[Mega-mix] The Best of ‘Les Rythmes du Monde’ (1977-1981)



Note: Volume 4 has been down, and has been replaced with a new upload and a new download link.

‘Le Meilleur de Les Rythmes du Monde” represents the natural progression in the compilations of the Musique du Monde label from the late 60s/early 70s to the late 70s/early 80s.  Funk bass, latin percussion, soul breaks, electronic and musique concrete experimentation, sound library and soundtrack string flourishes, dub production, perfect-pop tunefulness, Kraut-rock drive—these are the key ingredients of the earlier ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ compilations.  And these sources make up the DNA of ‘Les Rythmes du Monde,’ as it mutates into disco, electro-pop, New Wave, post-punk and electro-disco.  If you know you love Giorgio Moroder, you’ll find a feast to devour here—all the vocoders, four-on-the-floor beats, sexuality and sensuality, stories of robot love, trips through outer space, and comic book science you could want.  But these mixes are not kitschy, so if you don’t know if you love Moroder, you don’t know if you can lose yourself in the beat—this mix will try its best to sway you, and it may well sweep you off your feet.  This is cool as cool as the iciest post-punk—and twice as fun as most.  It’s a 4xLP set, featuring over 200 minutes of music, much of it beatmatched; fifty-two artists and fifty three tracks from twelve countries and four years, 1977-1981.  It’s my biggest single-shot undertaking since the ‘1981‘ set, a long while in the making.  I hope you’ll enjoy it, and pass it on to friends who need to see the (disco-ball-refracted laser) light.

Italians do it better with il maestro Giorgio Moroder twice, and further featuring his indelible production for Three Degrees, Donna Summer, Munich Machine, and Sparks.   Telex are here, as well as related projects Transvolta and Electronic System; and fellow Belgians Trevor and Geoff Bastow, and pre-Honeymoon Killers Aksak Maboul.  Many of Daft Punks French forefathers are here:  Moon Birds, Space Art, Droids, Roland Bocquet, Jean-Phillippe Goude, Heldon, the elusive Black Devil, Venus Gang and Francis Rimbert.  Germany brings us godfathers Kraftwerk and Can (from their underrated late work), with  Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann-crafted Leda, Gina X Performance and Liaisons Dangereuses.  From Japan, Akira Sakata, Yellow Magic Orchestra and solo work from Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono.  Brits found here include Human League splitters B.E.F. and pseudonymic League Orchestra Unlimited; as well as Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, This Heat (with the seminal “24-Track Loop”), Ultravox’s John Foxx, XTC’s Andy “Mr.” Partridge, and Tortoise-blueprinting Brian EnoGrace Jones is here (Jamaican-American), along with South Africa’s Hot R.S. (with an unlikely but amazing cover of “In A Gadda Da Vida,”) Australia’s Essendon Airport, Canadian proto Hi-NRGers Lime, and the Soviets Zodiac.   The USA rounds it out with heros Patrick Cowley, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Hamilton Bohannon, Funkadelic, and Suicide; with lesser knowns Industry (whose psycho proto-jungle will blow your mind), Chromium, and hardly least, Arthur Russel’s Loose Joints.  This set is dedicated to my friends at the Rhythm Room, who’ve spun this web for years, and without whom I would’ve spent years in the musical wilderness without any of this music.  Let me know if you enjoy these mixes, and if you’re already in the know with these “Rythmes,” I’d love to hear any suggestions for further exploration.  Full tracklist, sleeve notes, reissue notes and FOUR download links (with complete album art) follow “more…”.

Various Artists – ‘Le Meilleur de Les Rythmes du Monde’
(4xLP Box Set, Musique du Monde, France – 1981)

Volume One
A1  [00:00]  TELEX – “Moskow Diskow” (Looking for Saint Tropez, 1978)  Belgium
A2  [04:40]  Giorgio MORODER – “From Here to Eternity” (From Here to Eternity, 1977)  Italy
A3  [09:35]  Moon BIRDS – “Crystal No. 3” (Cosmic No. 1, 1977)  France
A4  [12:10]  John FOXX – “Plaza” (Metamatic, 1980)  England
A5  [15:35]  Three DEGREES – “Set Me Free”  (3D, 1979)  USA
A6  [19:35]  Mr. PARTRIDGE – “The Forgotten Language of Light” (Take Away/The Lure of Salvage, 1980)  England
A7  [22:50]  Geoff BASTOW – “Communique” (The Video Age, 1980) Belgium
B1  [00:00]  Brian ENO – “Untitled” (Unreleased, 1979)  England
B2  [02:00]  Space ART – “Welcome to Love” (Play Back, 1980)  France
B3  [08:15]  DROIDS – “Shanti Part I” (Star Peace, 1978)  France
B4  [10:50]  Yellow MAGIC ORCHESTRA – “Firecracker” (Yellow Magic Orchestra, 1978)  Japan
B5  [15:10]  PRINCE – “Sexy Dancer”  (Prince, 1979)  USA
B6  [19:10]  CAN – “Safe” (Can, 1978)  Germany

