Cortex ‘Souvenir/souvenirs’

Cortex 'Souvenir/souvenirs' cassette coverAlain Neffe (click to reveal Nadine Bal/Benedict G.)Cortex 'Souvenir/souvenirs' cassetteCortex 'Souvenir/souvenirs' tracklist

01 Cortex E (1:58)
02 Cortex F (1:13)
03 Cortex G (2:17)
04 Cortex H (2:06)
05 Cortex I (3:26)
06 Cortex J (1:34)
07 Cortex K (0:38)
08 Cortex L (4:37)
09 Cortex M (2:21)
10 Cortex N (1:35)
11 [unidentified] (1:03)
12 Cortex O (23:40)

Isabelle Y. (#E, G, I, J, N)
Mirella B. (#F, M, O)
Nadine B. (#H, K)
Tina S. (#L)

Total time 46:10
Recorded 1978 -1982
Cassette released by Insane Music, Trazegnies, Belgium, 1984

Cortex was Alain Neffe’s musical project before he started Bene Gesserit in 1982, his duo with partner Nadine Bal aka Benedict G. In 1981-82, the latter was then manager for Belgian New Wave band Digital Dance. Cortex was active between 1978 and 1982, their music focusing on electronic ambient tonalities and female poetry reading (in French), with tracks merely numbered by their respective letters – so presumably the entire Cortex output amounts to 26 tracks. Cortex A, B and C appeared on Insane Music For Insane People #01, 1981. Other tracks appeared on other compilations on Insane or elsewhere. ‘Souvenir/souvenirs’ is probably Cortex’s only full length release. The Belgian label Grafika Airlines published this tape as a joint release with Insane Music in 1984. My copy is the undated, Insane Music issue. Music-wise: The unsettling, metaphysical synth washes make one feel uneasy with their menacing tonalities, not unlike the 1972 Solaris soundtrack by Edward Artemiev. The readers are very young women just out of teenagehood. Their poetry deals with day-to-day concerns of late night cafés, neon lights, jukeboxes, the difficulty to find one’s place in society, lost love and lack thereof.


8 Responses to “Cortex ‘Souvenir/souvenirs’”

  1. 1 Scott September 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks, this looks good. Bene’s awesome.

  2. 2 continuo September 30, 2009 at 1:04 am

    She sure is and these are possibly her earliest recordings ever (1982). Thanks for your comment, Scott.

  3. 3 tristan.koreya September 30, 2009 at 1:57 am

    thank you, i was looking for this for a while…

  4. 4 continuo September 30, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Hi, Tristan. Happy to help.

  5. 5 D October 11, 2011 at 5:07 am

    thankyou thankyou thankyou…! I’ve been kicking myself for nearly 30 years for not buying this tape. Cortex were my favorite entry in all the IMFIP anthologies. According to Mr Neffe, the masters for Souvenir and the M.A.L. cass were lost. [d]

  6. 6 continuo October 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Lost master tapes are more and more common, these days. A reminder that music can disappear, eventually.

  7. 7 D December 31, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Lost or not, it appears as of now that Mr Neffe has issued what is perhaps the entire Cortex output on a double-CD (limited to 300 copies). In the off-chance you hadn’t heard, I hope you don’t mind me posting a heads-up:

  8. 8 continuo December 31, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Proper cassette reissues are always good news.

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