Brigitte Fontaine

Genre Humain

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Brigitte Fontaine created some of the most inspired avant-garde pop music to come out of France during the '70s that straddled the divide between song, theater, and performance art. During the early part of the decade, she recorded with Jacques Higelin and her partner Areski Belkacem, a brilliant Algerian composer and percussionist. The avant-garde jazz legends Art Ensemble of Chicago were based in Paris and befriended the quirky trio, subsequently playing on Fontaine's second album, the magnificent Comme à la Radio, which remains her landmark album. One evening after a 1972 performance, Brigitte Fontaine vanished from the stage. She went on to release five obscure albums and two books during the '70s, but come the '80s she had all but vanished. Not until the '90s did she reappear with a new album produced by Etienne Daho, who pushed her comeback in 1995 with Genre Humain, which was received with high critical acclaim. Genre Humain contains the track "Conne," which is a sublimely beautiful slice of quirky French pop. It was this track -- co-written and produced by Etienne Daho -- that re-launched her career, which reached fruitful peaks with a succession of extraordinary avant-pop albums between 1995 and 2000.

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