Thursday, November 24, 2011

Isabelle Antena

As part of the trio Antena, Isabelle Antena created one of my very favorite records ever, and one that couldn't be any closer to my heart: Camino Del Sol. Released by Les Disques Du Crépuscule in 1982 and later expanded by Numero Group in 2004, there are very few things in this world that come close to the inner-Riviera, sun-soaked perfection of these songs. Exotic, gentle, breezy, insular, and pure, the sound of this record is transportive, mysterious, and comforting. These songs sound like a faded postcard, a fuzzy memory.. like they were trapped in a bottle washed up on shore. I really can't say enough about how special this record is to me. There is no reason for anyone not to be close to these songs.

Since Antena, Isabelle has released several beautiful solo albums, each combining elements of bossa-nova, café-bleu cool jazz, and synth-pop samba. Her debut solo release, En Cavale, was released in 1986, again by Les Disques Du Crépuscule, followed by 1987's Hoping For Love. These records, filled with everyday dreams and far-off longing, are equally evocative, easy, and smart. Her next two albums, Tous Mes Caprices and Jouez La Cinq, expanded to include more of a late-'80s sophisti-pop, lounge-torch sound.

Isabelle has also worked in several side projects, including Fragile On The Rocks, The Powaga Sisters, and Pause Cafe. She continued releasing records through the '90's and 2000's and still performs live. Truly a personal vision, expanded upon for decades, the music of Isabelle Antena is filled with a timeless beauty that stands alone.

LTM has reissued many of her albums which are available through iTunes or from Darla. Camino Del Sol is available on CD, download, or vinyl from Numero Group. For more information, you can also visit Isabelle's website here.

Isabelle was kind enough to send me a list of some of her favorite music.


Innervisions - STEVIE WONDER
Harvest - NEIL YOUNG
Radio-Activity - KRAFTWERK
Songs In The Key Of Life - STEVIE WONDER
Take It Off - CHIC
My Favorite Things - JOHN COLTRANE
Other Directions - NICOLA CONTE

...I guess there's too many to tell but let's also say that some of my favorite artists, such as Peggy Lee, recorded plenty of singles that were collected onto albums after, but don't exist officially as a long playing recording. And also, some of my favorite music (like classical, from Handel to Bartok, or Chopin, or ....too many), is recorded in too many versions to tell exactly which is the best recording.

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