[Total Time: 50:20]

Volume Two
C1  [00:00]  Hot R.S. – “In a Gadda Da Vida” (Forbidden Fruit, 1978)  South Africa
C2  [05:10]  Patrick COWLEY – “Megatron Man” (Megatron Man, 1981)  USA
C3  [09:25]  Roland BOCQUET – “Dancing” (Unreleased, 1981)  France
C4  [13:30]  Essendon AIRPORT – “How Low Can You Go?” (Sonic Investigations of the Trivial, 1979)  Australia
C5  [15:55]  KRAFTWERK – “Spacelab”  (The Man-Machine, 1978)  Germany
C6  [20:50]  Donna SUMMER – “Our Love” (Bad Girls, 1979)  USA
D1  [00:00]  Jean-Phillippe GOUDE – “Machine” (Drones, 1980)  France
D2  [03:50]  This HEAT – “24-Track Loop” (This Heat, 1979)  England
D3  [07:45]  LIME – “You’re My Magician” (Your Love, 1981)  Canada
D4  [13:00]  SPARKS – “Tryouts For the Human Race” (No. 1 in Heaven, 1979)  USA
D5  [18:05]  LEDA – “Endless Race”  (Welcome to Joyland, 1978)  Germany
D6  [21:00]  SUICIDE – “Cheree” (Suicide, 1977)  USA

[Total Time: 49:50]

Volume Three
E1  [00:00]  Gary NUMAN – “Everyday I Die” (Tubeway Army, 1978)  England
E2  [02:00]  Grace JONES – “Pull Up To The Bumper” (Nightclubbing, 1981)  Jamaica
E3  [06:20]  Haruomi HOSONO & Tadanori YOKOO – “Malabar Hotel” (Cochin Moon, 1978)  Japan
E4  [10:25]  HELDON – “Les Soucoupes Volantes Vertes” (Interface 1978)  France
E5  [12:05]  Loose JOINTS – “Is It All Over My Face”  (Is It All Over My Face, 1980)  USA
E6  [16:30]  Liaisons DANGEREUSES – “Peut Etre . . . Pas” (Liaisons Dangereuses, 1981)  Germany
E7  [19:45]  Munich MACHINE – “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (A Whiter Shade of Pale, 1978)  Italy
F1  [00:00]  FUNKADELIC – “One Nation Under a Groove” (One Nation Under a Groove, 1978)  USA
F2  [06:00]  League UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA – “Don’t You Want Me” (Unreleased, 1981)  England
F3  [09:50]  Black DEVIL – “No Regrets” (Disco Club, 1978)  France
F4  [14:00]  Electronic SYSTEM – “Time Trip” (Disco Machine, 1977)  Belgium
F5  [18:15]  Dee D. JACKSON – “Automatic Lover”  (Cosmic Curves, 1978)  Italy
F6  [21:45]  Trevor BASTOW – “Better Ways” (The Video Age, 1980)  Belgium

[Total Time: 50:00]

