A Tele Music CLASSIC from 1972, Pierre-Alain Dahan's Continental Pop Sound is of those library albums with something for everyone. Breaks? Check. Fuzz guitar? Check. Slower, jazzy stuff? Double check. It's a stunning collection of psychedelic rock, soulful funk and retro pop stylings that's currently going for over £200 on Discogs. And with good reason. French drummer, percussionist and composer Pierre-Alain Dahan was a key member of the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co, Voyage, Tumblack (with Wally Badarou and Sauveur Mallia) and Jef Gilson Septet. So, you know this Be With reissue is nailed on essential.
Skip the by-numbers opener "Rock Extra" and head straight to the deeeeeep, minimalist groove of "Slowrama", a humid masterclass in low-slung, creeping crime funk with weighty breaks and beefy bass complimented by hypnotic wah-wah and warm electric piano. Sensational. It was sampled by Prince Po in 2004 for his "Love Thang" track. The galloping "Latin Pop Sound" is a percussive, Santana-esque tour de force featuring fantastic guitar shreds over a bassline to die for. "Morning Melody" is a lightweight amble whereas the brief but deliciously psych-rock heavy "Islam Blues" is a must for your mixes when requiring short segue tracks. The A-Side closes out with "Phasing Drums N° 1, 2 & 3", all completely ace. For us, N° 3 is the pick of the bunch, with particularly slooooow and deliberate drums underpinned by a droning, sinister organ. Hip-hop, before hip-hop, no less.
The genuine monster "Pacific Rock" blasts out the gate to usher in Side B, a thrilling and unrelenting pop-rock instrumental that really drives. "Quasimodo Pop" contains great slow mo funk breaks and scratchy guitars that alternate with pretty heavy riffing to create a compelling base track. "Carmel Beach" is as beautiful as the location it's named after, as insouciant guitars glide over super slo-mo beats and dramatic organ before it breaks down to a laconic, reflective electric piano showcase. Sumptuous. "Auto Moto Rallye" is a brief driving funk gem, as you might expect, complete with revved up guitars tuned and played to emulate the irresistible sound of growling race cars.
The upbeat, piano-led rock stomper "V.S.O.P Rock" is all well and good but, what you might really be here for is the trio of tracks that ensure the LP ends on an almighty high. The three most famous tracks “Rythmiques 1, 2 & 3” all come complete with *ultra*-dope breaks. N° 2 is probably our favourite, with the shuffling bassline and breaks combo augmented by the wonderful cowbell. Though on any other day, it could be N° 3! This album is often considered as the “baby brother” to Tele Music's Rythmiques, and this triptych is all the proof you need. Outstanding.
One of the very best French drummers ever, Pierre-Alain Dahan began his career at the Blue Note in Paris with Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon and Daniel Humair. Some start, eh?! He also participated in the recording of Serge Gainsbourg's cult album 'La Ballade de Melody Nelson' before going on to make countless KILLER library funk records and be a key member in the legendary Arpadys, Disco & Co, Voyage, Tumblack (with Wally Badarou, Sauveur Mallia et al), Jef Gilson Septet (alongside Henri Texier) and many more. Some pedigree.
The audio for Continental Pop Sound has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis, ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original, iconic Tele Music house sleeve has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.