By Thierry Chion
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He will present his new book at the Armitière, in Rouen (Seine Maritime), Thursday, November 25, at 5 p.m. the Rouennais Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, specialist in musical culture, will talk about the French New Wave, a wave that marked the beginning of the 1980s.
Radio and television give time to this book, it’s not for nothing. Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, author of Rouen (Seine Maritime) talks about well-known and lesser-known artists, but also about everything that revolved around the New Wave movement at the time: fashion, comics, TV, free radio, fanzines… “which allow certain artists to be broadcast. This is the “atomic end of the glorious Thirty”.
“We benefit from the punk heritage and we come out of the French variety. The underground takes more weight and some of these artists become famous. Free radio doesn’t last long, it offers a short window of opportunity to develop the musical movement”, presents the author.
Witness of a movement
“Unlike the 1960s, which I didn’t experience because I was born in 1970, I experienced the French New Wave, but like someone my own age. I was listening to the radio. In 1986-1987, I was a teenager. Things were going on and I became interested in them. Over time I started research, which gave rise to this book in which I present this human adventure. At the end of the 1970s, it was the decline of hippie ideals and punks too. After ‘No Future’, bands look in the past for what is interesting to add new things to it. There was then a vision of the future. in this generation that has staged itself, I find an explosion of creativity as well as an exchange between different classes”.
In this book Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe starts from an observation: everyone started at the same level. Some have made a career, others have had a break, and there are those who have been forgotten.
“There is enough material to find interesting things in it. The American or English labels stand out from the French artists of this period. At the time the English were not very interested in what was happening in France, today they follow it closely. Other artists, like La Femme, will dig into these pieces. There was a whole cultural emulation and people were forgotten. I also try to talk about women because there have been quite a few female artists”.
The influence of technology
Lio, Daho, Turboust, Indochine, Jacno, Darc… We discover characters in the pages of the book.
I try to present everyone’s vision. It’s subjective on the one hand, but there are also people who tell their memories. There are some who are little known and who have things to tell,
This musical wave also participates in the development of electronic music.
“Synthesizers are becoming affordable in terms of price whereas in the 1970s they cost the price of a luxury car. the evolution of technology has influenced popular music. This New Wave music represents the last generation that looked to England. We were making more European music. The references came out of basic rock’n’roll. For example, the advantage that the city of Rouen had was that people went more easily to London than to Paris to see what was going on musically. It was the last generation that looked to England. In 1988 we changed the paradigm. The Top 50 took over, then rap”.
The book is prefaced by Boris Bergman, lyricist of Bashung, the cover is signed by Serge Clerc, “of whom I am a fan”. Its author hopes to revive the memories of some and create the envy of others: “to make young people want to go and find titles on YouTube”.
The author devotes a passage to Rouen, even if it was not the most New Wave city of the time compared to Rennes. We therefore cross paths with Nurses, Blameless act and Tupelo Soul, Personna non gratta or Gilles Tandy.
Practical information :
L’Armitière, rue Jeanne d’Arc, in Rouen.
French New Wave, modern youth, Fantask edition. Price: 27 euros.
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