Alexis Le-Tan & Jess Presents Studio Ganaro: Space Oddities (1972-1982)


2021 restock; LP version. Includes printed inner sleeve and download code. During the '60s and '70s, three distinguished old gentlemen who had built their careers playing "made in France" exotic jazz -- Roger Roger (1911-1995), Nino Nardini (1912-1994), and Eddie Warner (1917-1982) -- met every evening in the Ganaro recording studio, playing like kids with their new toys: souped-up keyboards that looked more like prototypes of spaceships to explore the Milky Way. Flying high on whimsical and joyful inspiration, the improbable trio used their strange instruments to sketch out the beginnings of something that, at that time, resembled the future of music; this set collects their productions from 1972-1982. With their library productions, Roger and Nardini made a clean break with rigid French traditions, via compositions featuring unexpected instruments like the harpsichord, marimba, and Ondioline, and, later the first analog synthesizers, oscillators, and other electronic keyboards. Nardini got deeply into musique concrète in the early '60s, as put forward by Pierre Schaeffer (who had just founded the Groupe de Recherches Musicales or GRM), popularized by Pierre Henry, and twisted by the whimsical Jean-Jacques Perrey. Roger and Nardini's Ganaro studio in Jouy-en-Josas, southwest of Paris, became the scene of magical nightly sessions of experimentation, in the company of their friend Eddie Warner. The acquisition of a Moog synthesizer brought these pioneers of electronic music to a new level. Roger Roger manufactured his own punch cards to invent new sounds. Then, in 1969, under the pseudonym of Cecil Leuter, he published the albums Pop Electronique and TVMusic 101 (with Nardini), two truly avant-garde "100% electronic" discs that anticipate the hegemony of machines in pop music, from space disco in the late '70s to the electro funk of the early '80s. The duo composed more than 40 albums (including the incredible Informatic 2000 (1982)) for specialized labels including Chappell Music, Southern Library of Recorded Music, Neuilly, L'Illustration Musicale (Eddie and Hannelore Warner's label, which published, notably, The Strange World of Bernard Fèvre in 1977), Mondiophone, Hachette, Musax, and Crea Sound Ltd. A veritable Atlantis of electronic music, rediscovered at the turn of the 21st century by electronic artists like Barry 7 of Add N to (X) with his Connectors series and Luke Vibert with his Nuggets compilations. Jess and Alexis Le Tan contributed a bit as well, digging up a few gems from "Ganaro's Nights," tracks composed with joy and humility by a merry trio of 60-somethings for whom making music was always a source of amusement and wonder.