“Belgian synthpop eminences…” – MOJO
Telex and Mute have announced a new partnership that launches with the release of This is Telex, a brand new 14-track compilation – out on 30 April 2021. This is Telex will be released on limited edition coloured vinyl (shrimp pink and fern green), cassette and CD, with sleeve notes by David Stubbs, as well as digitally and in a limited edition t-shirt bundle.
Watch a new version of the video for ‘Moskow Diskow’ here:
This is Telex features singles from across the Belgian synthpop trio’s career, from their debut single, ‘Twist à Saint Tropez’ in 1978 (coincidentally the year Mute was formed with the release of Daniel Miller’s 7”, The Normal ‘TVOD’ / ‘Warm Leatherette’) through to their final album release, How Do You Dance? in 2006. Tracks on the compilation are newly mixed and remastered from the original tapes by band members Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers, these new mixes often involved subtracting from, rather than adding to, the original multi-track recordings. “We simplify,” explains Lacksman. “We take away, to create something more efficient, more Telex.”
The newly mixed and remastered tracks on the compilation include their best known work, including ‘Moskow Diskow’ and ‘Euro-vision’, alongside two recently discovered and unreleased tracks, their take on The Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence’ and Sonny & Cher’s ‘The Beat Goes On’, as well as their writing collaboration with Sparks and cover of the Sparks hit ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’.
Telex are Marc Moulin (1942- 2008), Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers. The band formed in 1978 in Brussels, just one of a handful of synthpop pioneers at a time when electronic pop was regarded as novelty, with suspicion, as a harbinger for future dystopia and alienation. Telex were concerned about the consequences of new technology for human communication, their name taken, ironically, from a now obsolete piece of communications technology, adding a retro-futurist air to their legend. And it was on their cover versions that they deliberately played up the disparity between the ice-cool electronic approach and the sweaty, fleshy, frenetic passion of pop. Their cover versions – from the Yé-yé of Les Chats Sauvages’ ‘Twist à Saint Tropez’ to the psychedelic soul of ‘Dance to the Music’ (Sly and the Family Stone) from the rock n roll of Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock’ and ‘La Bamba’ to the disco of Sparks’ ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ and beyond – see Telex embrace a wide history of musical genre.
The band famously entered the Eurovision Song Contest, representing Belgium with ‘Euro-vision’. Moers says he regarded their entry as “very Situationist International, the worm in the apple.” and they resolved either to come first or last. They didn’t achieve that goal, but became part of the Eurovision saga. Moers saw Johnny Logan (who went on to win the contest twice for Ireland) and told him, “you’re going to win”, Logan replied “Yeah. But if I win it’s good for me. If you win, it’s good for music.”
Telex announced their retirement in 2008, following Moulin’s death, this new partnership with Mute will see a comprehensive reissue series of the back catalogue, starting with This is Telex. “We’re so glad to have signed with Mute. We couldn’t have done better,” says Moers. “It’s like a dream, fantastic,” adds Lacksman.
This is Telex tracklisting
The Beat Goes On:Off (Unreleased)
Moskow Diskow (New mix)
Twist à Saint-Tropez (New mix)
Euro-vision (New mix)
Dance To The Music (New mix)
Drama Drama (New mix)
Exercise Is Good For You (New mix)
L’Amour Toujours (New mix)
Radio-Radio (New mix)
Rendez-Vous dans L’Espace (New mix)
Beautiful Li(f)e (New mix)
The Number One Song In Heaven (New mix)
La Bamba (New mix)
Dear Prudence (Unreleased)
Pre-order This is Telex: https://mute.ffm.to/is-telex