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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Rob Jo Star Band "Rob Jo Star Band" 1975 France Garage Psych,Proto Punk


Rob Jo Star Band  "Rob Jo Star Band" 1975 France Garage Psych,Proto Punk  
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Interview Exlusive du Rob Jo Star Band 

http://fuzzine.over-blog.com/article-french-underground-interview-exlusive-du-rob-jo-star-band-77316193.html

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This is some great garage rockin/Velvet Underground vibin’, stumblin’ psychedelic rock right here. For fans of Roky Erickson, the Velvet Underground, and their followers like Simply Saucer this is a no brainer and you want to download this right away. In fact Simply Saucer is a great comparison, this Rob Jo Star Band record having come out around the same time(1975) as Simply Saucer’s recordings, and both feelin the VU stylee and playing all around with primitive electronics on top of their garage rockin’ tunes. And those primitive sounds, they just show up all over the place on this record. 
Seemingly with a mind of their own, they interrupt songs whenever they please. Lots of broken english sing along choruses for your pleasure. A longtime French collectors treasure we can now join in the fun…..~


“Very great & unknown French quasi prog/psych hard rocker originally released on the Dom label in 1975. Even amongst the European psychedelic cognoscenti, Rob Jo Star Bands sole lp is somewhat of an enigma. Careening forward & stumbling over 13th Floor Elevators bleeb alien moves, Velvet Underground sustained vibes & Stooges-like guitar fuzz, Rob Joe Star created a singular masterpiece that is truly incomparable to anything released in or around its time (circa 1975). Along with the Angel Face Wild Odyssey lp, one of Frances long obscured musical treasure…..~


Official reissue of one of the weirdest records ever released in France in the early 70s. Stoned psychedelia. Garage punk under the influence of acid. Fantastic sci-fi spaced-out psych with astonishing lysergic fuzz distortions, drenched with crazy electronic noise effects. Though French underground rock in the early 1970s French underground certainly things to offer (mostly headaches and yawns) it was quite unexpected to stumble across a truly good album coming out of that scene. As often with those discoveries, one must thank the bootleg Cosa Nostra for this return from the grave. Beside a few collectors, Rob Jo Star Band managed to stay under the radar all these years. It all started in late 1972, in the Montpellier area in the south of France. Michel-Robert Sahuc aka Mick (bass) and Robert Castello aka Chris (guitar) had been friends since 1970, and after a couple of years in a non-formal band, they decided to move on one step further with new accomplices. In January 1973, they met Alain Poblador aka Penny. He was from Avignon, had been playing electric guitar for 12 years and had spent the 60s in local bands. None ever made a record. With Roger Vidal aka Cedric from Perpignan on drums, the original line-up of the RJSB was soon in place. After doing covers to get their act together, Penny and Mick, with occasional help from Chris, started writing original material in May 1973. Glam rock was happening and Bowie, Lou Reed, and The Velvet Underground were RJSBs muses. "Our musical philosophy was to go back to the roots of psychedelic rock, both soft and trash, simple yet with experimental leanings, finding inspiration in contemporary music, with intellectually-oriented lyrics.” They chose to sing in English, but “in a very French way, as we were not trying to hide our French identity.” In July 1973, they met Serge Soler aka Bryan, a sound and electronic engineer, who soon joined the quartet along with his “wave generators” (home-made prehistoric synths which were incorporated in a mix board). They now thought of themselves as something like The Velvets meets Pierre Henri, “trying to create some kind of a Messe pour un temps présent for outsiders and junkies.” The album came out in 1974 in a limited edition of 1,500 copies. The main influences included: Man Who Sold the World and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, The New York Dolls, MC5 and The Stooges, Damo Suzuki, Agitation Free, Amon Düll II, Neu!, Hawkwind, Van Der Graaf Generator, and King Crimson. ….~


For a few years I have been predicting semi-ironically that French punk would become the next big thing in the United States. I suppose I’ve never really believed that prediction would come true because so many American punks tend to be hide-bound, conservative, and parochial. The common sense has long been—blame Lou Reed—that French punk/rocknroll sucks. Of course, the thing about common sense is that the last thing it needs to aid its ossification and acceptance is evidence. But let’s be clear: whether of the classic 70s punk variety (eg, Gasoline, Metal Urbain, Guilty Razors [Spanish expats living in France]), 80s streetpunk (eg, Reich Orgasm, Kidnap), protopunk/psych/hard rock (eg, Rotomagus, Soggy), or bizarre shit-fi inepto-core (eg, RAPT, Fuck Wave, Nèvrose), there remains much awesome French music to be discovered by those who have yet to dip their toes in the Seine. Yes, it is true that France in the early 80s did not have a hardcore scene comparable to, say, Finland or Italy, but while the punk scene in the U.S. was in its nadir in the early- to mid-90s, France was producing some stellar “garage” punk bands. Moreover, in recent years, a few great bands like Gasmask Terror and Lili Z. and zines like Kängnäve and Ratcharge have emerged from France. And that is just scratching the surface. Also, French archivists have done a stellar job of documenting their music scene. So it would not be impossible for my prediction to become reality. 

