MSR022 Placebo – Polk | Balek

Label: Matasuna Records – MSR022
Title: Polk | Balek
Artists: Placebo
Format: Vinyl, 7“, 45rpm
Genre: Funk, Jazz, Jazzfunk
Releasedate: 11th September 2020
Reviews: tba
A Polk 03:24

B Balek 04:22

About four years after the label was founded in summer 2016, „Matasuna Records“ is about to drop its 25th release. To celebrate this anniversary, Matasuna has dug up another treat and is delighted to reissue two songs from the legendary LP „1973″ by Belgian jazz-funk group „Placebo“ of jazz legend „Marc Moulin“, who is rightly considered one of the rare groove Holy Grails. Both songs are available for the first time as official reissue on 7inch vinyl – the title song is even available on 45 for the first time ever. Of course there was a new mastering for the best possible sound.

„Marc Moulin“ was born 1942 in Ixelles, Brussels where he also took music lessons. He studied economics and political science – but his passion was music, which guided his career. He made his first steps in the Belgian jazz scene in 1961 at the Festival „Comblain-la-Tour“, where he won the „Bobby-Jaspar trophy“ for best soloist.

In the 1960s he was a member of various jazz formations before founding the band „Placebo“ with his close friend, guitarist „Philip Catherine“, in the early 1970s. The septet recorded three albums and a single from 1971 until its dissolution in 1976. On these recordings Moulin is surrounded by the crème de la crème of the Belgian music scene. The group played a unique mixture of jazz, soul, rock and funk with electronic elements, which Moulin elicited from his Moog synthesizer. Some of these musicians also contributed to Moulin’s cult album „Sam Suffy“, which was released in 1975.

After the dissolution of Placebo, Moulin took a break from jazz and appeared as a producer for various artists. In 1978 Moulin founded the synth pop band „Telex“, with which he recorded five longplayers between 1979 and 1986. These recordings are considered groundbreaking for the Detroit techno and transatlantic house scene.

In the late 1990s, Moulin returned to his jazz roots when he combined his two great loves, jazz and electronic dance music. He signed to „Blue Note“, where he released three albums. His first album on Blue Note 2001 sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.

Parallel to his musical activities, Moulin was a radio presenter, journalist and composer, but also worked as a journalist and radio editor. Moulin died on September 26, 2008 at the age of 66.

„Polk“ is opening the single and couldn’t be a better start: the irresistible groove digs deep into the ear. Marc Moulin’s virtuoso piano playing wafts around the driving wah-wah guitar, the bass line and the beats. The brass section sneaks in discreetly to create a grandiose sound spectrum. Jazz-Funk at its best!

Without a doubt, „Balek“ is one of the most extraordinary tunes on the album and rightly enjoys cult status not only among rare groove collectors. But also in the Hip Hop scene Balek is a hot joint – e.g. El Da Sensei or Mos Def have dropped their rhymes on this beat. Obscure synthesizer soundscapes with psychedelic sounds, supersweetened keys, unique brass passages and kicking drums give the song a magical aura. Great!