Brigitte Fontaine

Kékéland

Virgin

Brigitte Fontaine, Fontaine! Brigitte … It is more than high time to realize that she did record far more than »Comme à la Radio« (with the Art Ensemble of Chicago in Paris) and the more or less recent single »Calimèro« with Stéréolab. Kékéland is a pure dazzling treasure, an inimitable jewel, rare and precious, and a call for all nasty poetic pleasures. Though I can’t deny that non-French speaking audiences will miss something, you should really try to enter the casbah of Kékéland. »I know ten cock suckers / And a little asshole / A hundred mother fuckers / So I’m never alone«, and then »You know I am the queen / The queen of Kékéland / my sea is ever green / My palace full of sand.« Champagne, caviar and cigarettes will do to drive there in a yellow-pink corvette. When aristocracy was something better than just a class, or to quote Gainsbourg: »classieux« (classcious), Queen Brigitte was already bored by principles. (She lives on an island in the heart of Paris, l’île de la Cité.)’île de la Cité.) Take French 18th century (no need to add »French« to »18th century«, actually), the sands of North Africa (kif and dry‘, Allah yourself), a lecherous taste for naked abstract truth, textual perversions, and a voice. Her diction, spelling, throating, playing or singing simply has no equivalent, no rivals. Somewhere in the Queendom she remarks: »I’m the queen of hearts / I don’t make no tarts / Remains secret hearts / And never depart.« Here you’ll find her constant lover Areski Belkacem and, amongst many others, Sonic Youth, Jim O’Rourke, Didier Mahlerbe, Noir désir, M… But she has them all in the hollow of her hand, she is first, as always. Grande Dame, open the dances, slave the troops, or fix the rules. She is the queen, toujours! A record for centuries at least. Simply unique. Salaam alekum, Brigitte!