Tag Archives: Brussels

record shop stickers (parts one & two)

Some record shop stickers, mostly from Belgium. Should’ve kept them in a notebook. Many thanks MagisterM, DominiqueDrDoG, BrianC and WandaP and see also:

To be continued …

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verdinterview / pas de deux over brussels

Sunday nigth 2014-01-26 at 22 o’locco Pas de Deux will reform and perform at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels as closing cat of “The Sound of the Belgian Underground 2014”, a festival with mostly young & new acts, e.g. Hantrax and Miaux. Links below.

To celebrate the occasion there’s lots of interviews in Belgian media today & earlier this month. Here’s an interview we did with Walter Verdin in 2001: taken 2001-04-18, e-mailed 2001-05-04 as part of [uzine 01.07]. The 2001-06-28 erratum of [uzine 01.09] has been processed in the text below.

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Walter Verdin is one of Belgium’s finest artists, especially as a videast (see also his website – cf. the URL below), but ironically Verdin is still best-known for his appearance at the Eurovision Songfestival with Pas de Deux, who represented Belgium in München anno 1983. Backed by the big band of Freddy Sunder (another Belgian legend), a trio consisting of Walter Verdin, Dett Peyskens and Hilde Van Roy (now a journalist for VRT-tv, who interviews royalty a.o. people) danced their way onto the stage to give a maximalist ((the big band’s belting “baaa-waaa baaa-waaa ba-bààà”)), almost dadaist performance ((the lyrics “Rendez-vous / Maar de maat is vol / En m’n kop is toe” were delivered by two brilliantly coiffured women dancing metronomically)) that would earn Belgium little or no points. Thus, it was a performance that was up to a par with Telex’s minimalist meta-pun on the songfestival in 1980 (Den Haag), which had already ranked Belgium among the most surreal countries Eurosongwise and other…  Later on the band would split (with the Parsley record label going broke at about the same time).

The following interview was conducted around April 18th & mailed out May 4th 2001. Readers who have access to the free weekly newspaper “Brussel Deze Week” might also want to read Michaël Bellon’s elaborate interview with Mr. Verdin in 2001’s June 20th issue (no.793, p.7), in which it is revealed that Verdin even designed record sleeves, e.g. for the Neon Judgement.

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topanga linda perhacs

Tonight at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Linda Perhacs will be interviewed at 18 o’clock CET and will perform at 21:30 – mostly from her new album The soul of all natural things, to be released 2014-01. Below’s a reprint of our 2003-11 review of her legendary debut Parallelograms (Kapp 1970). Almost ten years old to the day, it’s from [uzine 03.17]. Since the switch of this blog from Posterous to WordPress we’re no longer able to offer you a zip of the e-zine back catalogue but we’re working on it! Meanwhile, here’s a sample issue and the table of contents … Since that 2003 review, the album has been re-reissued a number of times, e.g. on cd and lp by Sunbeam (with exclusive bonus tracks) or vinyl only by Sundazed. The Mexican Summer and Guerssen editions seem to be out of print.

LINDA PERHACS “Parallelograms – High Quality Sleeve – Large Sized Poster & Insert – 600 Copies Limited Edition” ****1/4
lp – 2003 – Merry-Go-Round MGR / Beatball (BMRL-2001)
LINDA PERHACS “Parallelograms” ****1/4
cd – 2003 – The Wild Places / Ace of Discs (WILD-005-RE) – 60’18”

