Les Bardanes – Vers l’homme, Gospel Night N.4


Right people, like with my last post, if you want the sound clip you have to patiently plug into my webpage and hear mix 1 at http://dr.lloyd.free.fr/ I have this propensity I can’t shake for sonic and sensual overload and I totally recognise that one of my biggest faults is overuse of the tape echo function on my mixer. I mean, half the selections are pretty dubbed-out anyway, as is the case with this record. So as you hear the French guy coming with the booming spoken word tones in the soundclash with Derrick Harriot’s Whip It, you could be forgiven for thinking “man, there he goes again pissing about with the sound, just let the record play doctor…” But the record actually sounds like that.

I don’t know how obscure the record is because I found one in a depot vente about a month ago (price 1 euro) then found another straight away in a decent shop straight away. Over here there are practically no thrift stores but more like warehouse thrift centres, kinda forward. There are 4 records like this in a series, one of them features Jef Gilson.

The record was produced under the aegis of the Comité Catholique Contre la Faim et Pour le Développement, so God is in the house. Not a benificent presence here, it sounds more like a black mass, or at least more like the scare tactics you would sometimes experience when you were small and got made to contemplate visions of hell at Sunday school. Luckily I wasn’t in the choir otherwise now I’d be physically tainted as well and even more of a couch case.

There is music too, there’s plenty jazz music, good heavy stuff with elements of free playing. And strange unclassifiable music with a weakling organ sound on ‘Je Suis Un Homme’. Have patience and let the mix proceed, it comes on just before Demis Roussos. The year is 1969 and the group is Les Bardanes (translation: The Burdocks). Of course, something to do with wine…

But for all the music the true greatness of this piece lies in the wordplay. The CCCFD are obviously an organisation who were/are angry about the state of the world. The LP comes with a booklet whose introduction states:

–OUVRE LES YEUX/ REGARDE LE MONDE, tu verras que

–L’HOMME SE REALISE EN EXPLOITANT L’HOMME

le but vers lequel il faut tendre étant que le plus grand nombre puisse un jour dire:

–JE SUIS DEVENU UN HOMME LIBRE.

However, when the needle drops you don’t get sermonised. The guy in the pulpit is more on a poetics tip. With the help of a cathedral echo he’s content to flow easy on the metaphysical themes. I’m pretty sure he must have been a sinner to voice tones like this, I can spot a sex-hungry priest at 200 yards. In theory, poetry recital can be classed as an oral pleasure and this particular guy in the hassock is simply wallowing in his, slurping, sipping and drooling many many sips of the juice with every reverberating word – REPOS – SOMBRE – LES TENEBRES DE LA NUIT – AMOUR – AMOUR DE LA MERE – PLEURE DEVANT LA HAINE. Each pronouncement hangs in the cold church air and you feel sure you can hear St. Peter’s keys jangling elsewhere in your mind. Or was that the gate to Hades. Amen.

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