It was the Boogie aficionados at Manchester`s Wet Play who hipped Be With Records to Alec Mansion. Be With`s Rob describing the Belgian singer`s 1985 sought-after, self-titled, sophomore LP to me as early Phoenix produced by Dam-Funk. Said that Alec was aiming for a sound that encompassed The Whispers, Chic and Prince.
Since I`m English and not very sophisticated on listening a whole list of other gems sung in French ran through my head. Maya`s Lait De Coco. Pierre Maizeroi`s Leve Leve. Guy Cuevas` recently reissued Obsession. Christophe Laurent`s Nuits Brésiliennes. Etienne Daho. The “foreign” language enough to give it an exotic, a Balearic, air. But this is basically Soul music, with enough hooks to make it Pop.
I can hear the blue-eyed Rare Groove of Ned Doheny – who Be With coincidently have extensively reissued and taken on tour. And the playful tongue-in-cheek Jazz chops of Blockhead, Chaz Jankel. Chops provided by Dan Lacksman and Marc Moulin. The musicians behind Telex and Placebo. Supplying the fat synthesised bass-lines and subtle electronic detail.
The closing instrumental, Knock-Out A Knokke Le Zoute, could be Uku Kuut.
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