mercoledì 18 febbraio 2009

Little Nemo Re-releases

Out now on Infrastition 2 double cd compilations of this great french cold wave / dark pop band.

Little Nemo - Vol. 1 1987-1989

This 2CD set is presented in a 3 panels digisleeve with 6 page poster-booklet.

This first volume offers you to get this complete first period with for the first time on CD the “Past and future” tape.

Little Nemo - Vol. 2 1990-1992

This 2CD set is presented in a 3 panels digisleeve with 6 page

This second opus of the Little Nemo adventures starts with their second album “Turquoise fields” released on Lively Art in 1990, backed with the “Cadavre Exquis (Howard Song)” Touching Pop summit, plus bonus and continues with their last album “The world is flat” followed by maxis “Bio-logic” kind of first electro approach, and “Au milieu du ciel” great pop act.

Orders at Mannequin Mailorder:

Here's their official biography:

1983-1986 : THE BLUE YEARS

Little Nemo was born in 1983 as the result of the musical encounter between Olivier Champeau and Vincent Gallo in the Paris area. The name stems from Windsor McCay's comic strip, dating back to the early 20th century and telling the oniric adventures of a little boy during his sleep. That sets the tone for the many arty references in the group's history. The duet asserts this psychedelic ascent while quoting Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd as their influence. Their music mixing keyboards (mainly Olivier), a drum machine and guitar/bass by Vincent is influenced by the new wave of Cure and Joy Division, as well as by the French groups Taxi Girl and Marquis de Sade.

Vincent then moves to Lyons for his studies. There, he meets Nicolas aka Bill. He starts with him and two others students another band, Stain of Sin. This post-punk combo includes guitar (Vincent), bass (Bill), the two others taking in charge drums (Philippe) and vocals (another Olivier). The poppier song of Stain of Sin, " The fall ", will be covered by Little Nemo in 1990.


In 1986 they release the 7 song tape Froide as a very confidential edition. In 1987 they release 500 units of an auto-produced 10 title tape Past and Future (republished in 1990).

The tape is meant to be conceptual. It features on the " Past " side a song about the passing of time (A day out of time), the sung adaptation of the poem by Baudelaire " A une passante (To a passerby) ", " Empty House " the story of a haunted house in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, " Old Age " about the loneliness of old age and ends with a waltzing version of " La Balade des Pendus (the dance of the hanged) " from Villon. All this reminds of the 19th century. The " Future " side begins with " Seconds ", referring to the clock counting down to the year 2000 set up at the Beaubourg Center in Paris. The time theme comes up again on " Counter-Clock World " (the pendulums start turning back), followed by a song about the TV series of the 60's " The Prisoner ", " Be Seeing You " with an organ sound reminding of the Stranglers. It ends with " Future is now " and is artificially linked by the character of Alan who appears in several songs.

Musically, this tape features addictive songs and already defines the trademarks of each musician, the most synthetic and energetic titles for Olivier, Vincent revealing his taste for ternary rhythms, the piano and cursed French poets. Little Nemo already shows a marked personality.


Little Nemo becomes a trio with the arrival of bass player and former Stain of Sin member, Bill (the two others choosing the anglophile pseudonyms of Vince and Holyvier!). In 1988 the Presage label releases a mini-LP, Private Life, illustrated by a splendid photograph of Eric Mulet, photographer from Les Inrockuptibles. The monochrome cover with a tree and its reflection in the water reflects the feeling of nostalgia and the romanticism of the six titles. The songs recorded in studio are very pop with addictive refrains, the singing divided between Olivier and Vincent according to the titles is more self-assured.

The Blue years gives the tone of this mini-LP for which " A day out of time " was re-recorded. The theme of the passing of time is taken on again on " A handful of sand " while " My eternal Friend " and " Precious Days " continue majestically in this nostalgic vein. This record is distributed by New Rose, the Parisian independent label founded by Patrick Mathé and Louis Thévenon. It takes advantage of the support of Ouï FM, an independent Parisian radio, specializing in indie music of the time. " The Blue Years " and " My eternal friend " will be played regularly.

The french rock magazine Best, where the independant new wave scene is taken in charge by Emmanuelle DEBAUSSART, Myriam LEON and others , also contributes to make the band known by its articles.


