Best of Allez Allez

ESK 502238 ESK 502238

Allez Allez are one of those early '80s hidden gems of the Belgian new wave dance scene who shone so brightly for a few years (1981-1985) and then were gone -- but not forgotten. Based around the writing and production nucleus of Brussels-based Kristiaan Debusscher and Nicolas Fransolet, a third dimension was added by American vocalist Sarah Osbourne. Early hi-tempo hits such as "African Queen," "Allez Allez" and "She's Stirring Up" became global club classics. Allez Allez were the funky follow-up to the Brussels-based collective Marine. The trademarks of Allez Allez were highly danceable and catchy rhythms, African influences and high quality singing, forming a powerful and funky mixture. The band's debut mini-album African Queen promptly went gold and they recorded a full album in John Foxx's studio with production handled by Heaven 17 mastermind, Martin Ware. Promises was a more refined funk album with soul influences and the road for an international breakthrough seemed open. Then singer Sarah Osbourne left the group and married the singer of Heaven 17, Glenn Gregory. A replacement was found in New York-based Jackie Irwin, but she never managed to truly replace the sensual and flexible Sarah and although it was produced by Madonna-discoverer Mark Kamins, the following 12" Boom Boom flopped. Techno fans may also be interested to know that Sarah Osbourne later found herself in Detroit on the cusp of techno's evolution and as well as painting a mural on the east wall of Detroit's legendary Music Institute, she also painted a cover for Rhythim Is Rhythim and ultimately sang vocals on a number of Carl Craig tracks. Now, for the first time, some 25 years later, Eskimo brings you the Best of Allez Allez. Including bonus remixes from contemporary producer-fans such as Quiet Village (aka Matt Edwards and Joel Martin), Aeroplane, Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas and Optimo (Espacio), you can check out the funky, African-inspired new wave rhythms of one of Belgium's finest dance exports. Press pictures photographed by Anton Corbijn.