Volume Four

G1  [00:00]  Depeche MODE – “I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead” (Speak & Spell, 1981)  England
G2  [02:00]  CHROMIUM – “Beam On” (Star to Star, 1979)  USA
G3  [07:05]  Ryuichi SAKAMOTO – “Riot in Lagos” (B-2 Unit, 1980)  Japan
G4  [10:20]  TRANSVOLTA – “Disco Computer” (Disco Computer 7″, 1979)  Belgium
G5  [13:20]  Gina X PERFORMANCE – “Nice Mover”  (Nice Mover, 1979)  Germany
G6  [17:35]  Marvin GAYE – “Time To Get It Together” (Here, My Dear, 1978)  USA
G7  [20:30]  British ELECTRONIC FOUNDATION – “Groove Thang” (Music for Listening To, 1981)  England
H1  [00:00]  INDUSTRY – “Ready for the Wave” (Industry EP, 1980)  USA
H2  [03:25]  Akira SAKATA – “Panco” (Tenoch Sakana, 1980)  Japan
H3  [06:05]  Venus GANG – “Love To Fly” (Galactic Soul, 1978)  France
H4  [09:20]  BOHANNON – “Listen to the Children Play” (Summertime Groove, 1978)  USA
H5  [13:30]  Francis RIMBERT – “Games”  (Bionic Orchestra, 1979)  France
H6  [15:15]  ZODIAC – “Zodiac” (Disco Alliance, 1980)  USSR
H7  [18:40]  Aksak MABOUL – “Saure Gurke” (Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine, 1977)  Belgium
H8  [19:45]  Giorgio MORODER – “I Wanna Rock You” (E=MC2, 1979)  Italy

[Total Time: 50:05]

Rough Translation, Back Cover:
“Through the years, Musique du Monde has brought you the cutting edge of listening pleasure.  And now, we are proud to present to the general public some of the most amazing sounds from the previously only privately-issued ‘Les Rythmes du Monde’ series.  We continue our tradition of finding you the very best of new music from around the globe, seeking sounds that speak the universal language.  Here you will find the pounding rhythms of the discotheque, love songs for fantastic robots, a new electronic era of sexy cosmic fun.  Its happening in France, in Italy, in Germany, the United States, Belgium, Japan, South Africa, and have no doubt, in outer-space.  This is the sound of the future, but it reaches to the very soul of life, to the elemental rythm of the heart.  Switch it on, plug yourself in, and let everything go: become part of the collective music.  This is the very best of ‘Les Rythmes du Monde’.”

Reissue Notes:
The Musicophilia reissue program is proud to present a major missing piece the history of the Musique du Monde label’s golden age: 1981’s four-LP box set, ‘Le Meilleur de Les Rythmes du Monde’.  This set was a ‘best of’ collection released (in limited quantities) to the public culled from the privately issued and distributed ‘Les Rythmes du Monde’ set.  So far, none of the individual records from that almost mythic series has been unearthed; like other private releases from Musique, it was shipped direct only to a who’s-who of music taste-making cognoscenti.  It is rumored that Monsieur Jan Marine (one of the founders of Musique du Monde and the label’s primary mixer and song-finder for their various compilation series) went to the U.S. and trained in the then-nascent art of beat-matched DJing with Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, and even Francis Grasso during the mid-70s, in preparation for the label’s forays into disco.  ‘Les Rythmes du Monde,’ especially the later volumes from which this ‘Best Of’ is believed to be culled, brought Musique into new territory for the public ear.  But the territory heard here is heavily rooted in the funk, soul, pop, tropicalia, proto-punk, dub, musique concrete, sound library LPs and early electronics that were the focus of earlier ‘Le Tour du Monde’ and ‘Les Miniatures’ discs.  ‘Les Rythmes’ was the label’s natural extension, and taken together with their work over the previous decade plus, one almost has an “alternate history” of pop music—the history that should have been, or that was, if you knew where to point your ears.  So we welcome you to this world of fuzzy electronics, four-on-the-floor beats, floating robot voices, cosmic space-ship chases, and glorious dancefloor hedonism that would itself go on to become the foundation forthe next thirty years of discotheque sound.  The graphic design of the record sleeves may be dated and passe, but the sounds found within these sleeves remains as relevant and essential today as ever.   — I. Sonnecomme, January 2009

Downlad Here:  Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4 (restored)  |  Subscribe


14 thoughts on “[Mega-mix] The Best of ‘Les Rythmes du Monde’ (1977-1981)

  1. I’m having trouble downloading Volume 1 – getting this message: The key you provided for file download was invalid. This is usually caused because the file is no longer stored on Mediafire. This occurs when the file is removed by the originating user or Mediafire.

    Volume 2 is downloading fine at the moment.

  2. I have managed to download the first three but the fourth remains obstinately beyond my reach – i keep getting: “Database connection failed! If this problem persists or you need further assistance, contact support.”
    I’ll try again tomorow, maybe it’s my machine.
    Am really looking forward to listening these

  3. It seems like Mediafire had some sort of crash, and now are doing “scheduled” maintenance. So hopefully they’ll all be up again soon. I hope you like them!

    Edit: Everything seems to be back up, now.

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