Anonymous [Le Kiosque d’Orphée]

Anonymous 10'' front cover
Anonymous 10'' back cover
Anonymous 10'' side 1

By far the weirdest record in my collection, this Kiosque d’Orphée oddity is both the most amateurish effort ever put to tape and the most sincere and unceremonious way to present the listener with a slice of real life in the countryside. The fact the recordist and performers are uncredited on the cover or elsewhere (such was the rule if you chosed the standard Kiosque d’Orphée LP cover, instead of paying for the optional personalized, printed cover) only adds to the mystery and striking impact of these sounds.

♫ An awkward montage of various recordings gathered during a family meeting, the “music” is a cornucopia of interviews, unaccompanied, solo singing, traditional folk songs and Musette accordion. Close to aural exhibitionism, these sound snapshots were recorded in a rural place in the South of France, presumably, the Pyrénées, in the mid-1960s. In this kind of traditional farm, the pigs and other cattle can freely enter the kitchen where they are treated with old vegetables, rotten apples and food leftovers. Therefore, animal sounds appear almost constantly during the recordings, be it birds, pigs or cocks. The record starts by an interview with the elder grandmother, conducted in Occitan language, followed by casual conversations and various amateur performances. Involuntary technical flaws and errors abound: unwanted editing noises, tape running at the wrong speed, distortion, recorder hum, etc. Needless to say, hi-fi freaks need not apply.

Defying categorization, this puzzling release leaves one with more questions than answers. After all, what are we to do of an uncredited, undated sound document like this one?

01 [Anonymous] Side 1 (11:56)
02 [Anonymous] Side 2 (10:16)

Total time 22:12
10in released by Le Kiosque d’Orphée, France, 1960s


Other Kiosque d’Orphée releases:
Situations Sonores ’76 >
Francisco Semprun & Michel Christodoulidès
Madhya Méditations sur le Seuil >

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3 Responses to “Anonymous [Le Kiosque d’Orphée]”

  1. 1 Lucky October 31, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    continuo – these google ads sucks! i love what you do here (incl. this highly interesting post!), but the ads are a pain for the eyes (luckily i’m able to shut them off with no-script, i just found out!).

  2. 2 continuo October 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    A little ad is not much to pay for a free LP, Lucky.
    Thanks for your comment.
    Hope you’re doing fine.

  3. 3 Lucky October 31, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    continuo – it’s your decision, of course, and i respect that. i still don’t like it ;)

    i’m doing fine – hope you, too. i’m glad ubu is back again!! (but i still can’t see your sidebar…)


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