Borrowing its name from Jacques Tricatel, a character portrayed by Louis de Funès in the 1976 movie "L'aile ou la cuisse" (The Wing and the Thigh) - this, in turn, ispired by Jacques Borel, father of the "Restoroute" restaurant chain - French label Tricatel was founded in 1996 by musician and producer Bertrand Burgalat.
Since its creation, the label has been focused on releasing music of a futuristic lounge, refined pop, downtempo easy-listening and retro-chic nature. Proudly independent, Tricatel payed homage to labels like The Compact Organisation and él Records, that have been a source of inspiration for Burgalat.
During the years the label has released music by April March, Eggstone, Count Indigo, The High Llamas, Etienne Charry and many other artists, including veteran composer André Popp, actress Valérie Lemercier, writers Michel Houellebecq and Jonathan Coe, and - of course - its founder and gran maestro Betrand Burgalat.
The label had an high profile in France and many of its releases received huge critical acclaims both there and abroad, sadly this was not matched by commercial success and sales. Coupled with distribution problems, Tricatel was forced to slow down its release schedule after a few years of frenetic activity.
Symphony, Alain Berbier and Patrice Casali "Lego-people" style
In 1999 Tricatel launched a succulent initiative in the form a vinyl-only series aptly named "Tricatel 25cm Club". Initially, these 10" releases were only available by post and had to be ordered directly from the label, but sometimes later they also received a wider distribution through independent music stores.
Most of these records were pressed on clear vinyl; probably published in a limited edition, it is unclear how many copies of each release exist... The third issue in this series was "M. Parvulesco" by Symphony.
Well, there's not much I can write about Symphony, the Internet offers only the most basic information about them: they are (...or were...) a duo from Toulouse, France, formed by Alain Berbier and Patrice Casali.
In addition to the "M. Parvulesco" 10" vinyl published in 2000, they released a CD album entitled "Do Not Kiss" and a CD-single, "Un Tapez Deux", in 2002. All of their output was released by Tricatel.
No picture of the band is available - if we exclude the poor rendering you can see above - and biographic details are nowhere to be found except this short statement: "Everyone of us can remember of what he was doing on 9/11. Alain and Patrice from Symphony do not. Fortunately the C.I.A. didn't find us yet, please keep in touch."
The last update on their MySpace page dates back to 2009: maybe the Agency found them at last...
The "M. Parvulesco" vinyl EP contains the following tracks:
01. M. Parvulesco (3:04)
02. Un Tapez Deux (3:37)
03. Boat On the River (7:07)
All tracks were remastered from the original 10" vinyl in June 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
Here's a short review of "M. Parvulesco", the original page is available here.
«Whilst both the title track and "Un Tapez Deux" are both pleasant down tempo ditties, it's "Boat On the River" that stands out from the three on this vinyl. This is probably one of the finest pieces of chillout music that I have in my collection. It features wonderful strings, deep male spoken lyrics in French and, towards the end of the track, some really weird squiggle fx sounds that only make sense at 6 a.m. in the morning - a masterpiece!»
The following credits appear on the back cover of "M. Parvulesco":
Symphony: instruments and machines
Bertrand Burgalat: bass on "Un Tapez Deux" and "Boat On the River"
Peter von Poehl: additional guitar on "Un Tapez Deux" and "Boat On the River"
Produced by Symphony, "Un Tapez Deux" produced by Symphony and Bertrand Burgalat.
"M. Parvulesco" and "Boat On the River" recorded and mixed by Patrice Casati and Alain Barbier at Symphony Studio (Toulouse).
"Un Tapez Deux" recorded and mixed by Patrice Casati and Alain Barbier at Tricatel Studio (Paris).
These two videos offer a preview of the remastered EP, enjoy "M. Parvulesco" and "Boat On the River"!
More information about Tricatel and Symphony is available here:
If you have any other useful information about Tricatel and Symphony - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!