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Ben Osborne and Jean-Jaques Birgé

Mar 17th 2017 @ Red Gallery

London, United Kingdom
I Was There
Friday, March 17th, 2017
7:00 PM
Red Gallery
London, United Kingdom
French Touch Exhibition will now run from 16 March to 8 April 2017 with l,aunch party in Friday 17 March
In view of the large amount of interest being shown in this exhibition, The Red Gallery has decided to expand the space and running time it had allocated to our exhibition. To accommodate this the Gallery has decided to re-schedule the party and exhibition to the earliest possible dates next year and the exhibition will now run from 16 March with a programme of clubs, live music events, talks ands film showings being held over four weekends during the exhibition period. We apologies for any inconvenience this causes and hope people planning to come in September will be able to attend the new dates. All tickets purchased will be valid for the new dates and full refunds will be given if preferred.
Fridya 17 March (TICKETS ON SALE NOW)
Red Gallery and Noise of Art present French Touch Exhibition launch party
Jack de Marseilles
Jean-Jaques Birgé (tbc)
Ben Osborne (WeWantSounds, Paris/ London) presents Disco2 & Feeling Good
plus a panel discussion hosted by Professor Martin James
To celebrate their exhibition of photographs, film and artwork documenting the story of French electronic music, Red Gallery and Noise of Art are inviting some of the pioneers of French electronic music to play the opening party.
One of the most important DJs in the history of French clubbing, Jack de Marseilles was responsible for bringing house music to the South of France. A celebrated and creative DJ, he has continuously pioneered new sounds and plays across the globe. This is a relatively rare London appearance by Jack and the first time he’s played here since his 2011 gig at Fabric.
Jean-Jaques Birgé started making electronic music when he was only 13-years-old in 1965. A true pioneer of electronic music, he started out making his own instruments and still performs regularly in France. His appearance is still being confirmed, but if all goes to plan, this will be a rare chance to see him in London.
As well as curating the exhibition, Ben Osborne is part of the Paris and London based WeWantSounds collective. He’ll be spinning tracks from their Disco 2 and Feeling Good compilations.
Music and media academic, Professor Martin James, who as a journalist coined the term “French Touch” in the mid Nineties, will lead a panel discussion on French electronic music.
The launch party celebrates the exhibition running from mid March to mid April. More is to be announced and there are details on the exhibition below
See you at the launch party,
Here's some information on the Exhibition
Thursday 16 March - Sunday 8 Aporil
French Touch - Voyage Dans Le Paysage Électronique Français
An Exhibition of images and artwork from the story of French electronic music

Red Gallery
1-3 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DT

Red Gallery and Noise of Art’s Ben Osborne are teaming up to present their first exhibition of photographs, film and artwork documenting the story of French electronic music from the start of the 20th century to the present day.

The exhibition features contributions from members of the public, as well as DJs, artists, photographers and key figures in the story of French electronic music - including Laurent Garnier, Jack de Marseilles, Black Devil Disco Club, Gilb’r, Antinote Records, Jayhem (Kojack), Chateau Perché, Piere Henry, Jean-Jaques Bergé, Noise of Art and more.

Documenting the culture that surrounds the music, and the moments captured on camera that wouldn’t have happened without the music, it also features some of the characters that shaped the lifestyle associated with music and clubbing - including such flamboyant figures as Leonor Fini.

France and the story of electronic music:
France’s electronic music heritage goes back at least to the inter war electronic experimentation of Martenot, Russolo and Varese (the forefather of American electronic music). Luigi Russolo had performed in Paris in 1914, where his music had been more warmly received than in his native Milan. After being injured out of the First World War, he returned there to develop his new form of music amongst Paris’ avant-garde artistic community. Here he started soundtracking silent movies with his self made instruments, which he tried to sell into Hollywood. His efforts were overtaken by the arrival of the talkies, but his influence lived on. His last concert was commissioned by a Varese, the Parisian born electronic composer who resettled in New York and is now considered the father of North American electronic music.

But perhaps France’s most globally significant early electronic music period was in the post-war musique concrete era - pioneered by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry. 

Musique Concrete made use of new technology, such as magnetic tape, that had been developed during World War II, and grew out of an inter war notion that music of the future would be made specifically for being played on the radio. Indeed Schaeffer developed his ideas at Studio d’Essai de la Radiodiffusion Nationale - which had been the centre for the Resistance in French radio and was responsible for the first radio broadcasts in liberated Paris, in Augst 1944. 

Although other places followed (notably in Japan, Italy and the USA), Musique Concrete established Paris as the global centre of tape music. In fact, it was in Paris that Germany’s most famous electronic pioneer, Stockhausen, became a disciple of Schaeffer and Henry.

You only have to consider Stockhausen’s link to Can and Kraftwerk, and Kraftwerk’s influence on Afrika Bambaataa, Arthur Baker and Juan Atkins, to connect the genesis of today’s electronic club music to Paris.

French electronic music influenced a generation of tape loop artists across the globe in the 1960s - with Jean Jaques Perry, The Beatles, the San Francisco Tape Music centre, White Noise and Radiophonic workshop using Musique Concrete techniques to bring electronic music into the mainstream.

French electronic music took different paths in the 1970s,  as musicians experimented in sub genres such the music of the conservatoire, epitomised by IRCOM, the space disco of Space, Ceronne and Black Devil Disco Club, the experimental art-pop of people such as Bernard Sjezner, or the more prog influenced pop of Jean Michelle Jarre.

When acid house and techno first exploded in the late Eighties, some of the biggest names on the European scene were French. Laurent Garnier, one of  the leading early acid house and techno DJs, was playing The Hacienda and Manchester raves from the beginning. And DJs such as Gilbr and Jack de Marseilles introduced the new music to French radio and clubs.

By the early Nineties this vanguard of DJs, producers and ravers had created a scene that nurtured some of the biggest electronic music acts in the world. French DJ culture came into it’s own. Often fusing France’s traditions in hip hop, disco and African music with electronic music, independent labels such as F Com, Versatile, Yellow Productions, and majors such as Virgin and Barclay,  shone a light on a new school of producers. Artists such as Daft Punk, Chris the French Kiss/ Bob Sinclar, Cassius, Etienne de Crecy, Daft Punk, Air, David Guetta, Justice, Sebastian and many more, became global stars..

Curated by Ben Osborne (Noise of Art) and The Red Gallery, this exhibition will for the first time collect together photographs, artwork, documents and films that surround the story of France’s electronic music.