manages to sound heartbreakingly warm and light. The song was tailor-made for her by Philipp Poirier and was first released on the album “Une saison volée”, of which a special edition is soon to be re-released. Breut has been a part of Le Pop on Tour a number of times. Once you have seen her perform live, you will want to again, and again.
This exclusive contribution to Le Pop 4 is from a man not usually at the front of a band. Pascal Colomb is a sought after studio and stage guitarist. He is regularly and loyally employed by a number of artists, including Superstar -M-, aka Matthieu Chedid. For this musical gem, Colomb and Chedid swapped roles, with the latter taking care of the backing vocals. The rhythmic magic of the song is hypnotising. The subtle transition between tension and release results in a wave-like fl ow, accentuated by skillfully placed splashes of sound.
Eddy (La) Gooyatsh
A piece that is exploding with charm by Eddy la Gooyatsh from Nancy in northern France. In any other language, the sheer amount of poetic romance would sound undeniably kitsch. Gooyatsh steers clear of this problem with elegant ease. His falsetto, the sound of the Fender-Rhodes, the womens‘ choir in the background and the bottleneck guitar combined make the charm of this piece shine full-force. “L’amour et l’eau fraîche“ literally translates as “love and fresh water“, but the meaning is of course “of love and air“.
Accordion and chanson, an inseparable combination, tends to be frowned upon these days. The Swedish duo Doris Park, however, evidently couldn‘t care less. These two demonstrate quite impressively how tastefully a squeezebox can be played. The bass-heavy sound, the reverb on Maria Törnqvist‘s voice and the seamless shift from English to French are all refreshingly unusual. Scandinavian reggae-chanson, as rare as rubies – and just as beautiful.
Fans of the first Le Pop compilation, released on the label Melting Pot, will be familiar with “La Lettre” - a song which did not make it on to Tertone‘s only album, but was released on a ‚b pourquois b?‘ sampler; a song with a peculiar past. Like the previous track, this piece is based on a laid-back and heavy reggae beat, contrasted with indie guitars and a whispy head voice, which leave the track sounding light and soft. We are not sure why Natacha Tertone has stopped releasing records – it‘s a great shame.
It is no secret that writing a good pop song is no trivial matter – of this the Beatles are proof enough. This here is an example of particularly skillful songwriting. The lyrics show the protagonist suggesting a number of ways to spend an evening à deux. He seems to have a romantic date in mind, the music is in a major key. However, his suggestions are all rejected in the minor key chorus, “Pas ce soir”. The optimistic major key, the disenchanted minor – ideas like this also appeal to artists like Dave and Francois Hardy, who have employed Stremler as a songwriter in the past.
For those familiar with Marianne Feder‘s work, this unusual arrangement will come as no surprise. Feder is an accomplished pianist and trained ethnomusicologist. Here, she draws from her vast repertoire and vocabulary. The instruments – from arabic sounding brass to tube and vibraphone – have a more percussive role, and manage to distract from the almost bluesy character of the melody. Feder‘s voice is a smaller part of a bigger music, which contradicts standard production philosophy for the French chanson. All the same, the result is harmonious and natural.
Similar to prior label-mate Natacha Tertone, the Lille based Lazzi are no longer producing music. The duo ceased to exist a while ago. Benoît Verhille was drawn more towards literature, and now runs a small publishing house. And yet, the duo would have had the potential to do more, as this track shows. The contrast between easy-listening choir and stumbling rap, between the harmonious beginning and the chaotic electronic noise towards the end is masterful. The up-tempo piece with Brasilian influence has been a part of our program since our earliest DJ sets, and helped make Le Pop 2 a commercial success. Thanks, Benoît and Eric!
Long before we first considered our compilation series, Gilles Weinzaepflen, alias Toog, had already climbed the language barrier and was active in Germany with his mentor, label boss and friend, Momus (an ingenious Scottish songwriter, Nick Currie). His show was extremely entertaining and the highlight was the song "X'tern". Along with the deliberately irritating artificial character of the spoken word, Toog audaciously makes use of the sound of hooves, gun shots and elements reminiscent of radio dramas in his role as experimental entertainer.
Julie B. Bonnie
The French sound sculptor Kid Loco has left his distinct mark on this track, and provided Julie B. Bonnie, former vocalist for the indie rock band Cornu, with an entirely new sound-outfit. An elegant groove somewhere between funk and rhythm 'n' blues lies below a soft organ and Bonnie's calm and easy voice. Not an obvious hit, but a track to play when everybody is already dancing. Julie B. Bonnie is also the author of two novels, "Chambre 2" and "Mon amour2.
"Si un jour tu hésites" is a lovely example of how well French songwriting and British indie guitar pop can mix. As so often with chansons, the voice has been pushed to the front of the mix, while the underlying sound is quintessentially British and thus the most heavily guitar-driven track of this compilation. Haas composes music for cinema and advertisements and has little to do with the usual circus of the music industry. He releases his albums on his own label.
Most recognise Mélanie Pain, along with Camille, as the singers of the cover-project Nouvelle Vague. "La Cigarette" was the first solo recording she published on her Myspace page, which caught a lot of attention – ours included. This romantic song, based on a cigarette which serves as a pledge of love is so skillfully constructed, that it takes two or three listens to detect the up-tempo character of this unconventional ballad. As truly beautiful as all her solo songs, some of which she sings in English. Contrary to what the title suggests, Mélanie Plain is and will remains a non-smoker.
It is a rare thing these days to find chansons as true to the tradition of the genre as Maud Lübeck‘s. The instrumentation is acoustic and kept simple. The equally traditional subject of the text, the umbrella, and the muted trombone would not have sounded out of place in earlier decades. And yet Maud Lübeck‘s piece is not archaic. The piano arrangement is sparse, leaving space for her voice, and allowing one to focus on the seductive melody.