Placebo – 1973 (1973)

FrontCover1.jpgThis Jazz-Rock group from Belgium was founded by Marc Moulin:

Marc Moulin (16 August 1942 – 26 September 2008) was a Belgian musician and journalist (print, radio, TV). In the early-mid seventies, he was the leader of the jazz-rock group Placebo (not to be confused with the English alternative rock band with the same name). He went on to become a member of the avant-rock band Aksak Maboul in 1977 and also formed the pop group Telex in 1978. Moulin was one of Belgium’s jazz legends, making jazz-influenced records for over 30 years.

Marc Moulin was born in Ixelles, Brussels in 1942 and was the son of Léo Moulin, a sociologist and writer, and Jeanine Moulin, a Belgian poet and literary critic. Moulin began his career in the 1960s playing the piano throughout Europe and in 1961 won the Bobby Jaspar trophy for Best Soloist at the Comblain-la-Tour festival. Moulin made his first recording, the Jazz Goes Swinging LP with The Saint-Tropez Jazz Octet (also known as Johnny Dover Octet) in 1969. Two years later, he formed the band Placebo with his close friend, guitar player Philip Catherine. Placebo recorded three albums (‘Ball Of Eyes’, ‘1973’ and ‘Placebo’) and one 45 rpm single from 1971 until the group split up in 1976.

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After Placebo disbanded, Moulin formed Telex with Michel Moers (vocals) and Dan Lacksman (synthesizer) in 1978 and his style shifted to electro pop.[2] He also began working as producer for artists such as Lio, Michel Moers, Sparks, Philip Catherine, French crooner Alain Chamfort and left-field artists such as Anna Domino and Kid Montana. During the ’80s, Moulin worked as a radio producer, appeared regularly on radio shows, and wrote for various Belgian publications, including ‘Télémoustique’.[4][5]

Moulin died of throat cancer on 26 September 2008. He was 66 years old. (by wikipedia)

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This is studio album number two for this Jazz/Rock band from Belgium. A nine piece here with plenty of horns including tenor sax, soprano sax, trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet and flugelhorn. We also get flute, bass, guitar, drums and a variety of keyboards including synths from band leader Marc Moulin.

“Bolkwush” is a great opener as we get keys, drums and bass right away as horns arrive blasting and they will come and go. Love that trumpet just before a minute as other horns continue to come and go. I also like the low end sounding keys and bass along with the steady, punchy sounding drums. “Temse” has intricate drum work as horns and flute kick in briefly. The electric piano takes over as the horns return. Such a good groove to this one as the horns come and go over top. Some clavinet too after 2 minutes.

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“Phalene” has a relaxed sound to it of electric piano, drums and a horn to start. Bass joins in as well to this lazy and smokey sounding song. Such a chilled-out track as it drifts along with different sounds coming and going over top. Love that electric piano. “Balek” might be my favourite though. We get these deep sounds that pulse as drums help out. Melancholic synths and horns start to come and go. Electric piano after a minute. The melancholic synths are back after 2 1/2 minutes to the end.

“Polk” is kind of funky as electric piano joins in. Horns before 1 1/2 minutes replace the piano but the latter returns a minute later. “Only Nineteen” opens with bass and drums and they create an excellent sound here as the electric piano joins in quickly. Some brief blasting horns before 2 1/2 minutes before they turn steady playing over top.

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“Red Net” has relaxed electric piano as slowly played horns join in. This is really laid back. Electric piano leads the way for the most part other than early on and late. “Re-Union” is different from the rest. Atmosphere hums and hovers as it floats along throughout. Sounds like electronics over the final minute which is kind of cool. (Mellotron Storm)

In other words: Excellent and hypnotic Jazz-Rock !!!

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Personnel:
Frans Van Dijk (trombone)
Johnny Dover (horns)
Nick Fissette (trumpet)
Nick Kletchkovski (bass)
Marc Moulin (keyboards)
Freddy Rottier (drums, percussion)
Richard Rousselet (trumpet)
Alex Scorier (saxophone, flute)
Francis Weyer (guitar, bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Bolkwush 5.44
02. Temse 3.45
03. Phalene 7.52
04. Balek 4.22
05. Polk 3.22
06. Only Nineteen 3.51
07. Red Net 5.41
08. Re-Union 5.24

Music composed by Marc Moulin

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Mazzy Star – Ghost Highway (2005)

FrontCover1.jpgMazzy Star is an American alternative rock band formed in Santa Monica, California, in 1989 from remnants of the group Opal. Founding member David Roback’s friend Hope Sandoval became the group’s vocalist when Kendra Smith left Opal.

Mazzy Star is best known for the song “Fade into You” which brought the band some success in the mid-1990s and was the group’s biggest mainstream hit, earning extensive exposure on MTV, VH1, and radio airplay. Roback and Sandoval are the creative center of the band, with Sandoval as lyricist and Roback as composer of the majority of the band’s material.

