[Miniatures Series] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 14’ (1972-1975)


After an unintended hiatus, Musicophilia’s “reissues” of the Musique du Monde label are back, with the first of three more “10-inch LPs” from the ‘Les Miniatures‘ series following Volumes 3 and 12: ‘Volume 14,’ drawing from the years 1972-1975.  As with all the mixes in the broader Miniatures Series, the aim is to cover a lot of ground in very little time: all tracks are two minutes or less in duration; and the mixes are around 30 minutes total.  The ‘Les Miniatures‘ mixes are like morning commute-length portions of the 2xLP-length ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ mixes, so anything goes as long as it’s got a groove: funk of myriad permutations from New Orleans to Philly to France to Yugoslavia; musique concrete, psychedelia, singer-songwriter, sound library and soundtracks, proto-punk, Krautrock, early electro-pop, jazz, Tropicalia, and a little of the simply unclassifiable.  You’ll find the familiar and the new, each hopefully adding something to the experience of the whole.  (If you’ve been visiting Musicophilia primarily for the post-punk, I invite you to take a chance on some of the Musique du Monde stuff–it may be worlds apart from post-punk in some regards, but for my money, this is where the coolest sounds in the world were happening, presaging the radical artistic fecundity of the post-punk years.)

Making up the thirty minutes of this mix are twenty artists from seven countries.  The better known include Marvin Gaye, The Residents, Kraftwerk, Big Star, Barry White, and Brian Eno.  Less well known in the U.S. but heroes elsewhere are Bernard Parmegiani (probably my favorite artist working with electro-acoustic experimentation), Franco Battiato, Brigitte Fontaine & Areski, The Aggrovators, Popol Vuh, the Soft Machine’s Hugh Hopper, and Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry.  Finally there’s key sound library figure Janko Nilovic; funk-pop prodigy Shuggie Otis; savant-garde group Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Curt Boettcher (of The Millenium, Sagittarius and the SoCal sunshine pop scene); and soundtrack maestros David Snell and Karl Heinz Schafer.  If you like what you hear, there’s plenty more where that came from: nine other Musique du Monde volumes so far, and several more in the coming weeks and months.  Full tracklist, “liner notes,” and download link after the “more…” below.


Various Artists – ‘Les Miniatures’ Volume 14
(10″ LP, Musique du Monde, France – 1975)

Side A:
01  [00’00”]  Janko NILOVIC – “Flock” (Percussions Dans L’Espace, 1974, Yugoslavia)
02  [01’20”]  Shuggie OTIS – “Happy House” (Inspiration Information, 1974, USA)
03  [02’24”]  Popol VUH – “Kleiner Krieger” (Einsjager & Siebenjager, 1974, Germany)
04  [03’18”]  Penguin CAFE ORCHESTRA – “From the Colonies” (Unreleased, 1975, England)
05  [04’48”]  Marvin GAYE – “The Break In (Police Shoot Big)” (Trouble Man, 1972, USA)
06  [06’39”]  The RESIDENTS- “Boots” (Meet The Residents, 1974, USA)
07  [07’30”]  Bernard PARMEGIANI – “Incidences/Battements” (Unreleased, 1975, France)
08  [09’15”]  Curt BOETTCHER – “Without Her” (There’s An Innocent Face, 1973, USA)
09  [10’37”]  Hugh HOPPER – “Minitrue” (1984, 1973, England)
10  [11’55”]  The AGGROVATORS – “I Am Lost Dub” (Unreleased, 1975, Jamaica)
11  [13’38”]  KRAFTWERK – “Uranium” (Radio-Activity, 1975, Germany)

Side B:
01  [00’00”]  Free DESIGN – “Fugue” (There Is A Song, 1972, USA)
02  [02’00”]  David SNELL – “International Flight” (Unreleased, 1973, England)
03  [03’54”]  Franco BATTIATO – “Cariocinesi” (Fetus, 1972, Italy)
04  [05’45”]  Karl HEINZ SCHAFER – “Kidnapping” (Les Gants Blancs du Diable, 1973, France)
05  [07’04”]  Big STAR – “I’m In Love With a Girl” (Radio City, 1974, USA)
06  [08’48”]  Brigitte FONTAINE & ARESKI – “Les Petites Madones” (L’Incindie, 1974, France)
07  [09’42”]  Barry WHITE – “Stick Up” (Together Brothers, 1974, USA)
08  [11’39”]  Bryan FERRY – “Rivers of Salt” (These Foolish Things, 1973, England)
09  [13’22”]  Brian ENO – “Another Green World” (Another Green World, 1975, England)

[Total Time: 29′ 36″]

Rough translation, back cover text:
“It’s a big world–on a small record!  This is the groove the world spins on today, with the melodies that get you singing and beats that can’t be stopped!  Take a trip at thirty-three and a third rotations per minute, the new speed of sound, and get yourself “funkified”  These are the tunes that will bounce through the streets in France, in England, in the United States, in Italy, in Jamaica, even in Yugoslavia.  You’ll get it all with ‘Les Miniatures’!”

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