Sweet, naively introverted and sometimes eerie – and always on the right side of twee. Very lovely and delightful, but not always as unique as some hypers would have you believe either. Linda reminds less of Vashti than of Joni and of Jacqui, sometimes even of Judy and Joan and Sandy and Carole and Karen. And Hope. Fans of “Willow song” on the soundtrack of “The Wicker Man” (cf. U0226) and of acts such as Mellow Candle, Tudor Lodge or even the Carpenters will like this too, while I’m even tempted to draw a parallel with Fred Neil, though not in sound. But a sweet, contemplative, Californialbion Joni trying to please Burt Bacharach comes closest, I guess. (Incidentally: ms Perhacs used to live in Topanga Canyon and in the Pacific Northwest of the USA – that whole ‘Hawaiian maiden’ story is untrue.) The cd adds five bonus tracks to the 1970 lp, the Korean lp reissue only two of them. The cd-only tracks (viz. a longer version of “Hey, who really cares” with added intro, a demo of “If you were my man”, a demo of “Chimacum rain” with extra sounds and a spoken note to her producer Leonard Rosenman) are worthwhile, but not crucial, so if you’d rather go for that poster… Note too that there’s been an earlier reissue on Ace of Discs which was mastered from a mint vinyl copy of the original lp but with a sound that wasn’t as close to the sound of the quarter track reel to reel tapes that have been used this time around, as the original lp had apparently been poorly mastered. And do note, as well, that this the WP brings together *everything* which ms. Perhacs has ever recorded. [Bunyan, Mitchell, McShee, Collins, Baez, Denny, King, Carpenter, Sandoval.]

2012-09-28 & 2012-10 dallas goes live

Dallas is preparing to go live and will play try out concerts on 2012-09-28 in De Singer in Rijkevorsel and on 2012-10-04 @ Trefpunt in Ghent (Gent), Belgium. Later on, gigs will follow at the AB Club in Brussels on 2012-10-05 and at the Arenbergschouwburg in Antwerp on 2012-10-11. The debut album by Veerle Baetens and Sandrine Collard“Take It All” (rec. 2011, rel. 2012 on Aka Music via Universal) – was produced by Jeroen Swinnen and is to be filed under electro pop (e.g. “Emotionshaker”) or even Schlager (cf. “Chaque jour” or “Égocentrique” or “Take it all”).

sandrine collard communique

Ten years on, Sandrine Collard is getting praise for her part in the Dallas project, where Veerle Baetens attracts most of the spotlight. But take note: la Collard has recorded before, with Ideal Husband ànd solo. Moreover, Je Communique(Need Records / Capitol Belgium 2002, cat. no. 0724354033803) is one of the best pop albums ever produced in Belgium ou dans la francophonie, imho.

Crystal clear production by Dan Lacksman of Telex fame, exquisite lyrics and compositions by Sandrine même, except for the odd Christophe cover (“Les marionettes“). 2003 interview here – http://www.lalibre.be/culture/musique-festivals/article/121138/sandrine-collard-le-coup-sensass.html – plus previous praise here – https://uzine.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/baetens-collard-do-dallas/ – and an extensive review here: https://uzine.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/uzine-since-1999-issn-13773828/ > [uzine 03.14]. (Heck, I’ll just make it easy for you and paste it below.  For Sandrine’s faves you’ll have to download [uzine 03.02] yourself though.)

“Songwriter, chanteuse ànd filmmaker Sandrine Collard  was born in Namur, Belgium, has lived in Antwerp and currently resides in Brussels. She writes lyrics with a strong feminine (not feminist) touch and a strong tongue-in-cheek irony that are truly amazing, and which should please any fan of French literature (at times, I’m reminded of Raymond Queneau‘s warmly mocking humanism) and the wittiness of for instance Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain“. Even the one song she chose to cover, Les marionettesby Christophe (of Aline fame), oozes a similar sort of smart naivité. At the same time, “Je Communique” equally reminds of rap music, since there’s an unfailing flow to most of the lyrics. “Le coup sensass” even brings an uptempo, and highly intelligent slice of self-analysis to an unending series of ‘-ace’ / ‘-asse’ rhymes.

Much of the album’s charm is of course also due to the delicate musical arrangements to the songs. The lightfooted yet intimate electropop music (- très timeless pop, not fashionable electroclash -) which she designed for her songs whilst pc-ing at home, and which she later created and reworked in the studio with top class producer Dan Lacksman (of Telex fame), suits ms. Collard’s songs brilliantly, since it’s melodious and playful and simple all at once. The sounds which Mr. Lacksman devised sound both coolly clever and warmly sympathetic, and the general sound design also allows for simple keyboard sounds or other minor effects to efficiently underscore a lyrical twist here or a witty observation there, e.g. those bubbly sounds in “La bulle”. It’s details like that which make this album such an enjoyable listening experience, time and time again.

