Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Fille Qui Mousse
Trixie Stapleton 291

Released 1971 on Futura
Reviewed by ur, 15/11/2000ce

At the beginning of the 70's, Futura Records from France released some of the most intriguing, strange and unsung LP's of all times. The artists who recorded them were alternately serious jazzanatics and social outcasts - most of the times, they satisfied both categories.
People like Red Noise, Mahogany Brain and Jacques Berrocal (most recently involved in some Nurse With Wound project) chose to make wildly experimental music, spiked with psychedelia and free jazz, following an approach not so distant from their German counterparts. Even if Futura releases are more stressed on the jazzy side, it is not impossible to consider them as cousins of the most adventorous Krautrock heroes.
Among the others, Fille Qui Mousse, led by the erratic talents of Henry Jean Enu, were maybe the best - or, at least, their only record was more focused in its relentless phantasmagoria of different inspirations.
Trixie Stapleton 291 is packed with ideas and little follies: you cannot find much actual music in it, but many of its solutions remind Faust and anticipate some of the Residents' best work. Sound collages, cut ups, short crazed piano pieces (sounding like Chopin on speed), white noises cranking up the stereo, all of these studio trickeries manage to create a mysterious, shadowy, ever shifting soundscape. The final effect is paradoxically much more in a proto wave vein than in a progressive one.
Fille Qui Mousse arrange their sonic chemistry paying absolutely no attention to the well-practised musicianship: they edit the sound in an almost cinematic way, and their "songs" have a vivid cinematic feel - albeit they do not perfectly fit the Hollywoodian norm.
For example, in the fourth track we can hear a girl told us a story in her beautiful French,while dogs are furiously barking in the distance, evoking confused images of urban wilderness. Massive layers of noise begin to grow in the background, until everything is submerged by this white, thick sheet of demented sound - the track is over, and it was like watching one of those ugly, pretentious short movies of the 70's (but with much more effect and no nude scenes).
The first and the last pieces of the album are, on the other hand, "real" music: the same theme is developed in two different ways, with an incredible acid punch for the opener, with a more jazz inclination for the closer (here, we can also listen to what seems an electric violin, but played with such an eversive attitude to make it hardly recognizable).
Trixie Stapleton 291 has been recently re released and is worthy of a listening, especially if you want to taste something really different (even in terms of 70's standards).

Reviews Index