BUZZ began as the brainchild of J-C Van Thienen in Lille, northern France, ten miles from the Belgian border. He released one album in 1985, the highly limited demo cassette See You Sioux. In the late 70s and early 80s J-C witnessed the punk explosion while studying and working abroad in England. He regularly attended concerts by Adam and the Antz, The Sound, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ski Patrol, Spizzenergi, The Cure, interviewing the bands for a fanzine. Returning to France, and feeling inspired, J-C bought a Soundmaster drum machine and two second-hand synthesizers in 1983. He started composing songs applying the DIY punk ethos akin to Cabaret Voltaire and Fad Gadget, who like him were eccentrics in a pop-rock world.
Borrowing a 4-track Portastudio from a friend, J-C recorded 7 songs that would become the skeletons for the “See You Sioux” album. The local radio station provided studio time for free so BUZZ enlisted help from the guitarist (Vincent) and drummer (Franck) of The Figurines. His neighbor, Béatrice, added backing vocals. The result was the entirely self-produced See You Sioux cassette, recorded in one take. BUZZ combined new wave dancefloor appeal with the abrasive textures and irreverent attitude of post-punk. Lyrically, they addressed topics such as the Cold War, post-World War II tension in Berlin, the assassination of Kennedy, Pablo Picasso’s minimalism – all in a manner that was as sarcastic as it was politically-charged. The overall sound of “See You Sioux” fits nicely beside their French contemporaries: Opera Multi Steel, Norma Loy, Little Nemo, Taxi Girl, but is more aligned with their Belgian neighbors the Neon Judgement and Trisomie 21.
Artwork for the cassette jacket was all done by J-C using letrasets, scissors, glue, coloring with markers and hand-numbered in an edition of 250 photocopies. Over the years, BUZZ’s demo cassette travelled from bedrooms to dancefloors around the world, and even into the purse of Anne Clark around the time BUZZ supported her in Ghent and Paris. The success of See You Sioux landed BUZZ a deal with Danceteria Records, who would release four maxi 12” singles from 1986-1989. Around 1990 BUZZ took a break, eventually restarting in 2005 with the release of a career spanning compilation and remix album. J-C continues to write and release music today with his project Vuduvox.


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