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Highly recommended.

To its limited audience, what made post-punk special was its refusal to lazily rely on clichés. As a result, the tendency to eschew obvious rhythms and catchy melodies in search of creating something new meant that a larger audience missed out on the fact that they did come up with some killer tunes.

It’s depressing that the late 70s/early 80s is largely known for disposable one-hit wonders like Kajagoogoo, when there was so much more. So it’s inevitable that the only way to draw attention to these missing treasures outside of getting them commissioned on the soundtrack for a blockbuster film is to revert back to cliché.

In this case, French multi-instrumentalists and producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux stripped thirteen songs of everything but their basic chords, and reinterpreted them with cocktail jazz/bossa nova arrangements, sung by eight female vocalists (six French, one Brazilian, one American). But these are far from clumsy, gimmicky musak exercises in nostalgia. These are Gilberto caliber -- sensitive, subtle interpretations, worthy of João Gilberto, the godfather of bossa nova, with modern production values comparable to Suba’s inspired work with Bebel Gilberto, and fine vocal performances on par with Astrid Giberto.

Collin has a long, impressive pedigree, from the Francophone trip-hop/soundtrack work with his first band Ollano to adventurous work under many nom de plumes for the experimental Output label.

Those nervous about the potential desecration of favorites like Tuxedomoon, P.i.L., Killing Joke and Joy Division need not worry, their babies are in good hands.

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