Louis Thévenon decides to create within New Rose a label specialized in new wave, LivelyArt (of which the name is like that of the mother label taken from a song from the Damned). The decision is very arty (it is the catalogue reference for the releases of the label) and in the beginning, the covers of the vinyls are printed on inside out paperboard, i.e. the outside of the cover has a raspy grain and the smooth face is inside. This label will release a compilation of And Also the Trees to set the tone but also other French groups having affinities with Little Nemo. Asylum Party and Mary Goes Round also function on the basis of duet, a structure of guitar/bass/synthetizer/rythm box and play at that time a melancholic and melodic new wave with assumed and digested influences.

This music takes advantage of the mainstream explosion of The Cure, which will see the courts of highschools filling with " crows ". Simultaneously, at the time, the French alternative rock'n'roll is in full bloom with Bérurier Noir and Boucherie Productions and the rock'n'roll press writes a lot about these punks groups singing in French. Little Nemo and their fellow label members, through their musical references and their choice of English as main language are in the margin of this indie movement.

The idea to give a label to this music to facilitate its mediatization is born in a fortuitous way. The synthesis of the melancholic new wave side and the melodies will lead to the term of TOUCHING POP, which is taken over by the rock'n'roll press (Best, Rock' N Folk, Inrockuptibles) and of course the fanzines which flourish. This name, which will appear in the long run as a yoke has at least the advantage of helping these three groups to make themselves known.


A full length album is recorded in Belgium with Luc Tytgat, producer of the Belgian groups The Neon Judgement and Siglo XX and of the French group Kat Onoma. Here again, the references of Little Nemo led them to choose to record abroad. In response to Private Life, turned towards nostalgia and its melancholic pop songs, Sounds in the attic introduces more diversity and energy in the universe of Little Nemo.

The opening title, " New Flood " and its devastating bass in the Sisters of Mercy'style is an indication of this change of tone. Other titles more rock'n'roll like " Sandcastle " distillate all over this album the energy, which cohabits harmoniously with the psychedelic " Fear in Color " and " The Joker " (a hit on Ouï FM) and the works of Vincent, " La Passante (the Passerby) " from Baudelaire rerecorded as well as a splendid song with the piano inspired by the book Johnny Got His Gun about the horrors of the war. Vincent also delivers his first French text, " Marine ", confirming the bilingualism of the group (at the time groups being able to allow themselves to sing in French without sounding ridiculous were very few). The album closes on " Tales of the Wind ", a long title mixing arpeggios and a catchy chorus. Little Nemo successfully passes the test of the long format.

A video clip is filmed to promote New flood. It describes the adventures of a clone of the young Little Nemo followed by a clown in a striped costume beating on a drum the relentless rhythm of the song. A photograph of this clown illustrates the single New Flood, which features on its B-Side a waltz in French by Vincent, " Berlin ". It is also time to promote this album though a concert tour. The trio performs on stage with a drum machine and is not yet familiar with this exercise. Several concerts with their Touching Pop fellow bands are organized. A super group going by the name of Teepee (the initials of touching pop) is created and the song " Tribes are meeting ", cowritten by Olivier and Thierry Sobezyk from Asylum Party is played at the end of the concert. A project of a maxi is considered but will fail to materialize.

In the autumn the maxi City Lights is released, revealing a new face of Little Nemo. The title piece of synthetic industrial inspiration is the work of Olivier. It is accompanied on the maxi by a re-recorded version of " Old Age " at the piano. " City lights " appears again on the compilation 13 from the Lively Art label, with the famous " Tribes are meeting " by Teepee.


In 1990 the album Turquoise Fields is preceded by the very pop single " You again ", for which a clip is filmed. Its recording is divided between Belgium with Luc Tytgat and France at the Val d'Orge studio with Jean Taxis. This new album reveals a group with an even more varied register and harmoniously mixing the contributions from everyone. Thus, it opens with " Turquoise Fields ", a true "cadavre exquis" since the piece is introduced by the organ of fun fair, followed by a noisier and more distressing tune before ending with a folk song, to some extent a concentrate of the studio recording of Ummagumma by Pink Floyd in only one song! Then, " L'Heure d'hiver " confirms the ease of Little Nemo for songs in French as well as " Cadavres Exquis ", whose singing is shared by the three boys. The remainder of the album mingles the instrumental titles " Promise of Storm " and " Quiet Fluid Roses " with more frankly rock'n'roll titles such as " Electric Jive ", a profession of faith for Olivier. The album ends on a new jazzy tune, " Overprose ", a crossing between " Lovecats " from Cure and Gainsbourg songs of the 50's.

