Bippp French Synth Wave 1979 1985 / Various (Dig)


aec.evel20.2 2/12/08 New

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    Bippp French Synth Wave 1979 1985 / Various (Dig) Born Bad Records / Everloving

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Review Text The eternal impulse to collate, collect, and revisit never dies, though at times it can gain unexpected accents. And in a time when roughly recorded obscurities from non-Western countries tend to get such a focus, the idea of a collection of French post-punk efforts getting an album showcase might seem curious. But that's precisely what BIPPP is, collecting efforts recorded during the late '70s and early '80s from bands that were as in thrall to the possibilities of electronics in rock & roll as any number of counterparts in other countries. If much of the compilation will suggest more familiar Anglophonic analogues for many listeners, at its best there's a deft display of familiar elements at work -- the blend of spiraling, nervous guitar and keyboards on Act's "Ping Pong" suggests everything from Andy Summers' work in the Police to early New Order's tentative explorations. In keeping with the subtitle of the compilation, synths play a key role on nearly every track, and if things sometimes aren't much advanced beyond evident appreciation of the Human League, Gary Numan, Soft Cell, and of course Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, hearing moments like the weird raindrop chimes in the background on "Je T'Ecris d'Un Pays" by Les Visiteurs du Soir and the clipped horn breaks on Ruth's "Polaroïd/Roman/Photo" leaven the mix. Full-on synth-only efforts are in the minority, but Comix's "Touche Pas Mon Sexe" and Visible's "Le Jour Se Leve" fly the flag. Hearing the singer for A Trois dans les WC gasp/whine out the title of "Contagion" may be a bit surprising but it's impossible to knock the bass-heavy, crisp, and weird glide of the music, while it's a bit amusing how the start of Marie Möör's "Pretty Day" uncannily resembles a slowed-down take on the Fall's "The Man Whose Head Expanded" -- but likely it was the same keyboard being used. ~ Ned Raggett

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Contagion - 5:30
  2. 2. Ping Pong - 2:27
  3. 3. Je T'Ecris d'Un Pays - 5:57
  4. 4. Terroriste - 2:05
  5. 5. Touche Pas Mon Sexe - 3:17
  6. 6. Partie 1 - 3:18
  7. 7. 20H25 - 3:09
  8. 8. Pretty Day - 3:04
  9. 9. Game and Performance - 4:42
  10. 10. Polaroïd/Roman/Photo - 5:06
  11. 11. Aller Simple - 4:48
  12. 12. Jour Se Leve - 3:06
  13. 13. Viol Af Dis - 3:50
  14. 14. Rainbow Man - 4:32

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