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Serge Gainsbourg was one of the most revolutionary composers of his time. By mixing several styles that had rarely been combined before (Jazz, Chanson, World music, Bossa Nova, Pop, Prog Rock, Reggae — to name only a few), he created some of last century’s greatest melodies, either for him or for other artists. He wrote for (and sang with) Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Anna Karina, France Gall, and loads of others, and composed several pieces for film soundtracks (including full scores, like Anna and Cannabis), even acting in some of them (Les Chemins de Katmandou, Le Pacha, Mr Freedom).

Constantly…


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[this was initially published as a Christmas piece at thefourohfive.com in December 2016]

The year is 2001, it’s Christmas Day and I’m at my aunt and uncle’s feeling slightly under the weather. My cousin — who introduced me to many good things in life (The Ramones, Nirvana, Sex Pistols, Ghost World etc) — asks me if I’d be into watching a movie. And from his enviable shelf, Go! appears.

The Doug Liman film, often called “junior Pulp Fiction” mostly due to its three-part non-linear plot, is one of few movies that is thoroughly engaging yet random enough to walk the…


António Variações’ importance is felt not only music-wise, but also through the way he dared to reinvent masculinity-related concepts in a post-dictatorship Portugal, which places him among the likes of Prince and David Bowie.

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There is no particular reason for putting this playlist together at this very moment; there are no special rereleases coming out (at least that I’m aware of), it’s not António’s birthday, and 2017 doesn’t mark any special anniversary of his death. The motivation for doing so is then plain and simple: if you don’t know António Variações yet, you definitely should.

Although António was one of the true originals, a breakthrough artist who defied the limits of Portuguese music by reinventing it from the inside and delivering something “between Braga [city in the North of Portugal] and New York,” as…


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Colour Green, the 2006 release of German songwriter Sibylle Baier’s 1970s recordings, is more than simply an intimate snapshot of a nearly-forgotten artist

There’s a sort of mistiness that comes with sobriety. Some call it discontent — after all, depression doesn’t quite hit you this way. If you happen to inhabit a body and mind inebriated by pain, you end up giving birth to whole galaxies made of that specific kind of beauty one’d say only emerges from sanctified trance.

But it’s the travelling, it’s always the travelling. It’s the trap we insist on falling into, the running away from the here and the now in a febrile attempt to run away from ourselves. The sense of looking for something we don’t quite…


This is Paris calling, a very precise point in the eye of the hurricane, where the first case of Coronavirus was officially detected in European territory and where everyday rules have been changing at high speed ever since the madness began. …


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With most countries taking more or less drastic measures to try and contain the spreading of Coronavirus, we have all been duly informed of the demographics regarding the vulnerability to the infection: those over 65, already suffering from chronic illnesses or with a weakened immune system are being urged to be more vigilant in order to prevent the worst case scenario. …


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Back in 2007 acting pope Benedict XVI published a document from the International Theological Commission that became widely publicised due to the misunderstanding that it ended the state of Purgatory. Initially commissioned by his predecessor John Paul II, this document addressed instead an old Church dilemma dating from the Middle Ages concerning the status of infants who died before being baptised — which would eternally trap them in a “limbo”, unable to access eternal life in Heaven due to not having been presented to God yet innocent and pure enough not to descend into Hell either. Though this might seem…


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originally published as a goodbye editorial at thefourohfive.com

A dear friend of mine once asked me how I managed to write about music. Not wanting to cite that tired Bowie quote about dancing and architecture, and understanding where his curiosity was coming from since he was a film critic himself, I explained I wrote about music as if it was film, and about film as if it was music: it all comes down to opening yourself to the virtually infinite shapes and forms of beauty around you, and being able to describe the process as accurately as possible through an…


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Mystère sure was a tough second album challenge if I ever saw one. After the masterpiece that was their 2013 debut Psycho Tropical Berlin (my favourite album of the year, hands down), La Femme rose to the indisputable status of being one of the hottest French acts around, filling increasingly larger venues to the brim and selling their 45rpm singles like hot buns. So it’s fair to say my expectations (just like everybody else’s) were sky-high for Mystère, and as soon as they began detailing their new album I vehemently prayed night and day not to be disappointed.

I needn’t…


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Foxygen make postmodern music. Ever since their 2013 breakthrough album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (and even before that, with Take The Kids Off Broadway), Sam France and Jonathan Rado have become masters of recycling references in a veiled manner. They manage to play with influences while reinventing the past by changing the way we look at it, without ever diving too deep into any kind of compromise.

As their 2014 double album …And Star Power’s tour came to an end, many questioned the future of Foxygen — especially because their shows were advertised as…

Ana Leorne

Paris-based trilingual music journalist. fingers in other pies include film, psychology, history, politics, social dynamics, gender issues, tarot and astrology.

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