On stage, the band does not include Vincent any more, who is not fond of concerts, and leaves his place as guitarist to Philippe Planchon from Asylum Party for shows at the Fnac stores and a session in Bernard Lenoir Radio program. There the group plays its first cover, " the 15th " by Wire, from the album 154 (1979). The guitar is then played by George Remiet, reinforced by Ronan Lesergeant at the keyboards and Yves Charreire on drums for the tour that follows.

The album is followed by the maxi Cadavres Exquis comprising 5 titles among which " the 15th " and the epic " That was No Martian ". A clip of " Cadavres Exquis " is filmed at the castle of Pierrefonds.


In 1991, changes take place at the Lively Art label. Louis Thévenon gives up New Rose, the label and the sub-label Lively Art to his associate Patrick Mathé and takes over the Parisian store. He creates the label Single K.O. of which the name is this time inspired by a song from Wire (also from the album 154) and is followed by Little Nemo and most of the groups from Lively Art. Like other independent labels, Single K.O will be distributed by the Labels division of Virgin.

The first record released by Single K.O. is a new maxi of Little Nemo, Bio-Logic. It reflects the change in the musical environment with the arrival of the house wave and Madchester. After having considered releasing songs closer to this new trend under the name LN, Olivier finally releases it on the maxi BIO-LOGIC in 1991. The eponymous track is his work with programming and samples (including some notes from the bass line of Third Uncle by Bauhaus) in a song close to the rock'n'roll-dance crossover that the Shamen did. To remain in the same more dancing spirit, the maxi includes " Nice Drift ", written by Bill and Olivier, with a sound very close to Wire and a more playful refrain in New Order style, with the new group members playing the guitar and the keyboards but without Vincent. The latter records only the last track, " Dancing all the days ", not really dancing but of a lighter spirit than his usual productions.

Everything seems to indicate that each one wants to follow a different orientation and that Little Nemo tries to renew itself.


1992 see the projects abounding: the new album of Little Nemo in full ranks, " The World is Flat " must be followed in the year by Vincent Le Gallo's solo album, " Soleils de Miels "(Honeysuns). For the first time, the members of the group appear on the cover and they are six: the basic trio and the second guitarist, the second keyboarder and the drummer. The World is Flat, recorded at the Val d'Orge with Jean Taxis, takes the opposite course to the synthetic options of Bio-Logic.

The album begins with " Railways and Roads " and its acoustic or slide guitars, the drums following the powerful climaxes and quieter moments of the song. The tone is resolutely more optimistic and hedonistic as well in the topics as in the music, which loses its new wave sound and pays a tribute to the pop-rock'n'roll of the late 60's, with a vintage cover of " Thougths and words " from The Byrds. The spirit is still " dance " but in a more classically rock'n'roll fashion than Bio-Logic. The members share the songwriting, which mixes pop songs like " Au milieu du ciel " and " Pray for the great day " and its mandoline gimmick with rock'n'roll titles like the dancing " Rubber Hearts " or the vibrating " Hearts Burns ". This evolution takes place at the expenses of the French language since " Au milieu du ciel " is the only French sung title.

The tour that follows will see the return of Vincent on stage, where he even plays a few solo titles at the piano, dressed in a tail coat and accompanied by a woman singer for the opening of the concerts. The new formation is well trained and revisits the Little Nemo repertory, from " A Une Passante " to the newest titles. The group will play in concert at the Eurockéennes festival in Belfort, dressed in bermuda shorts. The image of the young men with sunglasses and perfectos is gone!

Unfortunately, this beautiful adventure ends with the bankruptcy of the label Single Ko. Vincent's solo album will not be released and Little Nemo splits after 10 years of existence.

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