Everloving Records Mines B.I.P.P.P.: French Synthwave 1979-1985

Sounding as current as any of the recent output from France’s Ed Banger, Kitsune or Institubes labels, and an influential blueprint for the evolution of the French electronic music genre at large, the majority of the performers featured on B.I.P.P.P.: French Synth-Wave 1979-1985 never made it beyond limited DIY pressings of 500 or 1000 copies of 7″ vinyl singles. Everloving’s U.S. release of B.I.P.P.P., originally curated and compiled by Parisian indie label Born Bad, looks to introduce Marie Moor, Deux, Ruth and others to a global audience who are listening to new releases that even in 2008, draw heavily from the robotic electro of the late 70s and 80s. Case in point, Busy P (aka Ed Banger label head Pedro Winter) recently released “Rainbow Man,” a song framed around a sample of Comix/TGV’s “Touche Pas Mon Sexe.”

With lo-fi recordings and even lower promo budgets, bands like ACT, Comix/TGV and Vox Dei danced in a grey area between the tail end of the DIY Punk movement and the upswing of New Wave, pushing the guitars further out of the equation and placing the synthesizer’s cold resonance at the forefront of their sound. While they ran parallel with what was happening sonically in cities like Manchester and New York, most ran out of the economic steam that was necessary to achieve widespread public recognition and find a receptive audience outside of France. Typical of most creative urban enclaves, there was a tight connection between the people making music and the people making art. As a young upstart, the now world-famous photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino cut his teeth on the package design for A Trois Dans Les WC’s debut EP, which featured B.I.P.P.P.’s opening stomper, “Contagion.” Heavily influenced by the sounds coming out of New York City, especially the No Wave movement’s Lydia Lunch and James Chance, Casino Music (“Viol Af Dis”) went so far as to commission the neon-chic visual skills of Warhol protégé Richard Bernstein (Interview Magazine) for their album art. Legend has it that while recording their debut full length Amore Sauvage under producer Chris Stein (Blondie) in a New York City studio, Casino Music’s Gilles Riberolles was enlisted to play guitars on the studio recording of James Chance & the Contortions’ classic “Contort Yourself,” because they happened to tracking in the studio next door.

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