February 17th, 2009


Parallelisme (1980 to 1985, Brussels to Tokyo)

Today, I want to curate a little sequence of songs for you, in the form of a YouTube podcast. What we're mining here is Francophone synth girlpop made between 1980 and 1985. There's often a Brussels connection and a Japan connection; perhaps Haruomi Hosono figures somewhere. Some of this stuff came out on Michel Duval's label Les Disques du Crepuscule.

I'll start with Mikado's Naufrage en Hiver, from 1985. Mikado was a man-and-wife duo consisting of Gregory Czerkinsky (I worked with him on Kahimi Karie's I Am A Kitten EP) and Pascale Borel. They have the requisite Hosono and Crepuscule connections (Hosono's label Non-Standard released them), and this song and video (by Pierre et Gilles) take us deep into 1980s synth classicism, irony, and the kind of AllMusic tone-tag cluster clouds that go: "Reserved, Sophisticated, Quirky, Refined/ Mannered, Soft, Hypnotic, Poised, Detached..." (Naufrage en hiver, by the way, means "sinking into winter".)

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