Tony Coulter here, filing a second report on the audio spoils of a recent trip to Belgium. Last time, the focus was on old favorites and their confreres; this time, I present the happy results of a shot in the dark. (Fortunately, no record store clerks were injured.) It's my habit to pick up interesting-looking private/small-label LPs whenever possible, and I figured I might as well do the same while in Brussels. Thus I acquired an unknown-to-me LP by Dominique Delvaulx, which turned out to be quite stellar, and led me to another fabulous album, recorded by Luc Henrion. Beyond the jump, you'll find tracks from both, along with a bit of background info -- and, as usual, following that there lurks a small collection of choice record jackets.
Let's start out with the record I discovered first, which features the vocals, lyrics, and music of Dominique Delvaulx, then (in 1977) a student at the University of Leuven. Delvaulx's lyrics, which are poetic and passionately declaimed, reflect romantic disappointment and political alienation; while in some ways typical of their time, they also seem very personal -- indeed, some were apparently addressed to a woman he loved named Véronique (the "V." of the album's title). Musically, the album covers a lot of ground, touching on everything from folk to psych to prog.
An essential component of the record is the contribution of Delvaulx's friend and classmate, Luc Henrion, a gifted multi-instrumentalist who performed all the musical parts -- the guitars and keyboards and everything else. Henrion also wrote some of the album's pieces (including "Écoute" below), while several of the songs (again such as "Écoute") featured lyrics by another classmate of theirs, Roland Lefèvre.
The album was recorded in a small 8-track studio run by an acquaintance, Dan Lacksman (future member of the synth-pop band Telex), and released on a label created for it by Luc Henrion, dubbed La Muse Gueule. Unfortunately, it garnered almost no notice whatsoever, and Delvaulx, who sadly passed away recently, never recorded or performed again. Hopefully, Delvaulx's sole musical testament will be reissued someday; in the meantime, enjoy the sample tracks below.
Dominique Delvaulx: Lettre à V. (La Muse Gueule, 1977) LP
Luc Henrion, guitarist:
While Delvaulx dropped out of music following the release of Lettre à V., for Luc Henrion, the album was the start of a career that continues to this day. (Most recently, for example he was performing in a trio with jazzer Charles Loos and composer Dominique Lawalrée.) A year after the Lettre à V. sessions, Henrion returned to the same studio and recorded a solo album, Galerie, which became the second release on his label. While Lettre à V. covered a wide stylistic spectrum, and featured fairly equal amounts of guitar and keyboards, the all-instrumental Galerie focuses more on keyboards (in which Henrion was conservatory-trained), and has a strong classical music flavor. Supposedly, it is due for an eventual CD reissue on the Italian Mellow Records label; in the interim, you can preview some of the tracks below. Thanks to Luc Henrion for allowing that, and for much of the information on both LPs.
Luc Henrion: Galerie (La Muse Gueule, 1978) LP
Luc Henrion, keyboardist:
And now: the pictures, taken from a bunch of LPs lying about these precincts....
Franck Pourcel & His Concert Orchestra: Concert Promenade (Capitol Classics, 1963) LP [detail]
Robert Irving / The Philharmonic Orchestra: Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin / Shostakovich: The Age of Gold (Capitol Records, 196?) [detail]
Jean F. Estes: Greek Myths for Children (Meglon, 196?) LP
Christi Crux Chorale: On Tour (Recording Associates, 1975?) LP
Don Janse & His 60 Voice Children's Chorus: The Little Drummer Boy (Design Records, 196?) LP [detail]
That's it for this time -- see you in two weeks!