And those lyrics, of course! Collard has written thirteen mini soap operas that betray a talent for psychology and self-criticism that’s almost worthy of Kafka or any of the great ‘journal’ (diary)authors…

  • “Mes discussions” tells the story, in first-person narrative, of someone who knows she likes talking a tad too much: ‘ma seule drogue / c’est ça, / parler à qui / voudra’.
  • “Le gsm” is a similar study (fictitious or autobiographical – doesn’t matter) into the utilitarian-thinking mind of someone who’s feeling lonely and insecure and who doesn’t feel her gsm is of much help: ‘j’imaginais bien un simple entretien pour me ramener un moral d’acier. Sur ce coup mon inquiétude devient une habitude, faut pas…’
  • “Les femmes” is an equally subtle psychological analysis that would have made a great song for, say, Ally McBeal to sing, since it’s the soliloquy of someone who’s starting to see things for herself and realises that her judgement hasn’t always been without fault: ‘tant qu’à faire des confidences, je me fâche sur ma conscience puisqu’elle ne m’a pas découragée’.
  • Meeting people, too, can create doubt, as “Les grimaces” proves: ‘Je pense aux hommes, ceux qui m’attirent et puis s’assomment de leurs soupirs. Sans faire l’éloge d’un bel avenir je m’interroge sur leurs sourires. Tant de grimaces cachant le pire, moi ça m’agace, vaut mieux en rire’.
  • “Je doute” similarly sings about uncertainty: ‘Tant de doutes enracinés, dans ma petite tête écerelée, s’amusent à me décourager devant un simple choix à faire’.
  • “La bulle” is a testimonial of someone who knows she’s holding herself back and feels like she’s living in a bubble, protecting herself after her lover has hurt her: ‘tu m’as fait tant pleurer / que tout mon maquillage s’est mis à couler / pour effacer j’ai dû faire mousser / et puis j’ai soupiré, / donc, voilà d’ou vient / cette bulle / autour de moi?’
  • “Le miroir” is the monologue of a woman who’s breaking up with her lover and making the switch from looking back to looking forward by dumping his old mirror and getting herself a new one of her own: ‘Maintenant j’ai décidé que mon miroir n’offrira plus aucun désespoir. S’il est honnête et sincère, mon miroir, ce sera à mon prochain de voir’.
  • “Fuis-moi” dwells on similar themes: ‘Tous les clichés parlent de nous dans la vie, / on est tous effrayés par l’ennui / de se donner dans un méchant lit, / de se coincer dans son petit abri. / La solitude personne n’en rit’.
  • “Le licenciement du boucher” sounds like a woman who’s about to dump her lover, while she’s in fact searching for the best words to tell her butcher that she’s no longer going to buy his meat: ‘Fatiguée de lui mentir, je recherche les mots qui m’inspirent. J’espère qu’il sera bien docile, la vérité n’est pas facile, mais il comprendra. Si je fais un discours habile, y glissant quelques mots futiles, il supportera’.
  • “Le coup sensass”, finally, ends in a programmatic phrase: ‘J’veux que les gens m’enlacent en disant qu’ils sont contents que rien ne les froisse. Comme à pile ou face, il faut du style pour pouvoir faire un coup sensass’. Eh oui, il faut! Et elle en a.

Most songs are pleasant midtempo ‘listening’ songs, but there’s a couple of uptempo songs here too, which are danceable, but not quite in a dancefloor kind of way: “Le coup sensass” and “Cache-cache dans le noir” bring to mind the Lio of her earliest hits (“Banana split“, “Amoureux solitaires“, “Sage comme un image“), while the slightly absurd “Aïe” equally reminds me of the Bowling Balls or even Stéréo Total, but without any of that French / German duo’s rock ‘n’ roll allusions.

