The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Our regular readers know by now this blog's taste in pop. Catchy and swaggering, please - and if it's dark and electro-fied too, so much the better. We find that in France it's the boy-girl duos who do this best - Pravda and John & Jehn, for instance.

Pink Noise Party

Joining that esteemed company are Pink Noise Party (right), a Paris pair comprising Joy Buckley and Syd Rey. (Pink noise is a sound frequency just lower than white noise, and is a feature of analogue keyboards.)

What do we know about them? Well, perusing their MySpace page the following facts present themselves:

  • They're both quantum physicists, meeting in university at a class that Syd was teaching and Joy taking.
  • They build their own keyboards, using parts from old synthesisers.
  • They give underwater performances.
  • They have a gig this August at a festival in Balaclava near the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, scene of the (in)famous Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

Even if none of that is true (though quantum physicists are quite welcome to become pop stars), Pink Noise Party are already far more interesting, imaginative and creative than most bands. So far, so good!

But what about the tunes? Well, they're synth-y and slinky - those home-made analogue keyboards have the retro vibe of Roxy Music and the disco-tronic glamour of The Human League. Taut guitar riffs put the swagger into tracks like 'X Buddy' and 'Golden Blond Pulsar Trance' (quantum physicists, remember), while 'Pesky Girl' has an industrial harshness. And the songs have melodies and choruses, stuff most French bands seem to consider contemptible.

Which is not to say that Pink Noise Party haven't been thinking about their art. Back to their MySpace blurb to see how they see themselves: "They describe their music as l’art consomme de melody pop [...] Their lyrics are in turn introspective or committed, pondering in particular on the frantic tempo of post-modern western lifestyle."  Oh dear.

But anyway, you only have to listen to their tunes, not make dinner-table conversation with them. Check out the Pink Noise Party MySpace page to hear some of their fine tracks. Here's the only video we've found of them - from a show earlier this month at L'International in Paris (a regular haunt of your correspondent), it's 'By Numbers':

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Nuggets from our archive

2005Michael Jackson: demon or demonised? Or both?, written by Aidan Curran. Four years on this is still a great read, especially in the light of his recent death. Indeed the day after Michael Jackson died the CLUAS website saw an immediate surge of traffic as thousands visited to read this very article.