“The year is 1982. Rita Mitsouko has not yet recorded its eponymous debut album. The pile of ashes that once was Disco is still smoking on the field of Comiskey Park. New Wave is a phrase, Post-Punk Rock a thing. In France, young musicians dream of New York City – some with more devotion than others. Lapassenkoff are to early 1980’s downtown New-York what seminal New Wave act Marie Et Les Garçons (who met John Cale on their way to CBGB) are to the city’s musical scene in the late 1970’s: an unexpected cousin from Lyon.
Indeed, going through Shing ‘n’ Tsé! sometimes feel like an impromptu meeting between John Lurie and Tom Tom Club in the basement of some French record store. If we press pause for a minute, a question comes to mind: how on earth such a unique blend of funk, post-punk, jazz fusion & hip hop (!) – more easily associated with, say, The Mudd Club, than with Les pentes de la Croix-Rousse – made its way to the brains of three French musicians?
The answer probably lies in a Swiss chalet, some 40 kilometers away from Zurich. Sent there by the wise people from Mosquito (the label which also gave Ramuntcho Matta and Carte de Séjour the opportunity to record their first album), the band experiences Alpine ennui and mysterious neighbours (a certain Carlos Peron, for instance). That is probably during this stay in Swiss meadows that they opened a Pandora’s box called experimental music, leading them into recording the mind-blowing sample-based – and accidentally proto-everything – M Le Maudit,, that would later grace Belgian airwaves via the famous Liaisons Dangereuses radio show.
But if we’re looking for a bigger picture, M Le Maudit is just an example of how inventive their approach to music was. This compilation is a testimony of a decade-long feverish flirt between the Lyon trio and dance music. From the infectious electric boogie cuts Shing A Ling and Roadie to the somehow euro-house-fuelled Ma Poubelle Angelina, via many unclassifiable yet iconic songs like Bossi Le Bosseman or Fièvres, Frissons, the compilation demonstrates one thing: Lapassenkoff took the road less traveled by and contributed to a different history of French Pop music.”