Kudos to the lovely folks at FACT Magazine for pointing out Carl Craig’s obsession with French synth wizard Bernard Szajner’s 1980 album Some Deaths Take Forever (even if FACT does get the title wrong). Craig has apparently pegged Szajner’s dark, moody masterpiece as his all-time favorite album. Some Deaths was Szajner’s first release under his own name. He’d previously made the album Visions of Dune under the alias Zed, and both are available on France’s Spalax label (best known for their snazzy krautrock reissues). Szajner is joined on the album by members of French prog legend Magma, among others, for an outing full of melodic-but-intense, synth-driven tunes with one foot in the contemporaneous “Berlin school” of electronic music and one in the burgeoning “cold wave” scene. In fact, the lead-off track was featured on the swell 2004 comp So Young But So Cold: Underground French Music 1977-1983.
So, is Szajner officially cool now? Is it OK to unearth our musty vinyl copy of Some Deaths and let it stand proudly in the light of day now that it’s been given some hip cache? Seriously, though, it’s swell that some new folks are being introduced to this stuff at last, instead of having it remain strictly in the province of crate-digging geeks (ahem). A side note to new admirers of Craig’s Gallic hero: There’s a lot more of that sort of thing lurking in the shadows out there. A tip: Try trolling the listings of the stalwart sonic-esoterica clearing-house Wayside Music, which is where we first learned about Szajner lo these (too) many years ago. You may be surprised at what else you discover.