The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Since French Letter changed from old-fashioned column to hip young blog, we've received loads of tips about French music worth hearing and featuring. A sincere merci beaucoup to everyone who's taken the time to comment or mail with their suggestions - a lot of them will appear here over the coming months, and Francophile music fans can expect to discover lots of great Gallic tunes right here.

Mon dieu! French band Dionysos, currently recording with Eric CantonaAs well as finding out about new bands, we've been led back to rediscover older music that had flown under our radar. For instance: Dionysos (right) are a six-piece band from Valence in south-east France. Their most recent studio album, 'Monsters In Love', was an unremarkable bit of chanson française which didn't appeal to us. We thought no more of them.

However, on French indie radio stations like Le Mouv' and Oüi FM we kept hearing a fine 2002 single of theirs called 'Song For Jedi' - nothing like the skiffly chansons of their new material but instead a slice of witty and catchy slacker-pop that had us intrigued. And when Edith from Por La Carretera mentioned Dionysos in a comment on our recent post about Rhesus, we finally decided to investigate further.

Sure enough, and to our delight, 'Song For Jedi' is not an only child. It's taken from the band's 2002 Steve Albini-produced album 'Western Sous La Neige' ('Western Under The Snow'), which is crammed with similarly charming US-influenced indie-pop. Alas, they seem to have left that sound behind them now.

Eric.The band's next project is 'La Méchanique Du Coeur', an album to accompany the book of the same name written by lead singer Mathias Malzieu. It's an ensemble record featuring an all-star cast which includes Emily Loizeau, Olivia Ruiz (Malzieu's partner), venerable actor Jean Rochefort... and (*genuflects*) Eric Cantona. Yes, Le Roi Eric on disc: you can be sure that we'll bring you a clip of this great event as soon as possible.

(BTW, Eric is currently featuring in a French TV ad for a casino - and he also appears with his brother Joel in the opening seconds of the latest video by Marseille rapper Soprano, 'A La Bien'. Sadly, Eric doesn't rap.)

As for Dionysos, check out their album 'Western Sous La Neige'. Here's the bizarre video for 'Song For Jedi', which seems to have no connection to its soundtrack:

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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).