WTM #1029: Dead and/or Alive

earwReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 ~ Amsterdam
Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies
PTP: 88.3FM
15 september 2008 // 17.00-19.00
“If music cannot change the world, what use does it have?”
• Hector Zazou
Yakut Song > Lioudmila Khandi vs Hector Zazou [1]
Brigitte Bardot Le mépris Revisited > Hector Zazou [2]
Oran Na Maighdean Mhara > Catherine-Ann MacPhee vs Hector Zazou [1]
Apostrophe > KatieJane Garside vs Hector Zazou [3]
Sahara Blue (Brussels) > Barbara Gogan, Mr. X  & Yuka Fujii [4]
Cocoon > KatieJane Garside vs Hector Zazou [3]
Black Stream > Lisa Gerrard vs Hector Zazou [4]
Ice Flower > KatieJane Garside vs Hector Zazou [3]
Amdyaz > Khaled vs Hector Zazou [4]
Jean d’Arc > Hector Zazou [5]
Youth > Lisa Gerrard & Brendan Perry vs Hector Zazou [4]
Quadri Chromies > Hector Zazou vs Bernard Caillaud [6]
Kasimik’s Tractor > Blurt [7]
Can’t Beat Blim > Ted Milton vs Sam Britton [8]
That Plank > Blurt [7]
Fragment 5 > Ted Milton vs BTN Orchestra [8]
Miles Away > Ted Milton vs Steers & Gerth [8]
Pure Scenario > Ted Milton [8a]
Cut It! > Blurt [9]
Dyslexia > Blurt [10]
Hat > Blurt [9]
Dyslexia Rules > Blurt [10]
Minibar > Ted Milton [8a]
Fragment 12 > Ted Milton vs BTN Orchestra [8]
Where You End > Ted Milton vs Steers & Gerth [8]
Some Come > Blurt [10]
Benighted > Blurt [10]
St. Valentine’s Day Mascara > Ted Milton vs Loopspool [8]
Where You End > Ted Milton vs Steers & Gerth [8]
Nogales > ted Milton vs Back to Normal Orchestra [8]
[1] Songs from the Cold Seas, Sony. Cruel, stark beauty of the north dynamically and spatially evoked by HZ’s production, which holds it all together as a concept. The north as datribe, as geographic art concept. It was based on traditional folk songs from northern countries with a sea theme. Lioudmila Khandi’s piece stuck in my mind for years and then it became clear it was actually a Siberian yodel. Also includes recordings of shamanic Ainu, Nanai, Inuit and Yakut incantations and lullabiess.
[2] Truly interesting audio-montage piece that sonically evokes the magic of black and white cinema. Captures icon bardot. HZ obviously had a fascination for beautiful-interesting women.
[3] Corps Electriques, Phantom Sound & Vision, 2008. Features original “riot grrrl” KatieJane Garside Bill Rieflin, Lone Kent and jazz trumpeter Nils P. Molvaer.
[4] Sahara Blue, Relativity, 1994. Zazou’s 1992 offering, Sahara Blue, was based on an idea by Jacques Pasquier who suggested Zazou commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of poet Arthur Rimbaud, one of my early poetic role models [although I luckily refrained from emulating his lifestyle]. It captures the spirit of the poetry in a manner that is less than obvious. First instinct would be to have Johnny Rotten types read his work [hmm, not a bad idea] since Rimbaud was perhaps one of the earliest prototypes for the punk ethos/snarl/ tude.
[5] Zazou has recently been a member of the musical collective named Slow Music., which also inc. Robert Fripp and Peter Buck, on guitars and Bill Rieflin on keyboards and percussion among others. He contributed electronics to the group’s music, and much of his recent work, including a soundtrack for Carl Théodor Dreyer’s silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc
[6] Quadri+Chromies, Materiali Sonori, 2006.
[7] Celebrating the Bespoke Cell of Little-Ease, self-produced, 2006. Meanwhile, Ted Milton, sometimes with Blurt and soetimes alone or with other collaborators continues to show the white hot edges of perspiring brilliance. It’s like putting the pot on to boil and watching all the water evaporate and then watching the metal glow red.
[8] Odes, Fondation Cartier, Paris, 2008. Continuing to muddy the waters by treading the shores of high art and low punk.
[8a] Single enclosed in the FC poetry booklet. The older he gets the more the same his brilliant renewing sound sounds.
[9] Cut It! / Hat single, Orchestra Pit, 2008.
[10] The Factory Recordings, LTM, 2008. Dyslexadelic Poesie Meltdown. My daughter is dylsexic and am now seeing the uniqueness in how they put the world of words and images together.
Hector Zazou (July 11, 1948 – September 8, 2008) was one of those prolific producers [and artistically peripatetic] whom I have always looked to with interest. He was always coming up with a grand scheme, a theme and then driving it home with a wonderful gift for beauty with an edge. The material he produced and assembled seldom had to stoop to annoying or dissonance for its own sake. He was like a musicologist who decided a fourth world of voices and sensibilities was where he was going to do his field work.
As noted, he had a definite affinity for working with interesting women [Barbara Gogan, Laurie Anderson, Lisa Germano, Björk, Lisa Gerrard, Asia Argento, Sussan Deihim, KatJane Garside, Sinead O’Connor, Jane Siberry, Sainkho, Värtinna… but also with many male greats Jon Hassell, Manu Dibango, John Cale, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin, Nils Petter Molvaer,  David Sylvian, Jane Birkin,, Gérard Depardieu… creating a kind of world music that wasn’t caught inside a patronizing West that made exotic Hallmark Cards out out of World Music. I think he he had a sensibility for crossing nationalisms and thus gave world musicians the room and respect to be themselves as both individual artist-collaborators and as representatives of unique corners of the world…
 I thought at one point in my life if I had it to do all over again I would prodce music and my role models would be Hector Zazou and Adrian Sherwood and the Mad Professor [with a little sprinkle of Hal Willner]. It was during the writing of my book that I began to think about the Khandi piece and learn more about her and the piece. Well, I searched in vain. REALLY, still doing it without any luck and Sony certainly isn’t any help.
Then I got the bright idea [this happens every great once in a while] and I decided to contact HZ [via I think a friend’s advice] and I wrote him a short email about the LK piece and my project of putting out a world compilation of yodels, which eventually became ROUGH GUIDE TO YODEL – but minus her track because as HZ pointed out, Sony OWNED the rights to the track and would never part with it in an easy or inexpensive manner. Case closed. I asked whether he didn’t have more info on LK but alas he had lost contact with her or the other way around. But then I asked if he didn’t have an “unplugged” earlier version that he had the rights to and he said he would look as he seemd to like my project. And I was about to follow up with him when I learned he had died. This is a sad day. Not only for music and my ears but also because the other versions of this track may never see the light of day ever again. If anyone has any info on Lioudmila Khandi I would love to hear from you.
Earlier recordings on Crammed Discs.
Thanks Black Sifichi of Audiometric for some of the HZ.

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