Wednesday, 27 April 2016

J’adore Sordide Sentimental !

Office chit-chat about winning the lottery always sends me cruising eBay for things I could never afford, and this morning, I’m looking at some highly coveted singles released by the Sordide Sentimental label, typically a numbered, limited edition 7” single packaged in an A4-sized sleeve containing various inserts and idiosyncratic French/English liner notes. Three releases in particular are holy grail objects for me: Throbbing Gristle’s We Hate You (Little Girls) / Five Knuckle Shuffle, Joy Division’s Licht Und Blindheit and Tuxedomoon’s Une Nuit Au Fond De La Frayere / Egypt, the latter two in particular for the great artwork by French fantasist Jean-François Jamoul. The 1980-issued Licht Und Blindheit single (which contains Atmosphere/Dead Souls) is interesting to muse on, Jamoul’s illustration of a figure descending into a netherworld seems to echo Anton Corbijn's famous 1979 photograph of Joy Division at the staircase of Lancaster Gate tube station. More significant still is the beautiful painting inside the Licht Und Blindheit package, depicting a mysterious hooded figure - a predominant feature of Corbijn's 1988 video for Atmosphere... As for those lottery winnings, a German seller is selling what looks like an excellent edition for a cool €1,000 which is a good price – I’ve seen lesser quality editions on sale for almost double that price (any copy going for less will surely be a counterfeit).

More stunning artwork courtesy of Jean-Louis Dupré (Throbbing Gristle) and Jean-François Jamoul (Tuxedomoon). No obvious links emerge between TG and Tuxedomoon but interestingly the collage inside the Tuxedomoon package, designed by Sordide Sentimental co-founder Yves Von Bontee recalls similar work by Genesis P-Orridge, while the photo of indeterminate origin could pass for a COUM action. The TG single is the more collectible of the two and contains impenetrable Jean-Pierre Turmel liner notes and a collage that would be best described as NSFW. Incidentally Jean-Louis Dupré is the brother of Lawrence Dupré who designed TG’s camouflage uniforms.

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