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Ali Renault: lord of the doom-dance

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Ali Renault is one of my favourite producers working right now. Formerly one half of the ace Italo revivalists Heartbreak he has been building a reputation over the last few years with his solo techno-disco outings on labels like Moustache and Dissident, and now he has just dropped his excellent debut album for the London label Cyber Dance.

Renault’s heavily Italo-influenced sound is clean and crisp, but with a tangible sense of creeping dread, like that point on a night out when you notice the sun has come up and your high is beginning to wear off. It’s what might happen if you took the synths of Claudio Simonetti, slow them down to a warped ketamine crawl and lock them in a wardrobe with Michael Myers. It’s not nearly as hellish as that makes it sound - in a way it’s kind of comforting, like the knowledge that someday you are going to die. It’s no surprise to learn that Renault’s formative musical influences as a teenager were both metal and techno. 

“I like using old cheap hardware and I enjoy trying to evoke a dark mood with machines” he says.  Renault’s self-titled debut album is 8 tracks of what he describes as “detective-noir” and will appeal to fans of golden age John Carpenter, classic Detroit techno, Garth Merenghi re-runs and the darker side of Italo disco. This isn’t music designed to impress with tricks and technology, it has a cleanliness of form and a melodic richness that is unique and brilliant. You can download the excellent “Pagan Run” from the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog at this link (highly recommended), and here’s a download of the track “Promises”, courtesy of Mixmag:
 

 
 
And here’s another album track, “Dignitas Machine”:
 

 
 
Ali Renault performs “Zombie Raffle” live at Magic Waves festival 2010:
 

 
Ali Renault can be purchased on vinyl from Juno and Beatport.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.18.2011
10:18 am
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Jean-Jacques Perrey returns to ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ with Gershon Kingsley, 1966

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As a follow up to yesterday’s post of Jean-Jacques Perrey demonstrating the Ondioline on I’ve Got a Secret in 1960, here’s another of the great man in action on the same show - and it’s even better.

Perrey returned to the quiz show six years after his original appearance, and his secret was exactly the same. Only this time he was given more of a chance to display the range of the Ondioline by comparing its voices to that of the real life corresponding instruments. The panel also take longer to discover the secret, and Perrey takes some pleasure in making them guess.This footage is great, but the real treat here comes in the last three minutes, when Perrey is joined onstage by his musical partner Gershon Kingsley to perform the song “Spooks in Space” from their classic electronic pop album The In Sound From Way Out! (available on the compilation The Out Sound From Way In!). It’s a spirited, joyous performance of music that still sounds unique today, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to even the hardest of faces.

I was lucky enough to see Jean-Jacques Perrey perform in 2005 at the ripe old age of 76, and he was just as jolly (if slightly unhinged) as he appears on this show, like a slightly manic but beloved uncle who used a stuffed lion toy to help communicate. Way out, perhaps, but Perrey has been responsible for bringing early electronica to a large audience, while simultaneously stripping the music of its austere trappings. This clip is a great example of how he did it - when Perrey & Kingsley perform the fun is infectious:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.15.2011
10:44 pm
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Jean-Jacques Perrey plays the Ondioline on ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ quiz show, 1960
11.14.2011
09:03 pm
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Jean Jaques Perrey 1960
 
On this now more than half a century old clip, the pioneering French musician Jean-Jacques Perrey demonstrates the early synthesiser the Ondioline as part of a quiz show called I’ve Got A Secret. The year is 1960 and electronic instruments (in particular synthesisers) are still fascinatingly new. The point of the show, as the name would suggest, is for guests to reveal a secret to the host and audience and then make the panel of judges guess what their secret is. And I gave away Perrey’s secret in the first sentence of this paragraph. Oops.

Not to worry - the panel guess almost instantly what Jean-Jacques’ “secret” is:
 

 
Perrey then goes on to demonstrate the Ondioline to the genuinely awed people in the studio. What is perhaps more awe-inspiring for the modern audience is the host Gary Moore nonchalantly smoking a cigarette:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Happy birthday Jean-Jacques Perrey!
Jean-Jacques Perrey is Mr Ondioline (1960)

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.14.2011
09:03 pm
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‘Moog’ art print from DKNG Studios
11.15.2010
05:41 pm
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The print above is part of a limited edition of 100 and is screen printed with four colors. It will be available for purchase after the weekend of the festival (November 1st).
 
‘Moog’ art print by DKNG Studios for the upcoming show SYNTH at Moogfest 2010.

(via Coudal Partners)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.15.2010
05:41 pm
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