1-2 Weeks
Mais Alors !!?... C'est A L'envers


Mais Alors !!?... c'est à l'envers is the first release by new French label Ici Bientôt (Here Soon ...), launched by Paris flea market record shop Geminicricket. On the menu are suspended time, unsung heroes, hidden records, and next-door marvels. In 1983, NEF released their first and only album, Mais Alors !!?... c'est à l'envers. At that point, the band already had a long history, interwoven with that of various alternative movements from the late sixties to the early eighties. That's what makes this record so special and able to conciliate styles like electronic prog, film scores, and new wave -- while also speaking to DJs (Daniele Baldelli has often quoted it as one of his favorite records). The band's destiny was tied to their native region, the south of France, an idyllic environment that attracted a number of musicians during the 1970s, allowing the group to attend many concerts or share the bill with several groups that went on to be well known: Can, Ash Ra Tempel, Magma, Catherine Ribeiro, Zao, Chêne Noir, and Art Zoyd. Founded in 1975 by Richard Lorenzi, NEF started as a kind of free rock band with multiple influences, going from prog to Musique Concrete, in which any method of making sound was good. The group were two musicians and a photographer, the latter a full member of the band who projected slides over the music and influenced their dreamlike universe. In 1978, Vincent Tronc came on board with his keyboards and synths. While the group had been influenced by electroacoustic techniques until then, Vincent broadened NEF's horizons, bringing in a host of new influences: Ash Ra Tempel, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze -- the beginnings of electronic music. When this album was recorded in 1983, new directions were being taken; these changed NEF's usual sound. First was the addition of accordion, and a new drum machine, the Roland CJ-5000. Of NEF's first pressing, many were unusable since the records came out totally warped. Then, at the end of the eighties, the small stock of remaining records was lost in the flood of Nîmes. 2000 records were pressed, but very few survived. All the more reason to reissue Mais Alors !!?... c'est à l'envers, an unsung record, free and multifaceted, a quirky and daring musical UFO, transcending eras and genres, between synthetic Krautrock and film score, reminiscent of NEU! (with a red nose), François de Roubaix and Pascal Comelade. Includes four-page insert.