The band’s most recent studio album, Seasons of Your Day, was released in 2013, followed by the EP Still in 2018.

Mazzy Star has deep roots within the Californian Paisley Underground movement of the early 1980s. David Roback, along with his brother Steven, was one of the main architects of leading Los Angeles psychedelic revival band the Rain Parade. Leaving that band after their first LP, he founded Clay Allison in 1983 with then-girlfriend, ex-Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Soon after the publication of their sole release, the 1983 double A-sided single “Fell From the Sun”/”All Souls”, Clay Allison renamed themselves Opal and released the LP Happy Nightmare Baby on SST on December 14, 1987. With Roback as its musical catalyst, Opal were a direct precursor to Mazzy Star musically—often featuring the same psychedelic guitar drones and similar hints of blues and folk that would later appear on Mazzy Star recordings. Meanwhile, Sandoval—who was in high school at the time—formed the folk music duo Going Home in the early 1980s with fellow student Sylvia Gomez, and went on to tour with Sonic Youth and Minutemen.

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Both were devoted followers of the Rain Parade, and after a 1983 concert by the band in the Los Angeles area, Gomez entered the backstage area of the venue and gave Roback a copy of Going Home’s demo tape, featuring Sandoval on vocals and Gomez on guitar. Upon hearing the tape, Roback offered to produce a still-unreleased album by the pair.

When Smith left Opal under cloudy circumstances in the middle of a tour supporting the Jesus & Mary Chain, Sandoval was tapped as her replacement.

Despite Smith’s departure, Rough Trade retained Roback’s original record deal, contractually obligating him to supply a follow-up to Opal’s debut LP. As a result, Roback and Sandoval continued to tour under the Opal alias for the next two years, during which time they completed production on Opal’s planned second album, titled Ghost Highway. Composed mainly of songs written by Roback and Smith, Sandoval stated that she was unhappy with the material, and expressed an interest in wanting to “start something completely new”. The pair quickly composed and recorded seven new tracks in Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, and renamed the band Mazzy Star.[7] Written over a year before Mazzy Star’s inception, the track “Ghost Highway” is the duo’s only original song to not feature a writing credit from Sandoval, while another song, “Give You My Lovin'”, was written by Going Home guitarist Sylvia Gomez and first recorded by Sandoval and Gomez in the mid-1980s.

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She Hangs Brightly was released in April 1990 on Rough Trade and, although it was not an immediate commercial success, the album established the duo as a recurrent fixture on alternative rock radio, with lead single “Blue Flower” – a cover of the Slapp Happy track – peaking at No. 29 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart.[10] The album would go on to sell over 70,000 copies in the UK.

The American branch of Rough Trade folded in late 1990, briefly leaving Mazzy Star without a record label. Within weeks, the duo’s contract was picked up by Capitol, who re-released She Hangs Brightly on November 4, 1990, and released their follow-up, So Tonight That I Might See on September 27, 1993. A year after its release, the album yielded an unexpected hit single. “Fade into You” peaked at No. 44 to become their first Billboard Hot 100 single, while also reaching a career-high peak of No. 3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. On April 19, 1995, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments in excess of 1 million units.

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The album also peaked at No. 68 in the UK, and was certified silver by the BPI on July 22, 2013 for sales of over 60,000 copies. Following the success of “Fade into You”, She Hangs Brightly album opener “Halah” began to receive heavy airplay in the US and peaked at No. 19 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, a position based solely on airplay. In 1995, She Hangs Brightly was awarded a gold certification from the RIAA for shipments in excess of 500,000 units. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of the countless bootlegs of Mazzy Star, recorded in 1994 … and amazing document of their music … performed by one of the leading lights of the Paisley Underground’s psychedelic revival …  it´s magic, believe me !

This is a rare radio broadcast recording. Every attempt has been made to present the best audio quality possible from these very old tapes.

01.-08. Recorded The Metro Chicago 12th November 1994
09.-13. Recorded at KROQ Los Angeles 10th December 1994

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Personnel:
Jill Emery (bass)
Keith Mitchell (drums)
David Roback (guitar, keyboards)
Hope Sandoval (vocals, harmonica, guitar, tambourine)

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Tracklist:
01. Flowers In December (Roback/Sandoval) 5.12
02.. Ride It On (Roback/Sandoval) 3.20
03. Into Dust (Roback/Sandoval) 6.14
04. Give You My Lovin’ (Roback) 4.04
05. Fade Into You (Roback/Sandoval) 4.41
06. Halah (Roback/Sandoval) 3.27
07. Ghost Highway (Roback) 3.32
08. Blue Flower (Moore/Krause) 4.44
09. Flowers In December (Roback/Sandoval) 5.28
10. Bells Ring (Roback/Sandoval) 4.23
11. Blue Flower (Blegvad/Moore) 4.14
12. Halah (Roback/Sandoval) 3.47
13. So Tonight That I Might See (Roback/Sandoval) 7.39

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