She dreamt of being lost in the desert. Walking in the sand is never easy, but nearly impossible if you’re wearing a spacesuit like she did in her dream. Gravity was pulling her down. Her feet felt as heavy as lead. Every step was a struggle. Moving seemed pointless, as the surroundings seemed oh so static. What sense was there in searching a way out, if there was nothing to be found, except sand, sand, sand? But then, her sweaty eyes beheld a little box lying there amidst the desert.
Quite definitely, Patrick Mimran is the only artist who’s ever been working as a CEO of a sports car manufacturer. Together with his brother, Mimran aquired Lamborghini in 1980, when the trademark bull was still recovering from the wounds it obtained during the oil crisis. While co-directing the company, the Paris born Frenchman started to work as painter, sculptor, photographer and musician.
In 1982, Mimran founded the short lived label Lamborghini records, where he released his debut Novels For The Moons under the moniker Axxess. With the graphic pyramid on its cover and the double X in the artists name, the album from 1983 appears strangely contemporary. Behind the beautiful sleeve we find a synthetic sound whose aerodynamic aesthetic equals the retrofuturistic elegance of the Countach. Every track is a winner, from the weird Traditional Moon Dance (featured on the Holiday On The Moon Mix) to the Carpenter-like Dancing Shadows:
A rarity on LP as well as on CD, Novels For The Moons has been a synth spaceship flying under the radar until it was finally reissued on vinyl in 2012 by Medical Records. Not yet reissued is Mimran’s second album, Back To Earth, which he released in 1987. As the record came out on Teldec, a german sublabel of Decca, it isn’t nearly as rare as its predecessor, and it certainly isn’t as consistent either.
Even though Back To Earth is gravitating towards the sticky synth sound of the late eighties and therefore occasionally appears somewhat cheesy, it contains two standouts that led to the initiation of the Moon Lagoon YouTube channel, as these tracks weren’t available on our favourite streaming service yet. For your listening pleasure we ripped the orientally tinged Red Tears and the muscular Born Again:
The Mimran brothers sold Lamborghini to Chrysler in 1987 and eleven years later the company was bought by Audi. While “Vorsprung durch Technik” revitalised the brand and his brother Jean Claude turned into The Sugar King of Africa, Patrick Mimran focused on art. During the nineties, he recorded another two albums, scored a movie for Peter Greenaway and built a reputation as a multimedia artist.
Mimran’s most ambitious and popular conceptual work is the Billboard Project, for which he put tagline thoughts on public advertising spaces all over the world. The decade-long project, which could be seen in several cities, started in London in 1999 and continued 2001 in New York, where the picture below was taken.
Mimran, now aged 59, is still far from retiring. As the portfolio on his website shows, he keeps turning all kinds of media into art. He’s also regularly composing – or as he puts it, “using time as canvas”. Over the years, Mimran has traded in the synth for classical instruments, recently focusing on the piano. Earlier this year, he released his latest album Bored Music for the Mind.
Turn your radio on, tune into Radio Soulwax and let the good vibes tickle your ears. Though millions have danced to the sets of 2manydjs, the series of mixes these guys from Belgium distilled out of their massive collection of 50’000 records in 2011 and 2012 was probably too amitious to get the attention it deserves. Combining sound and vision, Radio Soulwax offers a singular experience of obscure musical artifacts. Among the 23 audiovisual works Into The Vortex is one of our favourites, as it reveals how the covers of some of our favourite records came about.
The roots of traditionals have no end. They go back to anonymous authors living on the verge of industrialisation. Being handed down generation by generation, these songs developed a life of their own, many of them crossing the atlantic. These nine traditionals about longing and leaving exemplify this transition from the old world into the new. Revisiting American, British, Irish and French sources, our journey to the core of folk is getting increasingly progressive by the minute.
1. Lily May Pennington – Little Red Rockin’ Chair (Concert Hall, ca. 1965)
2. Ray & Archie Fisher – Twa Corbies (Topic, 1962)
3. Derroll Adams – London Apprentice (Village Thing, 1973)
4. Wizz Jones – American Land (CBS, 1972)
5. Planxty – The Green Fields Of Canada (Polydor, 1974)
6. Malicorne – La Conduite (Ballon Noir, 1978)
7. Dorothy Carter – The Cuckoo (Celeste, 1976)
8. Karen Dalton – Same Old Man (Paramount, 1971)
9. Tia Blake – Rising Of The Moon (SFP, 1971)