Monday, 26 September 2016

Blind Digital Citizen: Carnaval

A very psychedlic video for the track Canraval by Blind Digital Citizen.

Carnaval features on their new Mother EP which is released this month.

The five piece releaed their debut album Premières Vies last year, very much a favourite of this blog. They're on Enterprise Records, home of fellow first-rate French freak acts Moodoid and Bagarre.

Great to have some new material from them and it's certainly been worth the wait.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia: French acts

The Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia gets under way today, with two nights of cutting-edge
weirdness and strange sounds in the city.

While there are plenty of big names, whether more mainstream like the Super Furry Animal or more underground legends like Silver Apples, and newer names like Dungen and Demdike Stare, there's a healthy French presence at the event.

The Fete Souterraine event curated by the La Souterraine label at the festival tonight provides a unique and strange showcase for some very fine French acts.

It features  Aquagascallo, a pooling  of the talents of Tame Impala's  Julien Barbagallo, Julien Gasc and Benjamin Glibert performing works of Aquaserge, Barbagallo and songs from Gasc's solo catalogue.

Also on the bill at the event are drone folk act France, one of the highlights of last year's Rencontres Trans Musicales event in Rennes.

Also playingare Yeti Lane, who follow the releas of their L'Aurore album with a set  at the festival.
Elsewhere. Acid Mothers Temple, while firmly a Japanese act, are no strangers to France with their Occitan incfluenced albums La Novia and Mantra of Love.

While there are dozens of acts at the festival over the two days - it's quietly become one of the UK's most significant underground events - it's great to see some key French acts take centre stage.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

M83 on Later...with Jools Holland

A high-profile appearance by M83 on the BBC's premier music show Later...with Jools Holland this week.

Christine and the Queens might be the most high profile French act in the UK at the moment, but there's no disputing there are many other acts worthy of similar attention, M83 being just one of them.

Their Junk album might not have spawned quite as many advert and TV feature soundtracks (so far!) as Hurry Up...We're Dreaming did, but the album's an infectious collection with much to love. 

It's been a top thirty hit in France, the USA and the UK and looks likely to subtly insinuate itself into the musical fabric of the next few years as its predecessor managed to do.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Justice: New album details

Justice have revealed some more detail of their forthcoming third album.

The duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have published the cover of the album, and announced that it is to be titled Woman.

The new album is a follow up to 2011's Audio, Video Disco.  In 2013 they released their Access all Arenas live collection, documenting the lice shows they undertook following the release of Audio, Video Disco.

Justice have been at the forefront of French electronic music, along with Daft Punk, and it's almost a surprise to remember that it's only their third proper album.

The track Safe and Sound came surfaced at a set at the Sónar 2016 Music Festival and was subsequently released as a single.

Woman is expected to be on sale from November 18 and to say it's much anticipated is something of an understatement.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Julien Doré: Le Lac video

A new clip by Julien Doré, ahead of the release of a new album, his first studio release since 2013's Løve collection.

The video for Le Lac features an appearance by American TV icon Pamela Anderson.

Løve was a double platinum seller, his most successful release so far, with the singles Paris-Seychelles and Chou Wasabi making the top 20.

A live album and an EP have followed Løve, 2015's Løve Live reaching the top 20.

His earlier albums made the top five, from 2008's Ersatz onwards he's been a pretty big star in France.

He's come a long way since winning the fifth series of Nouvelle Star  - the French equivalent of Pop Idol in 2007 and since his interesting take on developed into a much more interesting artist that a programme like that might have been expected to produce.

Doré's new album will be released in October.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Christine and the Queens: Spotify Session

A session  by the mighty Christine and the Queens, recorded recently in London for Spotify.

It's been a golden time for Christine, finally making a significant commercial mark in the UK with both her album and the song Tilted. The good reviews that she's received should come as no surprise to a blog like this who has been following her career for a while, but it's encouraging to see an artist get the widespread recognition that they deserve.

Maybe record companies are playing it a bit safe these days, by promoting artists who have already established themselves in other territories, but none the less it's no small thing to see one of France's best acts in recent years attract both critical and conmmercial acclaim here.

If anything it will hopefully encourage other music companies to consider French acts as a valid proposition for a UK audience. We can only hope.

You can go to the Christine and the Queens session here>

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Trans Musicales festival 2016: First names

The first 15 names have been released for the 2016 Trans Musicales festival, taking place in  Rennes this December.

French acts include Fishbach, Moon Gogo, Chouette, Octave Noire and Pyrit.

So far international acts on the bill include Anna meridith, BCUC, Nova Twins, Rozzma,  Cabo San Roque, Däs Mortal, PWR BTTM, Reykjavíkurdætur, Talmud Beach and Tiggs Da Author.

There might not be many household names so far, but that's never been the agenda of the Trans Musicales. It's always been a forward-looking event,  showcasing the developing acts that you'll hopefully be hearing more about before too long.

Think of the likes of Benjamin Clementine, Jeanne Added, as well as Moodoid, France and Grand Blanc who have all played in the last few years.

Its experimental spirit has guided it over the decades since it began in 1979, with Noir Désir, Mano Negra, Zebda, Daft Punk and Stromae having graced the stage.

The Trans Musicales runs from November 30 to December 4 in Rennes.

Editorial: September 2016

A busy month in August, and while intentions were good to provide more content for the blog, things
got the better of us and there was a lot less content than we might have liked.

Still, there were some major events such as the  Rock en Seine festival near Paris marking the unoffial end of the summer music festival season.

August was significant in that it saw Christine and the Queens firmly establish themselves in the UK, with their debut album selling enough copies to qualify for gold disc status.

Also we were delighted to see a song by Gaspard Royant being used in a high profile advertising campaign.

Looking ahead, September sees la rentrée , with more new releases in the busy months leading up to the end of the year, and there's no shortage of live activity from French artists.

September sees French prog legends of the 70s Magma play in the UK, and there is a significant French presence at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia this month.

 We'll be upping our game, getting over our summertime slumbers and keeping a close eye on the French music scene.

As always, I can be contacted on johnkilbrideAThotmailDOTcom, with the appropriate punctuation where you'd expect it to be. I'm always pleased to hear from record companies, PR companies and promoters, so do get in touch.

The blog is also on Twitter as @viveleroq or you can find me at @karnag

If you're around Facebook, remember to like the French Music Podcast UK page, where you can get regular updates with both fresh and vintage French music.

Thanks as always to the French Music Office in London and to the Institut francais in London for their help and encouragement.

Merci et à bientôt

John K