Telex have announced details a vinyl box set, collating the long awaited remastered reissues of their six studio albums, Looking for Saint-Tropez (1979), Neurovision (1980), Sex (1981), Wonderful World (1984), Looney Tunes (1988) and How Do You Dance? (2006).
Remastered and newly mixed from the original tapes by Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers, Telex will be available as a limited edition vinyl and CD box set, and digitally on Mute on 3 March 2023.
The vinyl Telex box set is released by Mute, and includes a 12-page booklet and audio download code. Pre-order: https://mute.ffm.to/telex_boxset
The Belgian synthpop trio – Marc Moulin (1942- 2008), Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers – launched in Brussels in 1978 and, as one of only a handful of synthpop pioneers at the time, helped bring electronic pop to the mainstream.
Telex skillfully used cover versions to deliberately play up the disparity between their ice-cool electronic approach and the sweaty, fleshy, frenetic passion of pop, demonstrated here on the opening track for a new EP to launch the box set. Their take of Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’ from the debut album, in which, so to speak, all of the rock is removed leaving nothing but the clock; a ticking, vocoderised, supremely deadpan robot parody of the original saw the band appear on Top of the Pops in 1979. “Buster Keaton was our idol,” explains Moers, and it shows.
Listen to EP1 HERE
TELEX EP 1 TRACKLISTING
‘Rock Around The Clock’ (from Looking for Saint-Tropez)
‘Réalité’ (from Neurovision)
‘Sigmund Freud’s Party’ (from Sex)
‘Wonderful World’ (from Wonderful World)
‘Peanuts’ (from Looney Tunes)
‘How Do You Dance?’ (from How Do You Dance?
The follow up, Neurovision, includes the track ‘Euro-vision’ which was famously entered into the Eurovision Song Contest, representing Belgium. 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.
For 1981’s Sex, the trio teamed up with Sparks, a match made in heaven given both band’s determination to make electronic pop music suffused with conceptual wit. They got along tremendously, Ron & Russell Mael staying on in Brussels far longer than they’d originally intended, and Sparks contributed lyrics for the entire album.
Wonderful World followed in 1984, and the title track included here on the EP shows a band continuing to push a state-of-the art sound. 1988’s Looney Tunes, featuring the Dadaist cut-up “rap” of ‘Peanuts’, resulted in Motown among those vying to sign them. “It would have been great to have been the second white band on Tamla Motown. Iron Butterfly were the first.”, says Lacksman. That wasn’t to be, though, and the band instead worked on projects outside of Telex until 2006’s How Do You Dance?, an album that proves that Telex remained not only true to themselves but had grown with the new developments in musical software
Telex announced their retirement in 2008, following Moulin’s death, and in 2021 began a new partnership with Mute beginning with the release of This Is Telex, featuring two unreleased tracks. Listen to the album here.
LOOKING FOR SAINT-TROPEZ (1979) – red vinyl
Café De La Jungle
Ça Plane Pour Moi
Some Day / Un Jour
Something To Say
Rock Around The Clock
Victime De La Societe
Twist À Saint-Tropez
NEUROVISION (1980) – white vinyl
En Route Vers De Nouvelles Aventures
Tour De France
We Are All Getting Old
Plus De Distance (More Than Distance)
Dance To The Music
SEX – lyrics by Sparks – orange vinyl
Haven’t We Met Somewhere Before
The Man With The Answer
Exercise Is Good For You
Sigmund Freud’s Party
WONDERFUL WORLD – blue vinyl
Raised By Snakes
It Could Happen To You
Tell Me It’s A Dream
LOONEY TUNES – yellow vinyl
I Don’t Like Music
I Want Your Brain
Happy End (I Wanna)
Rendez-Vous Dans L’espace
HOW DO YOU DANCE? – green vinyl
On The Road Again
How Do You Dance?
This Is Your Song
The Number One Song In Heaven
J’aime La Vie