Thursday, May 12, 2016
This previously-unheard-of gem from 1975 has really taken my fancy the last 6 months. Its name is Sam' Suffy. Original copies will likely put you in the poor house, but relax, oh collector-dork, there is a very nice reissue on the Music On Vinyl label (do your Googling, I'm not here to promote their wares). Marc Moulin is an interesting cat whose discography I was woefully ignorant of just a year ago. He passed away in 2008, but was somewhat of an identity in his homeland of Belgium. Along with his sporadic solo career, he was a member of three crucial Belgian groups in the 1970s: Placebo, the jazz fusion outfit who released three excellent albums in the first half of that decade (and are obviously not to be confused with those Limey nudniks of the same name); Aksak Maboul, who were an interesting avant-rock band linked up with Henry Cow and the RIO crowd in the late '70s, and one whose name can be found in the infamous Nurse With Wound List; and Telex, the synth-pop band of the '70s/'80s who were, if need be, the Belgian equivalent of Kraftwerk and even had a few minor hits down here at the time. On top of that, he was a renowned journalist and broadcaster who also released several 'jazz' albums on the Blue Note label. This week's candidate for Renaissance Man? I'll vote for him.
Here's a Placebo cut.
And a Telex number.
Telex performing at the 1980 Eurovision contest.
Some choice Aksak Maboul.
A number of from his Sam' Suffy LP.
Where does Marc Moulin's Sam' Suffy fit within the musical universe? It is nominally a 'jazz-fusion' recording (I've learnt not to be afraid of throwing around such a term: there is good fusion and there is plenty of bad fusion). In fact you might even call it proto acid-jazz or proto trip-hop and all other manner of frightening names. To my ears it's quite a brain-bending mix of cosmic jazz-rock, ambient and lounge sounds, a more laid-back, concise take on the classic Bitches Brew sound, if you will. If you must. Listen to all of the above. It was a life well lived.