Repped, B-cuz it B so speshul, aqui. (Also, I was bragging about the circumstances under which I'd found it to some friends at dinner after the NY Art Book Fair this weekend.)
Listen to "Quai No. 3"
Listen to "Perfect Stranger"
[Originally posted August 5, 2012.] This album, Arthur H's first, is 23 years old. Imagine! We've been deprived of this unimpeachably sublime record for more than two decades. Why? We don't need to hear the damned Buena Vista Social Club every time we order an Americano, do we? I love Monk and Mingus as much as anyone, but, really, is that all you can play in your used bookstore, Mr. Used Bookstore Owner?
Please let's do everyone around us a favor and, instead of just grabbing this delicious CD and grooving to it at home while reading Natsuo Kirino's Out or whatever, let's all take the extra few minutes to transfer the thing to a flash drive and share it with the awesome people who run the cafes and bookstores in our neighborhoods. Yes?
Arthur H, born in Paris in 1966, spent much of the 1980s traveling around the West Indies and studying music in Boston before returning to France where he began to perform live in 1988. Clearly influenced by Serge Gainsbourg and Tom Waits, his style is instantly recognizable and, ultimately, all his own.
It's unfathomable to me that he's little known outside of France. I'm guessing many of you will feel the same, as at least a couple of you asked to hear more of his music a few weeks ago when I posted this.
As is clear from the scan above, this copy was previously held by the library of the Alliance Francaise; I picked it up at Bastille Day on 60th Street for a mere 25 cents.
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.