Fred de Fred – En Amour (Edit 2020)
From Various – DYNAM’HIT Europop Version Française 1990-1995
Released on Born Bad Records, 2020 France
The Big Sleep. That would be quite ridiculous to compare the long period of inactivity on this site to Raymond Chandler‘s novel : nothing out-of-the ordinary prevented me from writing on this blog – even if the Covid crisis didn’t help. This hibernation had more to do with a lack of motivation and a feeling of irritation – I will probably vent my spleen here some days.
Lately, I’ve been lazingly considering getting back at writing on OYT, but did not. I had to make a promise to write about Belec and Sainte-Rita‘s forthcoming compilation of French house to force me to do it again. And here we are. Don’t expect a proper relaunch of Okonkole Y Trompa, though. This is no resurrection of the blog as it was during its heydays, but I might start posting again whenever I feel like it – I never stopped paying for the domain name after all.
Why did I accept to write about this compilation, and this song in particular ? Well, There’s a very solid connection between Fred de Fred‘s En Amour and the last series of articles I wrote. I’m now realizing that I completely forgot to mention Fred de Fred‘s name in the article about Sous-Sous I wrote in 2019 (in fact, at the time, I wasn’t 100% sure that it was the same person), but he is the original composer of the song, and also the missing link between this French novelty song and the remix by Warp‘s co-founder, Robert Gordon – the connection between Marseille and Sheffield.
By the time Fred de Fred moved to Sheffield in the late 1980’s, he was already an established musician in the avant-garde scene in the south of France, contributing to records by Hector Zazou or Joseph Racaille as a collaborator of the ZNR group in Marseille. It’s no surprise that he ended up hanging out with the people behind the legendary FON studio after he settled in the cradle of Warp records. In 1991 he recorded a follow-up to his 1984’s album Etat De Chose et Tas d’Esprits with British musicians, and got it released on Barclay. As it was then extremely common for labels to release remixes of pop songs they wanted to promote in clubs, Fred de Fred took care of the remix duties , as he was at the right place and knew the right people to provide the label with the best sounding club mixes of En Amour you could wish for in 1990.
Three different mixes were released on promotional 12″ and 7″ in 1991 ; this Edit 2020 is a perfect synthesis of all the different mixes, rightfully emphasizing the most mesmerizing elements from each version. The delayed alarma, the acid synth line and the generous dub treatment do not make the song sound like a 1991 party tune, no, even better : they make it sound the way we, listeners from the 2020’s, wish a 1991 party tune would sound like !
Get the compilation here