Saturday, July 31, 2010

Les Yper-Sound - Too Fortiche (1967)

Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier set out to create music for a choreographer friend of theirs (Maurice Béjart) for an experimental ballet performance called Messe pour le temps présent in 1967. The most famous track from these recording sessions produced the song Psyché Rock- which we'd all hear eventually, being used as the title theme song from the TV show Futurama. Les Yper-Sound would also grace the name of a Stereolab track from their Emperor Tomato Ketchup album, so they're no stranger to pop culture references.

What makes this so interesting is the sound effects that Henry added to Colombier's composition- Henry had worked extensively with musique concrète, pioneering the genre in the late 1940's and early 50's with Pierre Schaffer in his Club d'Essai studio at the ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française), producing musique concrète "noises" as well as some of the first electronic sounds to be used in films and TV shows.

Upon first listen, the songs on Too Fortiche sound extremely dated, but realizing that the space-age sounds were made on such primitive equipment it sounds wonderfully experimental and... groovy.

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