Parisian imprint Because Music is a musical meeting place for artists from all over the world, and their independent and collaborative spirit looms large across an impressive back catalogue that also incorporates Ed Banger Records and Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound imprint.
Over the years, they’ve brought together Mali’s Amadou & Mariam with Spanish-French singer Manu Chao, and French chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg with Kiwi Connan Mockasin, plus put out awesome, electro-tinged indie from Brit bands Metronomy and Django Django.
We’ve highlighted our pick of the roster and delved deeper into their back catalogue below.
Our favourite artists
Metronomy’s line-up may have changed three times in as many albums, but we’ve always been able to rely on them for stupendous, electro-influenced indie. Following 2006’s Pip Paine…, founding member Joe Mount recruited Oscar Cash and Gabriel Stebbing for the superb Nights Out, “a concept album about going out and having a crap time.” Stebbing was subsequently swapped for Gbenga Adelekan and Anna Prior, and three years on the quartet unveiled the New Wave-referencing, concept album, The English Riviera. It bagged the band an utterly-deserved Mercury Prize nomination and now the world can only wait (impatiently) to hear where they go next.
Though Connan Mockasin claims to come from Te Awanga, New Zealand, we have our suspicions he hatched on another planet entirely. On last effort, Forever Dolphin Love, he bewitched listeners with his own unique brand of hallucinogenic alt-rock, coloured by jazz licks, languid brass, helium-pitched vocals and a deeply peculiar vernacular (“It’s Choade My Dear”, anyone?!). Fortunately, the language barrier didn’t bother Charlotte Gainsbourg: she invited him to collaborate on ‘Out Of Touch’, for her latest album, Stage Whisper.
Amadou & Mariam
With the universally-acclaimed Welcome To Mali, Amadou & Mariam proved to the world that West-African blues-rock was no niche curiosity. The Mali-born married couple returned in April 2012 with a brand new album. Folila featured collaborations with Santigold, Jake Shears and members of TV On The Radio, and we’ve been enjoying its ngoni-flecked, sun-drenched, good vibes ever since...
The best of 2012
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- Django Django
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- by Django Django
When we asked Django Django to sum up their sound, the best they could muster was, “Tramp-rock mixed with booze, broads and barbershop.” Honestly lads, what about the 8-bit synth-shuffle of ‘Zumm Zumm’? Or the electro-tinged souk-rock of ‘Skies Over Cairo’? And what about ‘Life’s A Beach’, which sounds like some wonderful, jangle-laden hybrid of The Beta Band and Franz Ferdinand?! Still, with songs this strong who needs shameless self-promotion?
Back catalogue sale