“French composer/conductor Paul Mauriat is a classically trained musician who decided to pursue a career in popular music. His first major success came in 1962, as a co-writer of the European hit “Chariot.” In 1963, the song was given English lyrics, renamed “I Will Follow Him,” and became a number one American hit for Little Peggy March. Mauriat is best remembered for his 1968 worldwide smash “Love Is Blue.” Mauriat’s ancestors were all classical musicians and he originally planned to follow in their footsteps, studying the music as a child and enrolling in the Conservatoire in Paris when he was ten years old. As a teenager, he became infatuated with jazz and popular music, which made him stray from his initial career path. At the age of 17, he formed an orchestra and began touring concert halls throughout Europe. These concerts earned him the attention of vocalist/songwriter Charles Aznavour, who hired Mauriat as an arranger and conductor. Through Aznavour, he began working with a variety of other French artists. For the remainder of the ’40s and the ’50s, he worked primarily as an arranger for other musicians. Mauriat began a solo career in the early ’60s, recording a series of instrumental albums that were distinguished by their sweeping, melodic strings and gently insistent contemporary rhythms. Using the pseudonym Del Roma, he co-wrote “Chariot,” which became a hit for Petula Clark in 1962. The following year, the song was given a new, English lyric by Arthur Altman and Norman Gimbel and was recorded by Little Peggy March as “I Will Follow Him”; it became a number one hit in the U.S. Throughout the ’60s, Mauriat continued to record his pop instrumental albums, which became more popular as the decade progressed. His popularity peaked in 1968, when his version of “L’Amour Est Bleu” (Love Is Blue), which was Luxembourg’s submission to the 1963 Eurovision Song contest, became an international hit, reaching number one on a number of charts, including America. The single was supported by Blooming Hits, an album that featured a selection of ’60s pop hits; the album was massively popular and it is estimated that it sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. Mauriat became an international recording star, touring North and Latin America, Europe, and Japan, and making television appearances in several countries. Although Mauriat’s popularity dipped in the early ’70s — he only had two other U.S. hit singles, “Love in Every Room” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which were both minor — he continued to sell respectably throughout the world, particularly in Europe. After the ’80s his recorded output slowed as his Western audience dwindled, but in the Far East he found a loyal following. Tours of Russia, China, and Japan would continue until 1998 when the conductor gave his last live performance in Osaka. A year later, former lead pianist Gilles Gambus would become conductor of the orchestra, and then in 2005 French horn player Jean-Jacques Justafre would be handed the baton. On November 3, 2006, Mauriat died in the southern French city of Perpignan. “
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are floating in farce. And Chris Morris wouldn’t have it any other way. But first, the back-story: After his vicious, satirical television shows The Day Today and Brass Eye were cancelled, BBC’s Radio 1 bought up his new series of dark, comedic ambient sketches entitled Blue Jam. This album collects the highlights. So to speak. From skits about evil four-year-olds, knob harmony, and a couple who is so apathetic that their only worry over their kidnapped son is whether or not to cancel the baby sitter — all wrapped in a fug of electronic accompaniment by the likes of Aphex Twin and Brian Eno — the jokes here are as black as soot. Think Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis or those censored skits from The Kids in the Hall. Abhorrent tragi-comedy that would leave absurdists green with envy. Especially with ironic pillow talk like “Push your balls up my nose.” Terrifying. Deeply hilarious. Like John Waters, you may often find Morris childish and repellant — but you’re glad he’s out there.”
“His family was from Nice, on the coast of the Mediterranean, where young Alain studied the piano. He abandoned the violin without remorse, and at the age of twenty had an influential encounter with pianist Jack Diéval, passing through Nice, who firmly advised him to give up everything for the piano. At the same time, Alain studied harmony with Julien Falk, and soon won second place in an amateur jazz competition.
He soon went to Paris where he indulged his passion for jazz. At Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where he accompanied singer Simone Alma, he met Boris Vian. Together, they wrote Je Bois, La Java des bombes atomiques, Fais-moi mal Johnny et Ne vous mariez pas les filles. Alain then scored the music for the film J’irai cracher sur vos tombres (1959). He wrote the orchestration for young Serge Gainsbourg, indeed he arranged all of his albums up until Gainsbourg percussions (1964). With Gainsbourg, Goraguer scored more film music, such as that for L’Eau à la bouche (1960).
In the 1960s and 70’s, he did the orchestration for Poupée de cire, poupée de son, winning the grand prize for The Eurovision Song Contest in 1965. He wrote numerous arrangements for Jean Ferrat, France Gall, Juliette Gréco, Nana Mouskouri, Adamo and many others. Alain Goraguer then opened the door for a renewal in popularity of orchestral compositions. He also composed the title theme La Vache enragée (1965), sung by Brigitte Fontaine.
He also wrote a number of easy listening albums under the name Laura Fontaine.”
“A ‘55 Chevy takes on a ‘70 GTO in a race across the Southwest in Monte Hellman’s cult favorite. The Driver (James Taylor) and the Mechanic (Dennis Wilson) phlegmatically slouch from race to race, pitting their gray Chevy against any and all gearheads in order to make money for gas and food. They and the tag-along Girl (Laurie Bird) meet their match in “Oh Maybelline” fan GTO (Warren Oates), and they all set off on a cross-country race to Washington D.C., with the winner getting the loser’s car. But it isn’t the end that really counts; it is the process of getting there, as the Girl’s fickleness forces the Driver to decide what matters more: endless races or her. Shot on location from a spare script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry, Two-Lane Blacktop was trumpeted as the “film of the year” in Esquire magazine before its release. It bombed, and disputes over music rights kept it from home video until 1999, but repertory and TV screenings have gained it an avid following for its automotive detail, flashes of authentic idiosyncrasy, and artfully abstract examination of the urge to forge ahead, whether or not there is anywhere to go.”
