The Black Devil Disco Club EP is one of the most sought after obscure releases from 1970s disco with musicians like Richard D. James of Aphex Twin, Morgan Geist of Metro Area, and The Chemical Brothers among the many that sing its praise. To many, it’s a vital lineage beacon to italo-disco, having been released only one year after Moroder’s From Here To Eternity. Despite being a highly sought prize by record diggers and reissued several times, its creator Bernard Fèvre wrote to Impose that the reissues are “a great way to celebrate 40 years of production, even if I didn’t get famous or rich.”
“Hopefully some devil kids enjoy my music nowadays, because in the 70s it wasn’t the case.”
Rephlex was first to reissue the Black Devil Disco Club EP in 2004, the Richard James and Grant Wilson-Claridge-run label reveling in beating Morgan Geist to the punch. This month Anthology Recordings joins the celebration of Fèvre’s oeuvre with a three record bundle of the Black Devil EP and 1975 LPs Suspense and Cosmos 2043. To commemorate the reissue bundle, Fèvre compiled the “Ground Control To Major Fèvre Mixtape”, which he describes as his musical journey. Read on for Fèvre’s explanation of the mix and his life’s work rediscovered.
This is my story, a musical journey that started in the Sixties when I was a teenager. The story of a kid in love with rock’n’roll, jazz, pianos… then in love with the paintings of Dali, sci-fi movies, any form of art experimentation… I’m a big fan of the Beatles and they really are the best: experimental pop at its finest. Aphrodite’s Child keyboard player really had a big influence on me so I started experimenting with keyboards pretty early on. I then got the chance to meet Eddie Warner who was already a famous A&R guy, and he signed me for some library music deals. In 1975 I released Suspense, then Cosmos 2043 which became known for a Chemical Brothers sample in 1999. I must admit I didn’t know who the Chemical Brothers were, and I was thinking about retiring at the time. Then I heard Luke Vibert and Aphex Twin from Rephlex were fans of my 1978 album under the moniker ‘Black Devil’ which wasn’t credited under my official name but under Junior Claristidge (basically it was a joke to sound like a funny big American producer). I don’t know if Luke Vibert used the moniker Kerrier District for the same reasons though, but it’s a cool name. I really re-discovered my forgotten past in the early 00s with the help of the Internet. Funnily two years ago Giorgio Moroder mentioned me on Facebook saying my music was pretty similar to his classic disco hit ‘From Here to Eternity’ which also still sounds fresh nowadays. He asked if reissues of my 1970s albums will be out one day, and I’m happy that it’s now true and I’m really happy with the sound. We got the original Revox tapes which were sleeping somewhere near Paris. It’s a great way to celebrate 40 years of production, even if I didn’t get famous or rich (hence the song ‘Never No Dollar’ from my 2008 album). But I guess I’m lucky, I’m still a child. But not a nice one, a devilish one. 🙂 Hopefully some devil kids enjoy my music nowadays, because in the 70s it wasn’t the case. Maybe I was too early. Anyway I now have the chance to tour, collaborate with great artists all around the world, that’s my life. I still get surprised. You never know what’s gonna happen. In 1977, 2043 seemed so far away. Now it looks much closer. If time flies it’s great that music can bring people from different countries and age together.
Have fun, kids.
“Ground Control to Major Fèvre Mixtape” tracklisting:
01 Aphrodite’s Child, “End Of The World”
02 Eddie Warner, “Chromatickles”
03 Bernard Fèvre, “Magnetic Spool”
04 Bernard Fèvre, “Earth Message”
05 The Chemical Brothers, “Got Glint?”
06 Bernard Fèvre, “Restless” (Bonar Bradberry remix)
07 Black Devil Disco Club, “To Ardent” ft. Nancy Sinatra (Grovesnor remix)
08 Black Devil Disco Club, “Timing Forget The Timing” (Kerrier District remix)
09 Giorgio Moroder, “From Here To Eternity”
10 Black Devil Disco Club, “Never No Dollars”
11 Black Devil Disco Club, “The Kid In Me”
12 Black Devil Disco Club, “The Devil In Us”
13 Paraone & Tacteel, “Infinity Riser”
14 Black Devil Disco Club, “Fuzzy Dream” ft. Jon Spencer (Junior Claristidge remix)
15 Bernard Fèvre, “That Is To Be”
16 The Beatles, “Tomorrow Never Knows”
Purchase the Bernard Fèvre bundle at Anthology Recordings.