Party music from Belgium

Been listening to the Lio track below for the better part of the week. It’s similar in structure to “C’est bon pour le moral” (see Rita Cadillac post).


“Sage comme une image” (1980) by Lio

The title translates literally as “good as a picture” (as in “pretty as a picture”). I showed the clip to my kids but they thought it was awfully slow and old-fashioned. Evident is the 1980s fascination with the 1950s (record player, polka dots skirt, etc…) which ruled popular fashion at that time (the Gaultier era). The record is a good introduction to the work of francophone Belgian producer, musician and radio personality Marc Moulin, whose early work with Telex is still influential to the electroclash scene; the track below, “Moscow Diskow”, being a staple for DJs Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy on the dance floors of late 1980s Chicago clubs that were instrumental in the development of Chicago house music, and house music as such. What is to be appreciated is that Telex had a great sense of humor – for example – one of their compositions was called “Temporary Chicken,” which invariably makes me smile when I think of it.

To this day, “Moskow Diskow” remains of one of my favorite records to dance to, I pronounce it wmc #30. And yes, all this is Belgian.


“Moscow Diskow” (1979) Telex

8 thoughts on “Party music from Belgium

  1. jahsonic


    I like your blog atopia too, very enigmatic. Moreover, I like any blog or thing that starts with an “a”, it indicates a lack, which I like. One of my favorite current words is atypical.

    Por tu informacion, hablo espanol.


  2. lichanos

    If the singer weren’t so pretty, how could you bear to watch this video? I can see dancing the night away to it, but I can’t fathom thinking about it for more than a minute or two…

    Cranky though this may be, it seems that this is a good argument against the “material culture” crowd, i.e., is it really worth studying this stuff? Shouldn’t we just consume it and forget about it?

  3. jahsonic

    … is it really worth studying this stuff? ….

    It sure is. History is a process and I get the feeling that it is a constant revisionism.

    History is all that we would rather remember than forget.

    The fluff tells us often more about history than the “real art”.


  4. lichanos

    Well, studying fluff certainly tells us something, but as with information in general, since we have a limited waking time on earth, one must decide how to allocate one’s attention. I’m not sure why this stuff-fluff is more worthy of my attention than other “weightier” topics.

    Note: I am NOT condemning this material or those who enjoy it – I found it hard to get the tune and the face out of my head!

    History is all that we would rather remember than forget.

    We can’t remember everything (or we will end up like Borge’s Funes the Memorious) so we must choose. I wouldn’t argue that we should focus only on “real art” either. As that loveable reactionary Winston Churchill commented, “Culture is the glittering scum that floats on the deep river of production.”

  5. jahsonic

    I’m glad you liked the girl and the tune.

    My position on all of this – like yours – is double. I like to think that I dedicate myself to the fluff that is worth saving for posteriority, but of course this is just a personal opinion. In the case of the clip shown, the music was by Marc Moulin, one of my musical heroes.

    Note: Let each man create his own canon and be the librarian of his multiverse.

  6. lichanos

    Years ago, the critics of mass culture warned darkly that in time, all local cultural differences would be obliterated under the wave of international kitsch, so I am always intrigued by how much difference there is even today. This Lio – totally new to me. An entirely new world of pop culture to explore, if I choose to spend my time that way. I don’t think this music has an equivalent in the USA.

    I asked a Dutch woman I work with if she knew of her, and she responded, “Oh yes, I recall a boyish looking girl who danced a lot and sang catchy tunes in French…” Boyish? Is there a minimum bust to be considered feminine?

    Then I showed it to my wife whose bored first response was, “At first glance, I thought it was a guy in drag…”

    Am I missing something?

  7. jahsonic

    …I don’t think this music has an equivalent in the USA…

    There has been no attention given to European popular music at all.

    Try Googling for:

    “European popular music”, only 2,430 found at Google,
    “American popular music”” about 243,000 for “American popular music”

    The same story for film, it almost seems that in the post-war era, popular equals American.

    …Am I missing something?

    She looks very girlish to me!

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