Meet Matthieu Lescop, an exciting young French artist with a cooly understated take on no wave disco.
Comprised of eleven poisonous songs, Lescop's eponymous debut album is set for a full UK release on the 3rd June through Paris-based Pop Noire (Savages, John and Jehn). Produced by Johnny Hostile (the John of the afore-mentioned duo), 'Lescop' will be available on vinyl and cd for the first time in the UK, having been released digitally earlier this year. Lescop already has a credible reputation amongst savvy music lovers in his homeland, with the debut provoking a smattering of critical applause from the likes of Les Inrockuptibles, Libération, Tsugi and Wonderland Magazine. Not to forget exclusive support from Hedi Slimane, who shot the album cover, and the mighty Phoenix, who have been praising Lescop of late.
Lescop has a straightforward objective. He wants to make people dance while he sings about his obsessions, namely: complex human relationships, love, films, punk and his heroes like Yukio Mishima, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Pierre Malville, Jesse Owens, Georges Guynemer and the Red Baron.
Lescop has, so far, always written lyrics in French, conscious of a need to reinvent and revitalise French pop music. He wants to take more risks to make pop music that has an uneasy and penetrating identity. Who better than Johnny Hostile, French producer living in London, to join forces with Lescop? Their mission: to create an alternative to existing French rock, which sadly seems all but non-existent... to combine disco and Mishima, merge Berlin-era Bowie with Yves Simon.
Matthieu relates how they endeavoured to instill this revolutionary zeal into 'Lescop': "We're never easy on ourselves. We are really interested in musical contradictions as we think this is where the magic happens. We want to mix French popular music with punk, we want our pop to be bipolar; we fight against musical boredom, it's a controlled chaos, a love story." Lescop writes the lyrics, then brings music to John who reinvents new ideas at each turn, while Jehnny Beth instantly films the artistic effervescence, and creates tense, sharp, and sexy videos in response to the music. The spirit of collaboration carries on with Gael Etienne (ex Koko von Napoo) graphic designer and leftfield musician, who fulfils both roles for the band.
As a natural consequence, John and Jehnny Beth created their label, Pop Noire, to encapsulate all these facets and drive them into one same direction: a singular creation.
Lescop is the product and the proponent of this all-encompassing artistic dream factory, striking the right balance between intelligence and primitivity, the cerebral and the instinctive in his music. Listen to Lescop under the cover of darkness and dance away your fears through reliving his.
01 La Foret
02 La Nuit Americaine
04 Los Angeles
05 Le Mal Mon Ange
06 Tokyo, La Nuit
08 Un Reve
09 Slow Disco
10 Paris S'Endort
11 Le Vent