March 29, 2010

Bon Jour Paris, 1969 (Repost)

After making his name in '97 co-writing the track "Ce Matin La" -- which would appear on countrymen
Air's '98 debut LP Moon Safari -- Patrick Woodcock played some other tracks to longtime friend and sound engineer Pierre Begon-Lours, who agreed to co-produce them at his own studio with partner Stephane Luginbuhl, thus providing the tripartite genesis from which Mellow (in honor of the Mellotron keyboard) would organically develop. Rehearsals moved out of the studio and into Begon-Lours' Parisian home, where the two producers brought a range of influences from Pink Floyd to King Crimson to Frank Zappa to bear on frontman Woodcock's saccharine song structures.

A seven-piece live debut at the Big Beat Boutique in Brighton, England preceded the release of Mellow's '98 eponymous single on French label Atmospheriques. The group's vintage future-pop full-length Another Mellow Spring arrived three years later in '01. Black Science Orchestra's frontman Ashley Beedle (who some will remember from behind the bar at London's infamous Black Market Records) scores a perfect 10 with his "No Jazz Mix." Luxurious keys are spread over a bed of crimson chords and male vocal harmonies to create some serious lights-out material.

Director Roman Coppola enlisted Mellow's lighter-than-air Euro-lounge sound for his first feature, CQ, set naturally enough in Paris of 1969, pretty much the epicenter of Mellow's stylistic inspiration. The movie concerns the gradual dissolution of the line between fantasy and reality on the set of a science-fiction movie set in the far-off year 2000. Mellow's feathery downtempo score fits seamlessly around a few vintage French pop numbers by the likes of Jacques Dutronc and Claude Fran├žois. Vocalist Alison David provides the sensual crooning on "Take Me Higher."



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