Category Archives: World

Le Couleur – Femme (2013)


Canadian band Le Couleur channel a vintage form of electro-pop for the song ‘Femme’ off their 2013 Voyage Love EP. Laurence Giroux-Do, Patrick Gosselin and Steeven Chouinard had approached French producer French Fox to produce a nostalgic, welcome view of glamour and Twiggy. It feels like being in a French discoclub in 1982.

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Alain Bashung – Variations Sur Marilou (2011)

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In 2011, the Paris-based Barclay Disques released an Alain Bashung album posthumously. Bashung’s rendition of the Serge Gainsbourg’s concept album L’Homme À Tête De Chou was an explicit dedication. ‘Variations Sur Marilou’ is a story of a forty-year-old man (perhaps with the head of a cabbage) who falls in love with a shampoo girl in Chez Max hairdresser for men. Full of eroticism, the song is classic Serge Gainsbourg. Bashung was due to tour his version of the project in November 2009, but passed in March of that year. Thank goodness it had already been captured on record. Have a great weekend.

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Françoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu? (1968)


Singer-songwriter, fashion icon, muse, Françoise Madeleine Hardy was a leading figure of the French music scene in the 1960s. By the latter part of that decade, she was working with such luminaries as Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg. ‘Comment Te Dire Adieu?’ is a composition by the latter and features on her untitled 1968 album, which has become also known by the title of the opening song. Smouldering lounge sounds and yé-yé.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2001

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2001 and in no particular order:

The Strokes – Hard To Explain

Ian Brown – F. E. A. R.

The Shins – New Slang

Daft Punk – Digital Love

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spiritualized – I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9

Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me

The Strokes – Modern Age


Honourable mentions also go to: Weezer for ‘Island In The Sun‘; Zero 7 for ‘In The Waiting Line‘; Jay-Z for ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)‘; Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin for ‘Rippin Kittin‘; The Other People Place for ‘Let Me Be Me‘; Muse for ‘Bliss‘; Cannibal Ox for ‘Iron Galaxy’; Roger Sanchez for ‘Another Chance’; Radiohead for ‘Knives Out’; and Yann Tiersen for ‘La Valse d’Amélie‘.


William Onyeabor – Atomic Bomb (1978)



This week, the mythic William Onyeabor died at home, in Enugu, southeast Nigeria, aged 70. Onyeabor was a pioneering electronic-funk musician who extraordinarily self-released 9 ground-breaking albums between 1977-1985. He composed, recorded, pressed and printed the work at Wilfilms Limited—his personal pressing plant in Enugu. As David Byrne said this week, wherever he’s gone, it’s sure to be a place with a lot of heart and some killer grooves. RIP William. Have a great weekend.

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Cassiano ‎- Onda (1977)

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Heavily sampled on ‘Link Up’ by NxWorries, last year’s collaboration between Anderson.Paak and Knxlwledge, ‘Onda’ is a disco-infused track by Brazilian percussionist Sergio Cassiano. It features on his 1976 album Cuban Soul – 18 Kilates. Enjoy.

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Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson (1971)



22-year old English actress Jane Birkin wafts in and out of this classic song, like a refrain. She whispers “Melody Nelson” to her lover. Serge Gainsbourg listens. ‘Ballade De Melody Nelson’ features on his 1971 album Histoire De Melody Nelson.

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Les Négresses Vertes – Voilà L’été (1988)


Les Négresses Vertes

I was reminded of the troupe Les Négresses Vertes the other day. All fusion and very 1980s – the accordion, punk, guinguette and flea-market shenanigans. It was rather chic in its own way, but the cabaret was evidently masking something rather sad. In 1993, vocalist and band leader Helno was found dead by overdose in his mother’s Parisian apartment – from whence he came. It was fun while it lasted, peut-être. ‘Voilà L’été!’

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Belle & Sebastian – Olympic Village, 6AM (2016)

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Belle & Sebastian 2016

The Rio Olympics are no more. To mark their love of the event, Belle & Sebastian released ‘Olympic Village, 6AM’ a couple of weeks back. The instrumental is celebratory in its simplicity, like the start of a Divine Comedy number. No Neil Hannon, but a video to provide nostalgia on tap. Trumpets are a nice touch too. Have a great week.

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Jorge Ben – Mas Que Nada (1963)


Jorge Ben Jor 1963

Rio 2016 is here; and I’ve been smitten by Brazilian music ever since I visited their lands 5 years ago. Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes is no newcomer to this blog. For me, it all started with him. For Jorge (Ben), it all started in 1963 with the release of the Samba Esquema Novo. And for listeners to that album, it all starts with the opener ‘Mas Que Nada’ (“But that’s nothing”). The song would help define a certain maracatu samba sound and would end up becoming a signature tune for Sergio Mendes, no less. But all the covers missed the lush arrangements of saxophonist J. T. Meirelles and Ben’s own virtuoso performance on guitar. Have a great week.

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Jorge Ben – Taj Mahal (1972)


Jorge Ben 1972

1-2-3, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”. ‘Taj Mahal’ featured as the final track on Jorge Ben’s 1972 album ‘Ben’. Have a great weekend.

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Seu Jorge – Space Oddity (2005)

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Seu Jorge

Better for me than listening to the starman this week. Seu Jorge sings ‘Space Oddity’.

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Devendra Banhart – Carmensita (2007)


Devendra Banhart 2007

If you are planning a Latino party this Christmas, with a bhangra dress code, and want to listen to something a little cosmic, Devendra Banhart has the song for you. ‘Carmensita’ is off the singer-songwriter’s 2007 album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. It’s a Punjabi hippy trip by a Venezuelan American, but that’s oversimplifying it.

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Jorge Ben – Cinco Minutos (1974)


Jorge Ben

To make the point that sound means more to me than lyricism, I understand 3 words in Portuguese. Jorge Ben released his album A Tábua de Esmeralda in 1974, by which time he was on fire. I overlook the brilliantly-named ‘Minha Teimosia, Uma Arma Pra Te Conquista’ (‘My Stubbornness, My Weapon To Win You Over’) in favour of the album’s last song ‘Cinco Minutos’ (1 & 2). Obrigado (3) Jorge Ben; you know how to create an unbreakable rhythm.

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