GYPSOPHILE: De loin, les choses


Guillaume Belhomme returns to Radio Khartoum, having spent much of 1999 and part of 2000 traveling, wandering through Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and Madagascar, taking some time out alone. Recorded in the summer of 2000, these 12 new songs reflect the mood of the solo traveller, revelling in wanderlust, starry skies, dreams, dust, and homesickness. These songs also represent Guillaume’s first collaboration with a full band. Guillaume is still the main player, contributing guitars, loops, his characteristic soft vocals, and his essential vision. But the additional musicians (piano, bass, reeds, female vocals), and the production help of Etienne Jaumet (Flòp) have helped Guillaume to approach the rich subtlety which his compositions deserve.

De loin, les choses is the first record on which Guillaume sings entirely in his native French, and the mood, if somewhat darker, is also more intimate. Think, perhaps, of the farewell album by Spain’s Daily Planet or of Jacques Brel in one of his rare acoustic moments (c.f., “Jojo”). Another gently intense album for the wee hours, but can you really have too many?

01. Poeme à Lou

02. Le conte du chien italien

03. Naître un jour et mourir un autre

04. Avant qu'il y ait toi

05. Ishal

06. Cette ville

07. Les demains meilleurs

08. Mes nuits d'avant

09. Les regards à l'envers

10. Quand sort le 3

11. Rejoindre les lacs

12. Et recommencer

GYPSOPHILE: Songs of a Thousand Nights


Gypsophile’s first outing in the company of Radio Khartoum, which immediately established Gypsophile as a soundtrack for the wee hours. Bittersweet bedroom bossa melancholia, soft-spoken, and hopelessly romantic. Pisano & Ruff's version of “The Dreamer” is a good reference point.

A theme project for Radio Khartoum, Thousand Nights finds Gypsophile always in the dark spaces between loves: searching, anticipating, sometimes abandoning, but inevitably staying up far too late. Five sad kisses in English, and a cheery Jekyll and Hyde number in French with a hint of Katerine.

The last track, “The One I Dream Of,” plays during the sex scene(!) of Barry Jenkin’s 2008 film Medicine for Melancholy.

01. Time for Us

02. Music to Watch Girls By

03. Song of Hiersterday

04. Docteur Chic-Chic

05. Some Days More With Circé

06. The One I Dream Of

GYPSOPHILE VS. SHOP: Deux musiciens en crise


Originally recorded in the weeks following Gypsophile’s Songs for a Thousand Nights sessions, this album was a collaboration between two very different talents: on one side, Guillaume Gypsophile, nocturnal crooner and chief nouvelle chanson française ambassador for Radio Khartoum; and on the other side, Emmanuel Lamour, former drummer for Des Garçons Ordinaires, who in fact turned out to be a multi-instrumentalist and remixer with half a dozen aliases: Manu Love, Mr. de Cuny, Polar Bear, Mark 2, Love and Dave Quartet...or in the present case, Shop. The resulting album was a smash up, a fabulous (and fabulously unpredictable) collision of Gypsophile’s acoustic bedroom bossa and Shop’s electronic pop. French magazine Magic! described the wreckage as “sans doute la musique qu’écoutaient les jeunes qui viennent perturber la Party de Blake Edwards avec leur éléphant.” (“Without a doubt, the music that those kids who come with their elephant to disrupt Blake Edwards’ The Party would listen to.”)

Sadly, the original 1998 album saw release only as a home-burned CDR with varying numbers of tracks: 10, 11 or 12. A four song excerpt from the album appeared the following year as a Blackbean & Placenta 7” in a decidedly unsatisfactory package. RK had always regretted not being able to arrange a proper release for the album in 1998, and so when Emmanuel Shop mentioned in 2001 that he was remixing the album, RK pounced on the opportunity. The new version of the album is intended to be definitive. Most tracks have been remixed, and all tracks have been remastered, with significant improvements in sound quality. The Radio Khartoum edition has, of course, been properly manufactured (with a fixed number of tracks: 13, for good luck after a troubled history) and repackaged in a deluxe digipack designed by Bügelfrei.

01. (Three Beginning Points)

02. Like It or Not

03. Cubic Fanfare Club #3

04. Our Bright Hours

05. The Only One

06. Things’ll Be Arranged

07. Apart (Shaggy Short Mix)

08. Matto Grosso

09. Your Garden Party

10. "L" Mouth

11. Four Roses for Rose

12. Rien surtout

13. (Three Ending Points)


Lenka lente (France)

Languid and intense, atmospheric songs from France, Assunta is the sixth full length album from Gypsophile and marks a further progression away from the nocturnal bedroom bossa of the early records and toward what songwriter Guillaume Belhomme calls “chanson free.” Based in acoustic guitar, bass clarinet and light electronics, and guided by the vocals of Belhomme and Marine Livernette, “Assunta” (assumption, ascension) is perfect music for the small hours of the night. Quiet, but not exactly mellow: Belhomme’s “free chanson” ascends into dissonance at just the right moments...a delicious unease. To be taken alone or with good friends and a good glass of your favorite libation. Tasteful 6 panel digipak.

01. Ouverture

02. Les soulevés

03. Marthe

04. Ceux qui traînent

05. Guimard

06. Tolède

07. Far, Geneva

08. Kiffa

09. Vanderlinden

10. Entretien des grisailles

11. Arrivée

12. Des 3 dunes

13. La vie intense

GYPSOPHILE: Les profils des dômes

Lenka lente (France)

Guillaume Belhomme’s Gypsophile began life as a French answer to the bossa influenced pop of A&M acts like Chris Montez, Pisano & Ruff, and Claudine Longet or to his then contemporaries: Blueboy. Gypsophile’s music has always oozed with a continental sensibility. From 2001’s De loin, les choses onwards, Gypsophile has been charting new, twilit territory: somewhere between classical, folk and jazz. Where 2002’s Éloquence des fatigués was a something of a disappointment, Les profils is a liberation: Belhomme makes more with less. A feast, in fact. It is his most intimate and most confident work to date. With greater emphasis on instrumentals (three pieces at the center of the album, as well as the exquisite passages that transport us from one vocal to the next), Belhomme has created an album of remarkable coherency in which it’s frequently impossible to say where one piece ends and another begins. Although less “pop” than before, Les profils embodies the mythical “continental” spirit as much as ever. You romantics who have overdosed on Satie, Duras and Crépuscule should give this a try.

Self-release: professionally printed CDR in heavy (and textured) paper wrap-around cover which appears to have been printed on an ancient ink-jet printer: I actually kind of like the way the defective kerning of the text on the back of the cover adds to the home-made feel, as if it were typed on an old manual typewriter...

More info? Check the review at

01. L'Ethiopienne inuit

02. La doreuse du Djaï Khan

03. Les banlieuses belges

04. Devant des fleurs singulières

05. Kathleen, Isobel

06. Repose

07. L'Accord de Widor

08. Pour effacer quoi? et attendre

09. Autrement

10. Les voûtes immenses (sous)

11. Les Tambours