Kikie Spotlight & François Banholzer ‘A trip to heave and ho, up, down, to and fro’

01 Norwik An Zee (4:49)
02 Nombrilic Trip (2:45)
03 The Sound Resounds (2:49)
04 Hole In A Wall (3:10)
05 May, Friday, 22nd (2:39)
06 Distorted View (3:21)
07 Gingerbread Man (1:33)
08 The Night After (5:07)
09 The Day After (1:58)
10 Eyes Of God (4:35)
11 Bubbleland (4:06)
12 Standing In The Milky Way (1:30)
13 Minds Shut Together (4:41)
14 A Fleeting Moment (2:55)
15 N°2 Is Watching You (6:30)
16 Eteless (3:22)

Total time: 55:40
Self released cassette in special silkscreened pouch, 1987

Originally from the same geographical area as Illusion Production (Caen and Saint-Lô in France’s Normandy), Francois Banholzer, b.1966 [+], published several cassettes during the 1980s, possibly inspired by his friendship with the D.D.A.A. crew. A member of local bands The Long Dream, Les Enfants Terribles and Septembre Noir during the 1980s, Banholzer later worked with contemporary artists (on Thierry Weyd’s Editions Cactus, 1993-94) and became a ukulele player now in the Koenig’ Sisters, as well as in Tukedomoon (!), an ukulele duo touring jazz festivals in 2008.

‘A trip to heave and ho, up, down, to and fro’ is Banholzer’s 2nd cassette and comes in a special linen pouch, painstakingly sewed by his own mother, with silkscreened title and drawing. Kikie Spotlight (real name Christine Lapouze) was the bass player in Septembre Noir, and later cellist in Les Elles. As far as I can tell, she plays bass and contributes vocals and some instruments here and there (possibly trumpet), while Banholzer is playing most instruments including guitar & bass, saxophone, keyboards and vocals. His guitar parts are exceptionally clear, sounding poetic and dreamy and not amateurish in any way. The songwriting (in english and french, with a few instrumentals) is well balanced between keyboards, guitars, vocals and complimentary instruments. The atmosphere is mostly melancholic and sad, recalling Tuxedomoon on several occasions, like tr.#8 ‘The Night After’ whose bass line comes from ‘Seeding The Clouds’. In addition to being highly surrealistic as a whole, ‘A trip to heave and ho…’ holds several allusions to Syd Barrett’s songs. For instance, the cassette title is the opening line of ‘Octopus’ ;‘Gingerbread Man’ is included in ‘Bike’ while ‘The Sound Resounds’ is a line from ‘Astronomy Domine’. Similarly, the track called ‘Minds Shut Together’ is an hommage to Marguerite Duras’ film ‘India Song’, a Banholzer’s favorite.

In my personal Walhalla this tape ranks as high as the Deux Pingouins cassette and the Bernard C. LP, three of the greatest achievements in french underground avantgarde songwriting, and should be known to people with an interest in Illusion Production or Sebastian Gandera, not to mention Tuxedomoon and Pink Floyd. The sound quality and production are amazing for a self release, resulting in a resplendent collection of mp3s. (Thanks to François himself for his help writing this post.)

1986 ‘Suppléments au silence’, self released cassette
1987 ‘A trip to heave and ho, up, down, to and fro’, self released cassette
1989 ‘Onion and daydream love’, self released cassette
1993 ‘Les après-midi d’Albion’ on compilation CD, Editions Cactus [+]
1994 Soundtrack to Thierry Weyd’s ‘Les planètes’ CD, Editions Cactus
2006-2008 Member of Koenig’Sisters [+]


4 Responses to “Kikie Spotlight & François Banholzer ‘A trip to heave and ho, up, down, to and fro’”

  1. 1 Soundslike1981 August 1, 2008 at 9:43 am

    This is precisely the period and sounds like the sort of thing about which I know next to nothing, so I’m looking forward to giving this a listen. Thanks!

  2. 2 François Banholzer August 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Many thanks to Continuo for this wonderful review. I’m always amazed when having knowledge of people concerned by these recordings, tough they were made 21 years ago now !!!
    BTW, it’s great to download your own music and listen at it a long time after it was made (for some reasons, I’ve not been able to keep much tracks from this period).

    I would also like to mention Fabrice Janicaud and Patrick Kollender who, acting as producers and friends, made the whole thing possible.

    Thanks again to Continuo, don’t know if I really deserve standing in his Walhalla, but really appreciate corresponding and this astounding weblog.

  3. 3 Alex August 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  4. 4 continuo August 14, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for visiting, Alex. Hope you’ll enjoy subscribing to the Continuo feed.

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