Dominique A

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6 October 1968

Born in Provins, France as Dominique Ané he got interested in the punk movement at the age of 14. Moving on into the New Wave movement he started a band at the age of 16 called John Merrick, named after the hero of the film The Elephant Man, the cult film from David Lynch. With them he recorded around 45 somber, tormented songs and gave a number of concerts in the area around Nantes. Later, with the singer Katerine, he re-recorded some of the songs in a different, more upbeat and livelier style. At the start of the 1990s he started recording under hiw own name with his last name cut short to just A. He wanted to break with the traditional chanson, which he considered to be more literary than musical. In 1991 he had 150 vinyl copies of his first album ‘Le disque sourd’ printed and distributed. It attracted the attention of the small label ‘Lythium’ who enabled Dominique to release ‘La Fossette’ in 1992. The album found crttical acclaim in the underground with ‘Le Courage des oiseaux’ becoming a novelty underground hit. Dominique A slowly but surely began to make a name for himself on the French music scene, and an increasing number of fans were turning up at his concerts. In 1993 he moved to Brussels. His first commercial success was 1995 with the single ‘Le twenty-two bar’. (off the album, ‘La Mémoire Neuve’). Dominique never appreciated the succes however as he considered the song to be particularly badly written. At the Victoires de la Musique awardshow he performed a cynical rewritten version of the song in protest of the exploitation of talent by the record industry. At the turn of the century A ventured in some side projects amongst which the the score for Antoine Desrosières' black comedy film Banqueroute, did a mysterious experimental album project under the name Oslo Telescopic entitled "The Dominique Ø Project" and performed at a Leo Ferre tribute. Inspired by Alain
's dark 2002 album, L'Imprudence he decided to explore differents ways of working. A compilation called Le Détour would mark the transition.

With Bashung’s team he made ‘Tout sera comme avant’ (Everything will be like it was before) (2004) which astranged many of his fans. In response the follow up album ‘L'Horizon’ was recorded with Dominique Brusson (his partner on ‘Remué’) which was even more experimental. .On 2006 a book and rarities-CD was released under the title ‘Les sons cardinaux’ complemented a year later with the live album ‘Sur nos forces motrices’. In 2006 he also contributed the song ‘Où est la ville ?’ for Jane Birkin's album ‘Fictions’. In 2009 he reappeared with his eighth studio album, "La musique" The album was recorded entirely at home alone with a couple of clapped-out synthesisers and a vintage 32-track. In 2012 ‘Vers les lueurs’ would be a return to a more acoustic sound backed band and a horn-section.

On the web:

- Dominique's site: http://www.dominiquea.com/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Richard Müller (Slovakia)

Kari Bremnes (Norway)

What do we think:

DB: Dominique A was a sort of underground figurehead for French ‘minimalist’ music at the start of the 90’s. So underground that I only began to notice him because he was a regular guest on the German 'Le Pop' compilation albums in the new age. Together with others from the young generation of French music such as Katerine, Mathieu Boogaert and Vincent Delerm. But Dominique is definitely the master of the bunch with his melancholy melodies and his moody lyrics infused with social realism. As his career continues his output becomes more and more of almost untouchable artistic class.

Recommended albums:

- Le disque sourd - 1991

- La Fossette - 1992

- Si Je Connais Harry - 1993

- La Mémoire Neuve - 1995

♪♪♪ - Remué - 1999

♪♪♪ - Auguri - 2001

- Tout Sera Comme Avant - 2004

♪♪♪♪ - L'Horizon - 2006

- Sur nos forces motrices (live) - 2007

♪♪♪♪♪ - La Musique - 2009

♪♪♪♪♪ - Vers les lueurs - 2012

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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