The track listing will be kept secret until the release date of the album!
Twelve years after the first DES YOUNG MENS MÖDERNES exhibition took place at agnès b.'s galerie du jour, Jean-François Sanz and Marc Collin are once again combining their record collections to curate the attendant compilation third salvo volume and once again pay tribute to the French post-punk and cold wave scene of the late 70s and early 80s.
Through the 24 rare (and sometimes unreleased) tracks carefully selected for this double LP, BEATITUDE agnès b. MUSIQUE and Kwaidan Records take listeners on a retro futuristic journey through this rich, diverse and innovative period in French rock.
And, in order to celebrate the launch of this long-awaited third volume, the first DES JEUNES GENS MÖDERNES festival is set to take place on 5 and 6 November 2020 at La Station — Gare des Mines, with an intergenerational lineup bringing into light the influence that the cold wave scene continues to exert on a number of emerging artists.
Between the end of the 1970s and the mid-1980s, the still-smoldering ashes of the punk cataclysm turned into a “cold wave”, a near-global fallout that has been described as post-punk but which, upon closer examination, had only little connection with the nihilistic, radical subcultural electroshock that set the stage for its emergence.
Keeping with the spirit of DIY punk, a few of the acts took over analog synthesizers as well as early drum machines and sequencers, which they often glossed over a more classic guitar-drums-bass foundation, giving birth to a futuristic proto-electronic sound nourished by multiple cultural and historical references to the Old World smeared with a disillusioned irony and dark romanticism. A genre that literally smelled like teen spirit, against a backdrop of the Oil Crisis, the Cold War and the looming nuclear threat. At the same time, it served as the underground soundtrack to the years when the tyranny of entertainment, easy money and advertising began its reign.
Sixteen years after the release of the So Young But So Cold compilation (curated by Marc Collin and Yvan Smagghe for the Tigersushi label,) and twelve years after the exhibition-event DES JEUNES GENS MÖDERNES, interest in the genre remains strong. The time is thus ripe for the Jean-François Sanz-curated third installment in the series, with agnès b. and Kwaidan joining forces to release into it the wild.
Since its inception in 2008, the protean project has been bouncing different around cities in France and abroad, and begat a book, two compilations, limited-edition artist t-shirts, and no less than two feature-length documentaries.
The title DES JEUNES GENS MÖDERNES was originally a nod to the famous February 1980 Actuel magazine article, which highlighted some of the key figures of the new French rock scene. As the project evolved over more than a decade, the expression, which translates to “modern young people” was given a second wind and once again became indicative of a certain zeitgeist. Since then, the term has been massively picked up in the music press (sometimes erroneously) and, even more recently, through the name of a new contemporary dance festival initiated by the CCNO in 2019 in the French city of Orleans. It has become a kind of label for a number of emerging artists claiming an inspiration from past productions to inform their own music into the future – a bit like their predecessors of the 80s, who fantasized about the golden period of the 60s.
Fast forward to today, as Sanz and Collin pool their record collections to share, through a double LP compiling about twenty gems – a sharp, eclectic selection of rarities, alongside brand new tracks unearthed from some obscure drawer or archive box with the precious complicity of Gilles Leguen, a true aficionado of the period and the project’s éminence grise since the beginning.
To complete the trilogy, the track list deliberately oscillates between electro pop, minimal synth and alien analogue electronics, abandoning the cold, “punk rock” side of things to make the most of tracks with more synthetic sounds and a deft sense irony and derision – eschewing old clichés of a musical genre that has often tended to take itself a little too seriously, sometimes at the risk of veering into caricature and self-parody.
In keeping with tradition, the set is packaged in a high-voltage cover, vintage photography and erudite cover notes.
In short, THE ultimate French proto electro and cold wave reference, a little something to make you wish you'd been 20 in 1980. Fortunately, it's never too late to discover good MÖDERNE music!
On the occasion of the launch of this third volume of the compilation, Agnès b. and Kwaidan are joining forces with La Station — Gare des mines to host the first DES JEUNES GENS MÖDERNES Festival in November, 2020.
Get ready for concerts from bands of the era (including a reunion of a cult scene stalwart), but also of emerging artists working in the same lineage, as well as film showings, performances, and installations.
Watch the music video "Les ailes de la nuit" by Alena
Composer/producer with an eye for talent - a quick description that neatly resumes the talents of Marc Collin, who over the years has progressed from the studio to playing live.
Whether on projects like Nouvelle Vague (often a launchpad for an impressive list of artists on the rise) or with artists such as Yasmine Hamdan (an iconic French-Lebanese singer), Phoebe Killdeer (now known worldwide for her remix by The Avener) and Jay-Jay Johanson (the Scandinavian crooner), Marc Collin nurtures international artists whose particular sensibility and experience appeal to him.
Particularly careful with his production values, Marc Collin is above all a lover of old synths, the ones that left their mark on the 80s, and knows how to get the best out of them for his modern productions by addressing a wide audience.
With its meticulous production characterised by a certain sweetness and subtlety, whether in English, French or more exotic languages, Kwaidan Records is a Parisian institution that welcomes artists from anywhere in the world, helping them develop and confirm their talent.