OUT NOW: Deux Filles, Phantom Forth, Philippe Chany
All 3 albums were originally released between 1981-1983
The short, mysterious career of the female French duo Deux Filles is bookended by tragedy. Gemini Forque and Claudine Coule met as teenagers at a holiday pilgrimage to Lourdes, during which Coule’s mother died of an incurable lung disease and Forque’s mother was killed and her father paralyzed in an auto accident. The two teens bonded over their shared grief and worked through their bereavement with music. However, after recording two critically acclaimed albums and playing throughout Europe and North America, Forque and Coule disappeared without a trace in North Africa in 1984 during a trip to visit Algiers. The short and terribly unhappy lives of Forque and Coule are at the root of the small but fervent cult following the mysterious duo have gained since their disappearance, not least because the placid, largely instrumental music on the duo’s albums betrays no hint of the sorrow that framed their personal lives.
This would be a terribly sad story if a word of it were true. In reality, Deux Filles were Simon Fisher Turner, former child star/teen idol and future soundtrack composer, and his mate Colin Lloyd Tucker. Turner and Tucker left an early incarnation of The The in 1981 to pursue another musical direction. Turner claims that the idea of Deux Filles came to him in a dream, and he and Tucker strictly maintained the fiction throughout the duo’s career. Not only did they pose in drag for the album covers, the duo once even played live without the audience realizing that the tragic French girls on-stage were actually a pair of blokes from south London. Deux Filles released two albums through Turner and Tucker’s Papier Mache label, 1982’s “Silence & Wisdom” and 1983’s “Double Happiness”. Both albums are included here and blend watery piano, occasionally ghostly vocals, sheets of synthesizers, heavily processed guitars and the barest minimum of percussion. Drifting and wistful, they’re a pair of lost ambient gems from a time when the genre had yet to mature, an excellent example of post-Eno, pre-Orb ambient music.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in gatefold sleeve with original front covers of both albums, and a centerfold of archive images and the original liner notes. Each LP includes a sticker of the Lino cuts by Adrian Gill that was included with the original pressing. “Like an early French film soundtrack with melodramatic overtones, the sound is jagged and disjointed but never harsh. Lilting guitars and ample use of echo smack of Vini Reilly, relying on the hypnotic qualities of the sound rather than abrasive noise” (Sounds, 03/1983)
Phantom Forth were the brother sister team of Paul Luker (Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Debbie Luker (Drums, Guitar, Vocals) and Lorraine Steele (Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals). They formed in 1981 in Auckland, New Zealand. Paul began recording his own music after purchasing a 2-track from Oceania Sound. He formed a band with his flatmate and eventually met Lorraine through Debbie. With a shared love of Young Marble Giants and Cabaret Voltaire they started to rehearse at LAB Studio.
‘The EEPP’ was recorded in 1983 within a few weeks at Progressive Music Studios. Slated for release in February 1984, the mini-album finally appeared in November on Flying Nun Records. It contained seven moody sketches of Auckland. Their sound blends cold wave guitars, drum-machine propelled post-punk with female vocals. The core recording set up was a Casio-Tone VL, Boss DR-55 Dr. Rhythm, Roland TR-606 and an acoustic Yamaha bass. All original vinyl copies contained many clicks and pops and due to paper bits from previous jobs that pressing plant melted down. Included with this reissue are two early demos recorded at LAB in 1982, made prior to Lorraine joining the band, plus a recording from the Flying Nun live compilation ‘The Last Rumba’.
All songs have been remastered from the original master tapes for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in sleeve with original artwork collage designed by Paul Lurker. Each LP includes a two-sided 8.5×11 poster with notes and photos.
Philippe Chany is a French songwriter, film music composer and producer from the town of Gap in the southeastern region of the Hautes-Alpes. He formed Love International with Philippe Krootchey and Fred Versailles in 1981 and released the #1 boogie disco hit single “ Dance On The Groove And Do The Funk”. The B-side of this single featured a cover of Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” released as a single in late 1981 credited solely to Chany.
In 1983 Philippe went into Studio O.M. to record songs for his solo project. The album titled “Rive Gauche” was released in 1983 by Polydor Records. Philippe was inspired by experimental film composers Michel Magne, Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin. Songs are a fusion of Chanson synth pop, experimental Italo funk, majestic balearic disco and arabesque instrumentals. He enjoyed making blends, combining rhythms with scratches, utilizing a Roland TR-808, Jupiter 8 and various Akai samplers. All the songs are recited in French and English and revolve around themes of love and mysticism plus a passage read from Antonin Artaud’s 1925 poem “L’ombilic des Limbes”.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Housed in an exact replica of the original jacket, which features a photo of Philippe by Jean-Baptiste Mondino on the front and a painting of him by Nadia Back on the back. Each copy includes a 11×11 insert with lyrics and archive photo. “Fiction talks right to your brain, Never the same…Be different!” (Philippe Chany, 1983)