Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lio - Premier Album

Lio - Premier Album (1980)

Bit of synthy electro-pop from this belgian starlet, featuring some help from superstars TELEX. From the booklet:

Born out of a belgian comics writer's imagination, the character of Lio soon became known all over Europe as the alias of glamour pop icon Wanda Maria de Vasconcelos, a 18 years old, smart and provocative singer. Teamed-up with belgian songwriters Jacques Duvall, Jay Alansky and Marc Moullin (from the electro-pioneer band TELEX), the alchemy was soon to be accomplished with their first single "Le Banana Split", a light-hearted sugary pop tune co-written by Alansky and Duvall - also known as Hagen Dierks. The first hit was launched, soon to be followed by plenty of others which would all hurl Lio at the top of european charts. The second single, and probably the most successful in France, was the now classic "Amoureux solitaires", a refreshingly naive and at the same time deeply emotional song. The text is signed by Eli Medeiros and the music is produced by Jacno (from the french infamous pop-rock duo "Eli et Jacno"), resulting a catchy halting beat with a minimalist melody which will be engraved in your memory as soon as you hear it.

Anyway, one can feel a clear and distinct touch of contemporary atmosphere all over the record, a certain kind of 'Avant-Gardism' which is not without reminding us the later oversea productions of electro legends as New Order, Yaz, Human League, etc. Intresting patchwork of typical french pop ("Si belle Et inutile", "La Petite Amazone") and dance oriented songs (see the amazing break part of "Comix Discomix" or the twisted beat of "La Panthere Rose"), this debut effort also includes, among other things, the more languid and ambient cover of Gillespie and Coot's "You Go To My Head", later interpreted by Billie Holiday.

I've got a stack of similar bits of euro and japanese electro-pop, probably start ripping more of it in the next month. Think of it like the minimal fan's answer to twee, only a lot more fun.

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