Marc Moulin studied economics and political science. But this man from Brussels was also a radio producer, humorist and playwright. And he wrote a weekly column in 'Télé Moustique', the Belgian equivalent of 'Télérama', where he gave proof of his civic conscience.
As a pianist, Marc Moulin formed his first trio in 1961. It is a backing band for expatriated American musicians such as Johnny Griffin and Don Byas.
In 1963 he joined the Alex Scorier Jazz Quintet and subsequently started recording with Philip Catherine.
In the seventies, he accompanied some of the world's biggest soloists during their concerts in Brussels: Slide Hampton, Dexter Gordon, Benny Bailey, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin…
On the album 'I am you', 'Every day is d-day' has the slow menace of a film noir, like a standard from the 40s, from Cole Porter to Gershwin.
'Silver ', on his album 'Entertainment ', is a direct tribute to the piano player Horace Silver. Other musicians he appreciated very much are Jimmy Smith (a soulful organ player) and of
course Miles Davis.
Marc Moulin produced records for his friend, the jazz guitarist Philip Catherine, and for a number of pop artists throughout the seventies and eighties: Lio ('Banana Split' and the album
'Lio'), Alain Chamfort (four albums since '82 - one of them was 'Tendres Fièvres'), and the Sparks (the album 'In Outer Space' from 1983). On top of that, he was also active composing for radio and TV.
In 1969 he formed a jazz group with his friend Philip Catherine, merging jazz, funk and rock. In the early seventies, Marc created the avant-garde jazz-rock collective 'Placebo'. Their influences are jazz but also Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Soft Machine. The project is a kind of 'ratatouille' of musical ideas, featuring all the Belgian 'hipsters' of those days. They experiment with the Moog and the first synthesizers. Between 1971 and 1975, they released three albums that have become legendary. The 'Placebo years 1971-1974' has been reissued by Blue Note in 2006.
This mythical album, first released in 1975, has been reissued by Blue Note in 2005. The lineup is simplified around the trio Marc Moulin (piano and synthesizers)/Richard Rousselet (trumpet)/Bruno Castellucci (drums), after 'too much dissipation with Placebo'. The album is a crossroads of soul, jazz and early electronic music. Moulin sampled sounds of hippos and water, and during the concerts he used pre-recorded Moogs and the very first sequencers. He made funny references to his favourite musical genres: soul ('Le Saule'), boogaloo ('Le Beau Galop'), blues ('La Blouse') and boogie ('La Bougie'). Almost 35 years later, Sam' Suffy is still a cult album, often sampled by many contemporary producers (e.g. Jill Scott, DJ Vadim and Handsome Boy Modelling School).
Founded in 1978 with Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers, this trio is openly disco-pop electro oriented. They will release five albums between 1979 and 1986. Whereas Kraftwerk brings in rigor and modernity, Telex responds with surrealistic, even nonsense humour.
Influenced by the Belgian cartoon school, they imagine bizarre and anonymous press photos (à la Devo or later on also the Residents). Most of their maxi-singles have become cult records, still played by DJs nowadays, and the Detroit techno scene mentions them as one of their main sources of influence. In 1998 and 1999, Crammed releases two remix albums featuring some of the biggest names of electro (Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Maurice Fulton, i:Cube, Juan Atkins, Morgan Geist …). In 2006, Telex have released 'How Do You Dance?' featuring unreleased tracks and did brilliant remixes for Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys. By which the circle is closed!
Marc Moulin was contacted by the famous jazz label in 1999. Freed from all kinds of pressure, he merged all his experience in one single project, mixing jazz, electro and soul, combined with a sophisticated production. Released in 2001, “Top Secret“ and the single “Into the dark“, brought Marc his biggest success and international recognition. This debut album on Blue Note is followed by 'Entertainment' in 2004 and I am you in 2007. The three albums reached gold-status in Belgium.
Apart from music, he had added to his activities to a domain that suited him perfectly, as a weekly editorialist in Télé Moustique magazine. He has also written two plays (“L’ascenseur” and “Le grand voyage” and an essay, “La surenchère (L'horreur médiatique)”, a visionary and pessimistic criticism of media.
In 2009, Blue Note pays tribute to the Belgian keyboardist-composer Marc Moulin (1942 - 2008) and releases the first 'best of' of one of the electro jazz pioneer and lounge star in the years 2000. Also, in limited edition the "Boxof ", a 3 albums anthology including 45 titles, among those 15 unreleased, rare or live tracks. Along side those musical releases, Les Editions Luc Pire will publish “Le Meilloeur des Humoeurs”, a selection of the best Télé Moustique’s editorials.
Bestof (1CD) - Bestof Restof (2CD - Fnac limited edition) - Boxof (3CD)
Le Meilloeur des Humoeurs (book)
Release: 14th September 2009
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