Black Devil Disco Club
Lo recordings, Alter K
Initially a disco-era obscurity, Black Devil Disco Club resumed activity several decades after the release of their cult-classic debut. French library musician Bernard Fevre released Disco Club, a six-track album of spooky electro-disco credited to the band name Black Devil, in 1978. The little-known record gradually gained a following, especially as interest in vintage disco resurged during the 2000s. Rephlex reissued the material in 2004, and Fevre began actively recording and performing as Black Devil Disco Club, starting with 2006's 28 After. He continued delivering variations on his signature sound over the next decade and a half, venturing into a more pop-influenced direction with 2011's guest-heavy Circus and wrapping up the project with 2020's playful, ebullient Lucifer Is a Flower.
Bernard Fevre was a member of French pop band Les Francs Garçons in the late 1960s and early '70s. In 1975, he began releasing albums of spacy electronic instrumentals under his own name. Adopting the pseudonym Junior Claristidge, Fevre recorded Black Devil's Disco Club, an album of futuristic disco filled with cosmic synths, shuffling drums, tape loops, and echo-drenched, nonsensical vocals. Composer and organist Jacky Giordano, incognito as Joachim Sherylee, was credited as the other member of the group, but Fevre later commented that Giordano only provided financial backing for the project, essentially acting as executive producer. Released by RCA in France as well as Italian label Out, Disco Club made little impact at the time, but disco connoisseurs gradually picked up on its otherworldly charms, particularly around the early 2000s. Aphex Twin's Rephlex label eventually re-released the tracks in 2004, but instead of a straightforward reissue, they parceled the material over the course of three 12"s and one CD single, with a remix by Luke Vibert's disco-inspired Kerrier District alias appearing on two of the releases. The music's futuristic sound, combined with its quixotic release scheme, caused many listeners and journalists to erroneously believe that the whole project was a scam propagated by Rephlex.
Fevre returned to making music as Black Devil Disco Club in 2006, releasing 28 After on Lo Recordings. Following the format of the 1978 debut, the album contained six tracks of ominous yet playful synth-disco with nearly indecipherable, sometimes scat-like vocals. Apart from the upgraded recording quality, the release could have passed for outtakes from the original Disco Club sessions. Black Devil in Dub followed in 2007, featuring dub versions of 28 After tracks as well as remixes by neo-disco artists like Prins Thomas and Quiet Village. Eight Oh Eight, a slightly more ecstatic variation on the Black Devil formula, appeared in 2008. The Strange New World of Bernard Fevre, a collection of beat-heavy reworks of a Fevre library release from 1975, was released as a Black Devil Disco Club full-length in 2009. An album of dub versions of Eight Oh Eight's tracks, simply titled DUB, was digitally issued in 2010.
For 2011's Circus, an album of three-minute pop songs rather than six-minute space-disco cuts, Fevre recruited several guest vocalists, including Nancy Sinatra, Afrika Bambaataa, and Jon Spencer. Remixes and dubs followed on 2012's Magnetic Circus, and the Fevre-sung studio album Black Moon White Sun appeared in 2013. Disco Club was finally given a full reissue in 2015, and a dozen remixes of the track "'H' Friend" were released digitally. In 2020, Fevre released the whimsical Lucifer Is a Flower, announcing it as Black Devil Disco Club's final release. ~ Paul Simpson & Andy Kellman, Rovi