BERNARD FEVRE: Black Devil Disco Club Presents The Strange New World Of… Bernard Fevre (Lo Recordings)
Posted on Sep 9th 2009 01:03 am
Black Devil Disco Club Presents The Strange New World Of… Bernard Fevre
Lo Recordings 2009
14 Tracks. 43mins50secs
Bernard Fevre may not be a household name, yet this pioneering French musician became known as Black Devil in the late seventies when he released Disco Club, a now legendary and extremely rare slice of electronic-fuelled disco which led, some years later, to be sampled by the Chemical Brothers, featured on Luke Vibert’s Further Nuggets, and, under the Black Devil Disco Club, to a string of albums published on Lo Recordings. Three years prior to Disco Club, in 1975, Fevre published a visionary collection of strange sounds organised in chirpy little sonic vignettes, entitled The Strange World Of Bernard Fevre. Thirty five years on, Fevre has unearthed this long forgotten opus, dusted it off, possibly added to it, and repackaged it into The Strange New World Of Bernard Fevre, delivered now once again via Lo Recordings.
This album, like its original version, has very little in common with the afro funky disco Fevre dispenses nowadays. Instead, the fourteen tracks collected here are representative of the futuristic sound that was being developed in the early to mid seventies. Fevre’s approach was close to that of the Radiophonic Workshop, tainted with elegant library music styling, a genre that has become more than a passing trend in modern electronica.
While a handful of the fourteen original tracks are present on this new version, they have all been redeveloped and expanded, the rest have never previously been released, although it is not known whether they were recorded at the time or have been engineered recently. Occasionally, like on Polyester, Misererum or Stress On Pluton for instance, one could presume these are recent additions due to the particularly crisp definition of the beat or sounds, yet, the original album boasted of a very focused and forward-thinking production, which gave it, back then, a very modern feel. Either way, this collection is absolutely flawless and consistent, and sounds surprisingly fresh and vibrant.
Fevre works with only a few sounds at a time, arranging them into extremely tight nuggets and applying them to playful little melodies. Following one of the principles of library music, none of these tracks go much over three minutes, their respective themes kept to recurring little patterns that seem repeated at various points throughout but never actually ever appear more than once. The music is deceptively simple and stripped down, especially on pieces like Cosmic Rays, Pendulum or Savana Melody, and while these were all featured on the original record, they ultimately remain here pretty bare. Despite this, the whole album sparkles with exquisite sonic components and rich arrangements, and while his sound pools are restricted, Fevre assembles them in such way that they take on a much bigger dimension.
Whether the tracks were simply restored, replayed or, for some, recently composed, this album is an invigorating piece of electronic music, which, while originating over thirty years ago, still sounds incredibly modern and fresh. While this album is likely to appeal to fans of Plone, The Kings Of Woolworths or Belbury Poly, it identifies Bernard Fevre as an influence rather than a follower and gives him his due by firmly asserting him in his original context.