Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Les Inrockuptibles

I'm probably the same as many of you in the way that I consume the music press, sometimes I really don't know why as they seem to have little new and interesting to say, just look at the latest UK publications; Uncut has decided to have Led Zeppelin IV as cover story for their latest edition, and Mojo doesn't do any better I mean what is more essential in 2006 that the Beatles top 101 songs (how many did they write? 120?). It is therefore a pleasure when I come across something a bit more challenging as was the case with a recent edition of French weekly Les Inrockuptibles which had a cover mounted CD of 15 cutting edge artists from Belgium. The publication began its life as a bi-monthly in 1986 and covers very closely the UK/US indie scenes, they have a long running love affair with the Cure and Depeche Mode, they are largely responsible for the huge success of Divine Comedy in France. By 1995 the magazine had a solid readership and started publishing weekly. Despite their roots as a music mag they have managed to combine other art topics such as cinema, theatre and books, the magazine has a pronounced left wing attitude and successfully covers political and social issues. Having said this critics accuse them of intellectual elitism and I must admit that it is not always the easiest of reads.
Back to the CD which comes as no big surprise as the magazine are strong in their support for French language artists, it was produced in collaboration with a Brussels concert hall the Botanique and their annual festival for new talent les Nuits Botanique. As is the case with many of these cover mounted efforts I generally get round to listening to them but this often takes a little time, and in the case of this compilation I found myself quite liking several of the titles, two of which are being posted today.
First up is by Ete 67, which was way before these boys were born though it is a period from which they have been heavily inspired (Doors, Beatles, VU, Pink Floyd.......). The band members met at school and started playing together in 1988 when they were aged between 13 and 16. The years of rehearsals and low scale gigs leading little by little to more and more positive press has paid off and the band released their first album at the beginning of this year. The song that caught my attention is 'Dis-Moi Encore' a nice slice of pop rock that owes just a little to Noir Desir.
Second song 'Mecreant' is by Daniel Helen and is so French it reminds me of many artists including Charlelie Couture. Neither of these songs are likely to win converts to French language rock, but do give them a try as they won't take up much space on your hard drive, and if you do enjoy Daniel Helen there are some extacts from more of his songs to be downloaded here.

I've been trying to find Les Inrocks in London for bloody ages. Do you have a clue where? Or are you actually in France now, in which case lucky you and bloody boo at the same time.
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