[Miniatures Series] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 12’ (1971-1975)


‘Les Miniatures’ is a new series of mixes combining the methodology of the ‘Miniatures’ series— sub-two-minute track lengths and sub-thirty-minute mix lengths—with the aesthetic and musical forte of the ‘Le Tour du Monde’ series. So you’ll hear sound library tunes, krautrock, psychedelia (especially in the Canterbury mold), proto-punk, a little singer-songwriter, funk (and Eurofunk), tropicalia, perfect pop, early electro-pop and musique concrete. You’ll hear artists from around the world, and more of those strings, those beats, those leaping bass lines, those production flourishes that could only have come from the brilliance of the 70s. A full helping of all of this—in thirty minutes or less. I’ve got four further volumes of ‘Les Miniatures’ finished. The five volumes feature over 100 artists and tracks, and they’ll be coming soon. In the meantime, check out the original ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ mixes for a more in-depth exploration of what’s going on here; or the post-punk-oriented first three volumes of the ‘Miniatures‘ series.

This first-issued volume of ‘Les Miniatures’ features heavyweights like Faust, Curtis Mayfield, Kevin Ayers, Sun Ra, Serge Gainsbourg, Paul Simon, Sly & The Family Stone, Lou Reed, Robert Wyatt and John Cale. But given equal time and weight by France’s ever-eclectic Musique du Monde label are cult figures like Henry Cow, Erkin Koray, Gil Scott-Heron, and barely-heards Seesselberg, Joe Ufer, Orchester Fritz Maldener, Sammy Burdson Group, and Franco Bixio. [I thank the blogs linked in the right column for introducing me to several of these—do yourself a favor and let this mix send you digging amongst the “primary source” blogs, they’re doing the heavy lifting.] Full tracklist and download (including full “album sleeve,” liner notes, and “reissue” notes) follow the “more…” link.

Various Artists – ‘Les Miniatures’ Volume 12
(10″ LP, Musique du Monde, France – 1975)

Side A:
[00’00”] 01 PEOPLE – “Prologue” (1971, Japan)
[01’45”] 02 FAUST – “I’ve Got My Car and My TV” (1972, Germany)
[03’00”] 03 Henry COW – “Arcades” (1974, England)
[04’50”] 04 Curtis MAYFIELD – “Junkie Chase” (1972, USA)
[06’20”] 05 SEESSELBERG – “Eintrachtkreis-Paranoia” (1973, Germany)
[07’15”] 06 Kevin AYERS – “Two Goes Into Four” (1974, England)
[08’50”] 07 Sun RA – “Wurlitzer & Celeste” (1972, USA)
[10’35”] 08 Serge GAINSBOURG – “Ah! Melody” (1971, France)
[12’20”] 09 Joe UFER – “Drums on Phasing No. 6″ (1973, Germany)
[13’30”] 10 Paul SIMON – “Hobo’s Blues” (1972, USA)

Side B:
[00’00”] 01 Milton NASCIMENTO – “Saidas E Bandeiras No. 1″ (1972, Brazil)
[01’20”] 02 Raymond VINCENT – “Mouvement pour Arcet” (1973, France)
[02’30”] 03 Sly & THE FAMILY STONE – “Mother Beautiful” (1974, USA)
[04’15”] 04 Erkin KORAY – “Korkulu Ruya” (1974, Turkey)
[05’45”] 05 Orchester FRITZ MALDENER – “Wild Luck” (1973, Germany)
[07’20”] 06 Gil SCOTT-HERON – “Billy Green is Dead” (1973, USA)
[08’45”] 07 Sammy BURDSON GROUP – “Electronic News No. 3″ (1973, Germany)
[10’00”] 08 Lou REED – “New York Telephone Conversation” (1972, USA)
[11’30”] 09 Franco BIXIO – “Dog’s Heart” (1974, Italy)
[12’00”] 10 Robert WYATT – “Muddy Mouse (A)” (1975, England)
[13’15”] 11 John CALE – “Days of Steam” (1972, Wales)

[Total Time: 29’55”]

Rough translation, back cover text:
“Continuing the tradition, ‘Les Miniatures’ Volume 12 brings more amazing sounds from around the world–all speeding to you in less than two minutes! Whirl your way through the hippest sounds of the today, from France to the United States to Germany to Italy to Wales and even from Turkey. The world is moving faster than ever–so we present to you the very best music, in miniature! But don’t worry, all the beats, the strings, the voices and the keyboards are there in full size. It’s ‘Les Miniatures!'”

Following the recent reissues of some of the long-lost, highly sought-after ‘Le Tour du Monde’ compilations, we bring you another discovery from Musique du Monde, the French label known during the 60s and 70s to taste-makers the world over: Volume 12 of the ‘Les Miniatures’ series. Originally released as “miniature” limited-edition 10″ LPs, the ‘Les Miniatures’ discs bring all of the sounds we loved from ‘Le Tour,’ and with similarly international flair, but it does so entirely with tracks befitting the diminutive LP format–all under two minutes in duration! For their brevity, there is no skimping here–all the string flourishes, brass punches, heavy bass lines, and sample-worthy beats are here, along with the upper crust of the singer-songwriter world from 1971 to 1975. And as with ‘Le Tour,’ Musique du Monde refused to see barriers or genres, weaving together the post-funk, the delicate, the experimental and concrete seemingly without effort. You’ll find both old favorites–Sun Ra, Kevin Ayers, Faust, John Cale, even Paul Simon and Curtis Mayfield–and lesser-knowns like the Sammy Burdson Group, Erkin Koray, Joe Ufer, and Franco Bixio. In less than thirty minutes, ‘Les Miniatures’ provide a fully-rounded musical journey. Keep your eyes peeled–several volumes have been unearthed, and the Musicophilia reissue program will be sharing them all in due time. — I. Sonnecomme, November 2008

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2 thoughts on “[Miniatures Series] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 12’ (1971-1975)

  1. excellent mix which shows that the seventies were much better than i remembered them. there was more to them than prog rock, fusion & abba. thank you so much for reminding me.

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