The two videos on the cd (for Cache-cache dans le noirandLe coup sensass” – one of which stars Daan [Stuyven] in a guest role) are utterly delicious too, cleverly giving proof that ms. Collard can always build herself a fine film career if that coquette voice of hers should ever get tired of singing. (Check the web for more info on ms. Collard‘s movie shorts.) Meanwhile, we’re looking très forward to the next album!” 2003 review source: https://uzine.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/uzine-since-1999-issn-13773828/ > [uzine 03.14].

So … go find thatJe Communiquecd – it’s timeless ànd it’s got the two official videos on it as media files too!

solis lacus

Yeah! After the Cos, Mad Unity and Plus reprints, here’s yet another Placebo related reissue! This time around Heavenly Sweetness (see our Raphaël post earlier on) have reissued Michel Herr’s untitled debut with Solis Lacus (1975, EMI Belgium “Best Seller” 4C062 96949). A Mad Unity production by Pierre Pletinckx, recorded at Madeleine in Brussels with Bruno Castellucci, Robert Jeanne, Nick Kletchkovsky, Richard Rousselet and Felix Simtaine … it’s top – just check “Utopic cities” (above) and “Sea of tranquility” (below)!
http://www.heavenly-sweetness.com/releases/1408
http://www.heavenly-sweetness.com/related-artist/solis-lacus
http://soundcloud.com/heavenlysweetness/solis-lacus-teaser-snippet
http://www.heavenly-sweetness.com/solis-lacus-lpcd-digital-out-1318  (H-S 064)
http://www.heavenly-sweetness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HS_bio_Solis_Lacus_ENGLISHCORR.doc
http://www.michelherr.com/common/photos/galleries/leader/solis_lacus/index.htm
http://www.jazzinbelgium.com/album/michel.herr_perspective-solis-lacus
http://www.michelherr.com/common/cd_pages/solis_lacus.html
http://www.muziekarchief.be/identitydetails.php?ID=135094
http://www.muziekcentrum.be/file.php?ID=4242
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Herr
http://www.dragonjazz.com/disco.htm

2012-03-07 minny pops go ultra in brussels

Dutch wave is hip again, and especially the Minny Pops band and the Vinyl magazine are back in the spotlight … Gigs going on, and more to come, I’m sure. What I’m hoping for most of all, though, is a compilation of all those Vinyl flexies – cf. http://www.discogs.com/label/Vinyl%20Magazine! [Tnx DD!]
http://www.ultra2012.nl/
http://www.minnypops.com/
http://www.ultra2012.nl/links/
http://vinyltijdschrift.blogspot.com/
http://22tracks.com/ams#ultra/8451
http://nofuture.nu/boek/Ultra-T228.php
http://nofuture.nu/boek/Vinyl-T229.php
http://www.facebook.com/ULTRA2012
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minny_Pops
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minny_Pops
http://home.planet.nl/~frankbri/minnyhis.html
http://www.ltmrecordings.com/mpopsbio.html
http://www.ltmrecordings.com/mpopscat.html
http://www.gonzocircus.com/special-ultra-2012/
http://www.bright.nl/tonies-tunes-ultra-1979-1983
http://home.dialix.com/~u3336/factory/index2.html
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_%28tijdschrift%29
http://www.suburban.nl/2012/releases/va-dokument/
http://www.lesateliersclaus.com/events/tag/minny-pops
http://www.geschiedenis24.nl/nofuture/No-Future-Nu.html
http://www.geschiedenis24.nl/nofuture/Nieuws/Activiteiten-No-Future.html
http://centraalmuseum.nl/bezoeken/tentoonstellingen/god-save-the-queen/
http://www.geschiedenis24.nl/nofuture/Nieuws/3voor12-no-future-luisterpaal.html
http://www.lebowskipublishers.nl/result_titel.asp?T_Id=716&A_Id=175&A_Id2&A_Id3
http://www.lebowskipublishers.nl/result_titel.asp?T_Id=706&A_Id=491&A_Id2=&A_Id3=
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/nieuws/2011/november/legendarische-minny-pops-terug-na-30-jaar-podiumstilte.html
+ see earlier http://uzine.posterous.com/dutch-transmission-wave-from-the-netherlands-0