“Although they released only five EPs in their first ten years recording together, controversial Detroit techno duo Drexciya became one of the most celebrated and influential names in American experimental techno. One of the few groups to use techno as a political tool in effecting criticism of racial inequity and inner-city recovery, Drexciya brought a wider social and aesthetic agenda to a style in which allegiance to the beat is typically the only prerequisite. Closely associated with the “Mad” Mike Banks label group Underground Resistance and operating in the classically covert tradition of “faceless” techno (the pair’s identities remain a mystery), the group’s reputation at the bleeding edge of Detroit-school experimentation is pretty much universal, with everyone from Jeff Mills to Mike Paradinas getting in namechecks. Despite their steadfastly underground attitude, Drex’s records have found release through such internationally renowned labels as Warp and Rephlex. Offering an often relentless fusion of early electro and techno with elements of acid and industrial music, Drexciya’s fast-beat backbone and tough-as-nails rhythmic bite are among the most austere and uncompromised in contemporary techno. Reportedly, the group record their material live, which gives much of their music (particularly their Shockwave and Underground Resistance releases) a vital, immediate feel. Much of their UR output was collected on 1997’s The Quest, and a full-length (Neptune’s Lair) followed on Tresor in 1999. Continuing with their underwater gimmick, the heavy-handed concept album Harnessed the Storm became the first in a series of “storm” records to come from the group. Releasing three more under different names (Transllusion’s Opening of the Cerebral Gate, Shifted Phases’ The Cosmic Memoirs of the Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthorpe, and the Other People Place’s Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe), the group left a massive collection of music for their fans by the end of 2002.”
“The singular style of Matthew Herbert initially took shape during the late ’90s, when he recorded under a variety of guises to much cult adoration, and before long became one of the most recognizable name-brand producers in the dance music field, well known for his ability to transform everyday sounds into quirky rhythmic material. His affiliation with music began at the young age of four, when he began learning the violin and piano. By age seven he was playing in orchestras, and at the age of 16 he began touring Europe with various orchestras. With his father being a sound engineer for the BBC, Herbert simultaneously became engaged with the relationship between electronics and music, furthered by a teacher he met at school, Pete Stollery, who moonlighted as an electro-acoustic composer in his free time. Later, as a drama student at Exeter University, Herbert became infatuated with performance and how it relates to music. Around this time, in January 1995, he first began sampling his immediate environment and using these sounds in his musical compositions, a tendency often associated with Aphex Twin-esque IDM producers. A year later, he saw three of his records get released: the first Wishmountain record, Radio, on Universal Language Productions; the first Doctor Rockit record, Ready to Rockit, on Clear; and the first Herbert record, Part 1, on Phono. He then released a long run of EPs along with several LPs: Parts 1, 2 & 3, 100 Lbs., and Around the House as Herbert, and The Music of Sound and Indoor Fireworks as Doctor Rockit. In addition to his sample-based house as Herbert, his updated electro as Doctor Rockit, and his experimental techno as Wishmountain, he also recorded as Radio Boy and runs the Life label. He later moved toward pop music, producing dance-pop albums for Dani Siciliano and Roisin Murphy.”
“After an airplane is forced to crash-land in a remote area, its passengers find themselves face-to-face with an alien force that wants to possess them body and soul—and perhaps take over the entire human race. Filled with creatively repulsive effects—including a very invasive bloblike life-form—Hajime Sato’s Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell is a pulpy, apocalyptic gross-out.”
“Vityk is a Ukrainian producer who makes raw deep house with an experimental edge—as Jordan Rothlein once put it, most of his records are characterized by “a penchant for throwing a wrench in our definition of ‘dance floor appropriate.’”“
“Italian native Nicholas Iammatteo, at his young age of 25, has an impressive and extensive sense for deeper dance music. What’s even more impressive is the consistency of his releases and his range. He has releases on many labels including Undertones, Kolour Limited, Ourvision, House is the Cure, Small World Disco Edits, Dikso, & Kojak. Has done remixes for Andy Ash and also Mario Basonov on the super fun label Needwant. His greater accomplishment, which has gained the respect of many enthusiasts, is his vinyl only label “No More Hits”. His emphasis is on content not technology.
Diva samples, commanding soul and warm inviting synthesizers breath heavily in his tracks. His work gives the basic tools he uses room to move and play. His track construction gives life to the forgotten energy that classic underground dance music utilized. Looking into Nicholas’ inspiration isn’t as easy as explaining the sequence of events of a producer or DJ who has been a pioneer to the core that is Chicago, Detroit, and N.Y. Underground sounds. The departure into music for Nicholas occurred at the Red Zone Club in Perugia, Italy. This is where Nicholas took his lessons. He credits that club as the catalyst for him becoming aware.
His top influence of all time is the Chicago label that Chez and Trent released scores of records on, Prescription, parent label to many influential labels and distributed by the power house Cajual. More influences in the house vein include Romanthony, Moodymann (listen to Nicholas’ “Many Shade of the Blues” released on Undertones and see for yourself), Pal Joey & Kerri Chandler. Soul/funk/disco influences include the likes of Patrick Adams and Leroy Burgess, along with influences from the sounds of Motown Records.”