posted on August 05, 2009 19:00
Well, it seems that all your correspondent has been doing lately is moaning and complaining. The new Phoenix album is disappointing; the new Air song is poor; the new Cassius EP is uninspired, and so forth. Some of you have been wondering if the Paris heat is getting to us, if some Parisienne had battered our coronary organ, if we just needed a holiday. All of that may be true, but those Phoenix, Air and Cassius records are tiresome nonetheless. If only there were a kindred spirit, someone with a fellow feeling for French music's current staleness...
Et voilà! Meet Hervé Salters (right), whose mammy is French and daddy is Irish (so he says in this interview). Born and raised in France, Hervé spent some of his teenage years in London before moving to California in 1999. (Continuing the Irish connection, he lives in Berkeley, named after Kilkenny's greatest ever philosopher.) Amending his first name to RV, he started making music and fell in with the likes of Blackalicious and DJ Shadow - indeed, his first album, 'Cliquety Kliqk' in 2003, featured Blackalicious.
Now Salters has released his second album, 'Good City For Dreamers'. It's a marvellous blend of loose funkiness and tight electronica, flavoured with jazzy progressions and Beatles-y pop hooks. The sense of fun and adventure is infectious.
So what's the link with your blogger's recent moaniness? Well, our favourite song on the record is 'Raid The Radio', where a soulful chorus declares war on the airwaves because "we're tired of hearing the same old song". Yes! That's us! We hear ya! (We also love it for the blissed-out groove and playful whistling.)
General Elektriks are currently touring around France - no upcoming Irish shows for the moment but perhaps he may have been there recently (visiting his family, for instance). Check out RV Salters' tunes on the General Elektriks MySpace page.
Here's a brilliant unofficial homemade video for 'Raid The Radio' that perfectly catches the spirit of the track - the sound quality isn't perfect but you'll get the gist. Under UEFA regulations this may well be both the best French song and best Irish song of 2009: