Camino del sol reviews

Publié le par isabelle antena

A friend just called and said, “Is it time to start setting shit on fire?” Another friend, this one a journalist based in Munich, said they’d been emailing voters in Clark County (Las Vegas), asking them not to put God’s dun back in office. To which, a Clark County resident diplomatically replied, “Hey shithead, stay out of our country.” Great. Not that this record will make the French or Germans (or the rest of the world) hate us any less if we jock it, but Antena’s a really good escape, in a pretty pretty way. A lot of it’s dark psychedelic pop, but made in 1983. It meets all reissue hype requirements: Factory Records connection, stark samba, DeJesus-like electro congas, a producer from Ultravox, and French girls lilting. So you can read Paul de Kruiff’s Microbe Hunters to it (especially the chapter called “Massacre the Guinea Pigs”) and think Stereolab. And their label was called “Crepuscule”- which looks like a crayfish (they call it crawdaddy Down Bottom) and is the coolest word for twilight since that kid from George Washington directed traffic in the magic hour of Spencer, North Carolina. Anyone who does a version of “The Boy From Ipanema(1)” with vocoder (once called The Voder—ha ha ugh!) is alright allover. And “Noelle A Hawaii(2)” has an amazing weepy string synth, bonus booty cadence and a humming surge at the end. Other tracks to check here include “To Climb A Cliff(3)” and “Ingenuous(4)” (both of which are on the 7”), the title cut “Camino Del Sol(5),” “Bye Bye Papaya(6)” and “Seaside Weekend(7).” What if they were from Chillicothe, Ohio? Would that help? –Dave Tompkins

Long before Starbucks co-opted the cappuccino, three fresh-faced, cafe-going French youths dreamed up a breezy new musical brew: electro-samba. Calling themselves Antena, the trio recorded “The Boy From Ipanema,” a rhythmically ping-ponging take on Antonio Carlos Jobim's '60s bossa nova classic, “The Girl From Ipanema,” complete with fizzy synthesizers. That single, released on Manchester's Factory Records Benelux imprint in 1982, reappears here, along with 13 other pastel-toned tracks recorded during Antena's brief three-year existence.

Isabelle Powaga's sensual yet aloof voice makes “Bye Bye Papaye” sound like lo-fi Sade, while the pulsating “Ingenuous” is a virtual blueprint for Stereolab's lithe pop. “Les Demoiselles De Rochefort” combines a muted cornet solo, sweeping strings and an ebullient conversational interlude (in French, naturally) in avant-garde alchemy without ever ceasing to be a hummable pop tune. Produced with an Eno-like ear for sound design by John Foxx (also leader of the new romantic band Ultravox, themselves followers of Roxy Music), the music sacrifices none of its clarity despite its complexity. Although some of the lighter tracks resemble the whimsical doodles of schoolchildren, the dizzyingly catchy “To Climb the Cliff” ranks alongside the Specials' “Rat Race” in its sly detailing of workaday mania. A forgotten, fantastic tangent to the fabled Factory Records story, Antena has been rescued from the cutting room floor, as Camino Del Sol elegantly packages and annotates the group's small oeuvre — just in time for your next cappuccino.

— Peter Relic

One of the lesser stars in the Factory Records universe, Antena were a mutant anomaly, a chance meeting of Jobim samba and Young Marble Giants electro-pop austerity. Camino del Sol collects every single and the lone EP of the same title that they would produce. Few heard them in the early '80s when they were around, partially because they were stuck in the wasteland of Factory Benelux, the Belgian little brother of the main Factory operation in Manchester that never had the sway of its elder. It probably didn't help that Young Marble Giants spinoff group Weekend and labelmates A Certain Ratio were plying a similar fusion of Latin rhythms and pop song structure, although neither produced an end result as intimate or insular as that of Antena. Isabella Antena's chanteuse-whisper vocals provide one of the clues to the group's uniqueness, as do the pencil-thin synth lines and genteel bossa nova drum machine patterns -- both of which sound out of place among their contemporaries, with the exception of John Foxx, but have a revelatory quality in light of groups that have come since; think Smokey & Miho, Adult., Kahimi Karie, Arto Lindsay, even Beck. Added to the wonder of this rediscovery are great liner notes and a respectable package that harks back to Factory's heyday.

~ Wade Kergan, All Music Guide

Les rééditions de vieux albums précédemment mal distribués contribuent rarement à la correction de l'histoire de la musique. Celle pour Antena est une jouissive exception : bien joué Numerogroupe! Un véhicule pour la française Isabelle Antena, "Camino Del Sol", tout en restant fortement incrusté dans la chanson française de Serge Gainsbourg et brésilienne de João Gilberto, semble prophétiser le Air et la Björk des débuts avec ses mélodies répétitives de synthétiseurs digitaux et de rythmes effacés, primitifs, aux vibrations étonnement actuelles!

Derrière leur électronique un peu mécanique, simpliste, Antena déborde d'épicurisme, d'une morale du plaisir assumée, d'érotisme expert et de naïveté lyrique qu'on ne peut apprendre, sauf peut-être en France. Un certain sens de l'espace, une utilisation judicieuse de l'écho, qui n'est pas sans rappeller le travail visionnaire de Martin Hannett sur le classique de Joy Division Closer (1980), et une insistance évidente sur chaque ligne mélodique contribue au phénomène, cette impression que crée Antena de toucher à l'actualité musicale d'aujourd'hui. La voix sensuelle attachante de Antena, une belle diversité, exposée à travers différents états émotionnels (mélancolie, bonne humeur, futilité et inquiétude) élève "Camino Del Sol" au rang de grand album, négligé des critiques.


Publié dans Reviews

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