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FILLE QUI MOUSSE/ Se taire pour une femme trop belle/ CD
Fractal 016


All Music Guide (website : - April 2003 (Canada) :

This album has a srange history, but not as strange as the music it offers. Se taire pour une femme trop belle (Shutting up for a woman too pretty) is the first and only album to have been recorded by the French collective Fille Qui Mousse (Frothing Girl). It was recorded in July 1971 in a single day of studio time for the Futura label. Its release was cancelled due to the label struggling with financial problems, but about five test copies were pressed and “escaped” to build a cult status among collectors. The album was later released on CD by Mellow and Spalax, but it now appears that both reissues were illegal and misleading. In 2001 Fractal put out the first authorized reissue, with legitimate track titles and for the first time songwriting and performing credits. Was the music worth all that trouble ? It’s hard to say. This album is part tape experiment, part experimental psychedelia, part Krautrock. Some tracks are very strong and intriguing, but as a whole the album covers too much ground with too varying results to make a strong impression. Things start and finish with two good Krautrock-type jams (over the same riff) featuring guitarist Daniel Hoffmann, the rhythm section of Jean-Pierre and Dominique Lentin and soloing guests François Guildon guitar and Léo Sab violin, all directed by Henri-Jean Enu, the group’s mastermind. These two tracks account for 14 of the 35 minutes of running time. In-between are squeezed nine short pieces by Enu, Denis Gheerbrandt and Benjamin Legrand. “Amour-Gel” pairs a recitation in French with barking dogs and other field recordings. In “Derrière le Paravent” male voices are looped and strerched into a nagging drone. “Mirroir nagait dans le Lac du Bois de Boulogne” and “Tibhora-Parissalla” feature Legrand’s piano playing treated, edited and otherwise mauled with what the technology could offer at the time (mainly overubbing and applying razorblade to tape). You probably had to be there : for 1971 Fille Qui Mousse was far out, even more extreme than the Mothers of Invention. Today, fans of Neu! , Faust, the No-Neck Blues Band or Jackie-O Motherfuckers will find it entertaining.
François Couture Website - August 2002 (USA)

In 1979 an album was released by a bunch of postpunk weirdoes who had never owned music instruments before they went into the studio one weekend to record it. Only five hundred copies of this record were made. Well, this isn't that record. This is even more obscure and strange. For years Fille Qui Mousse was known only as a name on the checklist of influential "electronic experimental music" that graced the aforementioned record, Nurse with Wound's Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella". Fille Qui Mousse never released an album - they recording one for the little known French Futura label in 1971 but its release was shelved and only ten test copies were ever made and the last known copy was sold for $3,000. Of such things are legends made, amongst obsessive record geeks, at least.
After two dubious appearances on different labels under the title Trixie Stapelton 231 and with incorrect track titles, the album finally has a fully authorized release, 31 years after it was recorded. I'm not sure who they expect to buy it, however The sort of person who feels a need for this sort of arcane, esoteric and willfully obscure racket will no doubt have already grabbed the earlier reissues and you'd need to be an obsessive of a very special genus to want to buy it again just for the definitive track listing - and a new cover showing a cat and a glass of beer.
But what about the actual music on this thing? Do the playful, experimental squeaks and clatter of 1971 have anything going for them today, beyond a quaint, nostalgic charm or mere curiosity value? Is it just another cacophonous diversion for those of us who get our kicks from disdaining everything contemporary, reasonable or popular, to play once or twice and then file away amongst all those other supposedly important classics of collectible avant-rock? Obviously it's not easy listening. It's not recognizable as rock music, not even if you stretch your parameters to include the wackiest stuff around today or yesterday. And unlike many of the German bands of the early 70s who were chasing their own freaky vision of hard (American) electronic rock out into space or deep into their own acid-tweaked heads, the almost unknown pioneers of avant guard 70s French rock - like Mahogany Brain, whose determination not to be able to play their instruments somehow gave them (in hindsight at least) a pristine, darkly poetic insouciance that made the Velvet Underground seem like Herman's Hermits - aspired to something that wasn't just anti-rock but flagrantly anti-music/non-music. Whether this was born of a genuine revolutionary spirit or just to épater les bourgeois probably no longer matters. Se taire pour une femme trop belle, is, ultimately, even after trying to place it in historical, cultural or goddamn psychogeographical context, just too detached from anything recognizable for me to be able to venture an opinion as to whether it's good or bad. It just is - slabs of sounds out of context, springs twanging, two-fingered piano abuse, detuned guitars, a few moments of gibberish chanting, dogs barking, some lackadaisical folksy jamming that opens and closes the album - and at its heart a single, unplaceable, inhuman shriek that goes on for at least six minutes and feels like it'll never end and probably causes brain damage no matter how quietly you play it. How does that sound to you?
Album of the year, undoubtable.
Nigel Richardson

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