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In-grid
RENDEZ-VOUS: THE SOUND OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
(Zyx)
Stars graphics

Created and arranged by Larry Pignagnoli, who with Theo Spagna and Spagnaís sister Yvonne K. put together a series of visionary Italian disco records under the Spagna name during the mid í80s and early í90s, Rendez-vous gets a shot at a wider, American audience thanks to the inclusion of "Tu es foutu" ("Youíre Fucked") on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack. This song, the second of 12 tracks on the first of this setís two CDs, is, like all of this set, sung in French and is partly bal musette, partly tango, partly jazzy chanson, and (no surprise here) partly Italian Eurodisco. Itís a combination that makes sense in the context of Parisian house music, with its jazzy airs, acoustic instrumentation, historical awareness, and slow, sleazy, sexy tempos.

This is not a teenager scene at all, and In-gridís contralto, now cute, now brassy, bespeaks a woman in her 30s and, abandoned in love, feeling older still. The complexity of Pignagnoliís music aggravates the intricacy of In-gridís interpretations. Even where the music emphasizes one of its component elements at the expense of the others, however, the unusual textures are intriguing. Here are songs that continually surprise, with accordion solos ("Pour toujours"), streaky Italo-disco sound effects ("Souvenir díété"), dream pop ("Mais la nuit . . . il dort!"), Greek guitar and percussion ("Je ne crois pasí), 1960s garage rock ("Ah líamour, líamour," reminiscent of the Rascals!), and French variété ("Esclave de toi," full of Mylene Farmer style, and "Va au diable," rough, rocking, and sexy in the manner of Zazie). The second CD features eight techno and Italo-disco remixes of "Tu es foutu," "In-tango," and "Shock," all of them useful, some transcendent.

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG


Issue Date: May 7 - 13, 2004
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