Wednesday, November 19, 2008

tele music

This is a very special post so keep your eyes and ears opened for what's coming.Straight fron the vaults of DJHistory this is a super promo taster of the new Le Disco compilation.After Baby's Band Leo Zero's stellar rework that's been heavily featured in our parties and mixes it's time for the second hit and this time it comes courtesy of Faze Action.This is an exclusive treat from DJHistory who made a terrific compilation that's gonna rock the DJ world.For those who are not aware of what's the Le Disco project is all about its' a compilation of remixes on some of the finest tunes from the cult status French Disco library label Tele Music.Names like the Idjut Boys,Faze Action,Leo Zero,Ray MAng and many more put their skills down on some epic obscure disco cuts.Here at plaidmusic we offered some original Tele Music gems on our previous posts.I storngly recommendBelow there is a really informative piece on the story legendary Telemusic label courtesy of DJHistory.For further info and to place your orders for Le Disco visit the link below that gets you straight ot the DJHistory online shop.Last but not least after that comes the promo Mp3 of the Faze action take on TeleMusic's Disco Free.I don't think that someone could ask for more in one day!

Tele Music-Disco Free-Faze Action Edit

Tele-Vision-An article on Tele Music

Having given us le discothËque (both the word and the idea), the French were no slouches when it came to arming the disco explosion. And the musicians who powered French disco were a surprisingly tight-knit bunch – essentially the house band of Roger Tokarz’ library label Tele Music.

France fed records to the disco explosion right from the start. In 1973 a French production ‘Soul Makossa’ by Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango became the first dance song to break into the national US charts purely through club play. But the foundations of French disco lie with the group Kongas, whose ‘Anikana-O’ launched the careers of three of the country’s disco giants. A tribal drum workout somewhere between Blood, Sweat & Tears and Barrabas, ‘Anikana-O’ was written, produced and performed by Alec R. Costandinos, Don Ray (Raymond Donnez) and Jean-Marc Cerrone.

Costandinos was an Egyptian musician and arranger who’d cut his teeth in Greece writing with Vangelis and Demis Roussos. His Crystal Grass project was an important disco catalyst, with ‘Crystal World’ becoming a New York classic. Don Ray was Kongas’ keyboardist and arranger, and he lent the same skills to many of Cerrone and Costandinos’s projects, including Crystal Grass. His ‘Garden of Love’ album, produced by Cerrone at Trident in London, gave us the disco hit ‘Got to Have Loving’ and the Loft classic ‘Standing In The Rain’, and he went on to arrange Santa Esmerelda and RevelaÁion. Kongas’ third alumnus, Cerrone, was a drummer, vocalist and producer, who in 1976 stunned discos across the world with his 17-minute epic ‘Love in C Minor’.

Adding to the disco fray were some notable Frenchies who made their hits on American soil. FranÁois Kevorkian arrived in New York in 1975 as a jazz drummer intent on playing with Miles Davis. By 1978 he was A&Ring for Prelude and cooking up a series of hit-making remixes starting with Musique's In The bush'. And French-Moroccan Henri Belolo, who, together with songwriter Jacques Morali, created costume-party divas The Ritchie Family and under-the-gaydar pop sensations The Village People. Belolo paid trbute to the land that gave him his greatest hits with Patrick Juvet’s ‘I Love America’.

The latters' releases aside, most French-made disco used the same small pool of gifted musicians. Guitarist Slim Pezin played on several of Manu Dibango’s early ’70s albums and went on to be a fixture of both Don Ray’s and Costandinos’s line-ups. Drummer Pierre Alain-Dahan and keyboard player Marc Chantereau were equally prolific. Sauveur Mallia played bass on most of Cerrone’s studio sessions and live performances, frequently joined by Pezin on guitar and Georges Rodi on synthesiser.

Working together on innumerable records since the late ’60s, this tight-knit team became the essence of French disco. Some of their finest work together was for the Tele Music library label, where they were essentially the house band, laying down a long series of concept albums designed for use as backing tracks in film, TV and radio. On albums like Arpadys, Spatial & Co, the Disco & Co series and many more, they cooked up scorching rococo disco capable of enflaming dancefloors the world over.

Most famously, the Tele Music players were the chart-topping, multi-million-selling Voyage, with the trio of Chantereau, Dahan and Pezin joined by Sauveur Mallia, and lead singer Sylvia Mason, who was recruited from London where the album was recorded. Phenomenal production and immaculate orchestration made them perfect for the increasingly glamour-obsessed disco scene.

But more exciting to collectors are the long-running series of library LPs they worked on. 1977’s Arpadys has become Tele Music’s most sought after release, thanks to oft-bootlegged tracks ‘Monkey Star’, ‘Stone Roller’ and ‘Funky Bass’. Arpadys put Sauveur Mallia in the driving seat musically, alongside Chantereau, Dahan and Pezin, with keyboards from Georges Rodi and Jean-Pierre Sabar. A follow-up, the Spatial & Co series remained library-only LPs, though the tracks did serious business on TV thrillers and space programmes.

Then in 1979 the same group of musicians, with the exception of Mallia, laid down another three albums of storming disco, the Disco & Co LPs, again much sought-after by collectors. Amazingly these were dashed off in between sessions for the second Voyage album, to satisfy the still-growing demand for library disco.

The musicians loved their library work. “Although it didn’t use to pay that well, it was a great playground for experimenting,” says Pezin, “Playing things which we wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere.” Tele Music supremo Roger Tokarz gave them almost complete freedom. “He just use to give us a little theme and then we could jam freely for hours on end.”

Ironically, working with real bands was often more of a chore, as Sauveur Mallia recalls. “We were considered to be the best session musicians around and when we recorded backing tracks for successful pop acts we could have played the things they wanted with our arms tied behind our back. That’s why recording library music or disco was instantly like a breath of fresh air to us and we were finally able to express ourselves.”

Tele Music founder Roger Tokarz was the guiding force behind the sessions. “Disco was very important at pushing things forward musically,” he argues, “because all of a sudden the musicians, composers and arrangers had a much more important position. They no longer relied on the vocalists; it was all in the arrangements and the progression of the music itself.”

Tokarz admits that his disco recordings are the most enduring. “Today most of our records have a very short lifespan. The ones from our back catalogue which are still very popular are the ones which have that typical ’70s sound.” We tend to agree.
Alexis LeTan, Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton

© 2008

You can read a greatly extended version of this article as the sleevenotes to Le Disco: Tele Music Remixed.

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