Francophilia is far rarer in the States than Francophobia, which is more or less the default stance, and I do not want to endorse the former. But ignorance is ignorance, and the reactionary position of endorsing ignorance, however tacitly, is but a symptom of the lack of control even punks have over their lives. The choice simply isn’t a choice. 

The Rob Jo Star Band LP is not likely to convince any cynics or close-minded types that France has something to offer. Indeed, it is likely to do the opposite because it is so odd. But I doubt many such cynics are reading, so here goes. I have read comparisons to the Stooges and 13th Floor Elevators, but the most obvious influence is the Velvets (ironic, eh, Lou?). As we know, many bands around the globe took that influence (and at least one remarkable band, Index [and here, too], seemingly stumbled across a similar sound and vibe). But no other band, to my knowledge, added the elements that make Rob Jo Star Band stand out: a singer whose French accent is so thick it’s like your ears are filled with melted brie; a mix that is so sparse it’s like the instruments were recorded in the colonies while the singer and synth player were on the Left Bank; and—about that synth, it might give some of the most WTF-inducing Killed by Death classics a run for their money. One apt comparison might be to the Iberian ultra-obscurity Vibración, but Rob Jo Star Band is thinner, less robust, more tentative. 

As Shit-Fi readers are by now aware, I just won’t let drop the question of the 1970s. What is the 1970s? Why did punk emerge in the latter half of the decade and what was its relationship to what came before it, politically and musically? I pose the question not out of antiquarian interest but because I cannot help but think that the crisis of the present, to be provisionally defined as one of the capitalist racial state in a period of world-scale financial expansion, is directly connected to the crisis and transformations that began in that decade. In some sense, we still live in the 1970s, or at least with the 1970s and the unresolved contradictions the 1960s wrought. If punk rock was music that was conditioned by the confluence of events and forces that define the crisis of the 1970s and, in turn, affected the ways multiple levels or aspects of society were opposed and imagined opposable, it strikes me as continually worthwhile to try to understand the how and why of punk. One aspect of this investigation is figuring out what the hell is up with the records that preceded punk but, in retrospect, were reacting to similar influences, broadly construed. Thus, protopunk was not something that existed until punk, but after the experience of punk its contours emerge for the historical imagination. I’m not quite sure that I would label Rob Jo Star Band protopunk, at least as eagerly as I would apply that term to, say, Vertical Slit. It is clear that these too-late-for-the-trend drug-addled hippies—with their tunes “Acid Revolution” and, more enigmatically but presumably on the same tip, “Stone Away” and at times jaunty mood (check the photos on the back of the LP), rather than the deep melancholia of Vertical Slit—were not on punk rock’s wave-length. (The LP’s homemade, provisional, unprofessional aesthetic on the sleeve and in the sound, however, are clearly presaging punk.) You can tell that not all was right, and these dudes were attempting to escape their present, both sonically and, uh, medicinally, but it is impossible to imagine this record having emerged much before, or after, its release date of 1975. Characterizing that imaginative impossibility is, in essence, the task of answering the question of the 1970s …..~.


Mid-70s Parisian proto-punk, spit out in churlish English amidst acres of fuzz and indiscriminate pulsars. This shit is wrong in so many perfect ways. Or as my pal Nick describes it: “Like an incoherent, uber-primitive Velvets or Simply Saucer collaborating with Pierre Henry – what with all the freaky synth doodlings and such.” …~


Ultra obscure, freaky French ‘70s underground psychedelic proto punk reissued, oui!! Crazy how there’s still stuff like this out there ready to be (re)discovered. The Rob Jo Star band originally put this out in 1975, probably under the influence of the Velvets and the Stooges, kinda like cult Canadian contemporaries Simply Saucer. Like SS, the Rob Jo Star Band packs these tracks with all kinds of ridiculous synth blurt, electronics swooshing and bleeping and farting all throughout this album, other key elements of which include jangling distorted guitars and heavily accented vocals… Pretty darn cool if you ask us! There’s moments that sound like a French version of The Cramps, inside a spaceship; others where the singer gets kinda Damo, and basically it’s a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) dose of throbbing fuzz, chugging rock n’ roll rhythms, handclaps, wild vox, with song titles like “Acid Revolution” and “Blood Flower”. File with the likes of Soggy, Angel Face, and Metal Urbain… (aquariusrecords)…~





Members 
Michel-Robert “Mick” Sahuc (bass, songwriter), Robert “Chris” Castello (guitar, 1972-74), Serge “Solerm” Soler [aka Brian] (noise generator, keyboards, effects, electronics, 1973-76, 2012-15), Alain “Penny” Poblador (vocals, guitar, 1973-76), Roger “Cédric” Vidal (drums, backing vocals, 1973-76), Antoine “Tonio” Pelle (vocals, guitar, 2012-present), Arnaud “Arno” Touillier (drums, 2012-16), Laurie Agnel (keyboards, programming, 2015-present)








Tracklist 
I Call On One’s Muse
Rob Jo Star Band
Lovings Machine
Not The Crazy Man
Story Dangerous
Acid Revolution
Black Sun
Blood Flower
Stone Away 

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