Telex (band)

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Telex
Eurovision Song Contest 1980 - Telex.jpg
Telex at a rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest 1980
Background information
Origin Brussels, Belgium
Genres Electronic, avant-garde, dance, experimental, house, electro, synthpop, new wave, disco, post-disco
Years active 1978–2006, 2009
(hiatus in new music
between 1989–2005)[1]
Labels RKM
Disques Vogue
Virgin Records
Sire/Warner Bros. Records
Atlantic Records
EMI Records
Alfa Records
Website Official Web site
Past members
Notable instruments
Moog synthesizer
Roland TR-808

Telex was a Belgian synthpop group formed in 1978 by Marc Moulin, Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers, with the intention of "making something really European, different from rock, without guitar — and the idea was electronic music."[2]

History[edit]

In 1979, mixing the aesthetics of disco, punk and experimental electronic music, they released a stripped-down synthesized cover version of "Twist à St. Tropez" by Les Chats Sauvages. They followed up with an ultra-slow cover of "Rock Around the Clock", a relaxed and dispassionate version of Plastic Bertrand's punk song "Ça Plane Pour Moi", and a mechanical cover of "Dance to the Music", originally by Sly Stone. Telex built its music entirely from electronic instruments, employing joyously irreverent humor. The group's debut album, Looking for Saint Tropez, featured the worldwide hit single "Moskow Diskow".

In 1980, Telex's manager asked the group to enter the Eurovision Song Contest. The group entered and were eventually sent to the finals, although they apparently hoped to come in last.

"We had hoped to finish last, but Portugal decided otherwise. We got ten points from them and finished on the 19th spot." - Marc Moulin[3]

The group's song "Euro-Vision" was a cheerful bleepy song with deliberately banal lyrics about the contest itself. The Eurovision audience seemed unsure how to react to the performance, and after the band stopped playing, there was mostly stunned silence with scattered polite applause; Michel Moers took a photograph of the bewildered audience as the band walked off-stage. A sign of the confusion caused by the performance was during the vote-counting with Greece awarding Belgium three points and the announcer thinking that she had misheard the vote and trying to award the points to the Netherlands.

For their third album, Sex, Telex enlisted the US group Sparks to help write the lyrics. However, the band still refused to play live and preferred to remain anonymous—common practice in the techno music artists the group later inspired but, nevertheless, unusual in 1981. The fourth Telex album, Wonderful World, was barely distributed. In 1986, Atlantic Records signed Telex and released the album Looney Tunes in 1988. In 1989, Telex revisited their old tracks and remixed them to resemble house music and other genres then prevalent in electronic pop. The result was Les Rythmes Automatiques, released in 1989.

After a long hiatus, Telex made a comeback in March 2006 with How Do You Dance on EMI Records. It contained five original compositions as well as five covers. The group's last single was a cover of "On the Road Again", originally by Canned Heat. They also produced remixes for other artists' single releases, including "A Pain That I'm Used To" by Depeche Mode and "Minimal" by the Pet Shop Boys.

Following the death of band member Marc Moulin in 2008, the surviving members of the band announced their retirement from making music with the band's final release, a compilation album titled Ultimate.[4]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Compilations and remix albums[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Telex Official FAQ
  2. ^ Telex Podcast Episode #1 http://www.telex-music.com/audio.html
  3. ^ Telex —The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives
  4. ^ http://www.telex-music.com/home_bis.html
  5. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "iTunes". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Micha Marah
with Hey Nana
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
1980
Succeeded by
Emly Starr
with Samson