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Mikado \ Forever [TWI 105 / CD]

Forever is a double disc anthology by Mikado, the French synth pop duo featuring Pascale Borel and Gregori Czerkinsky.

As well as cult debut single Par Hasard, issued by Crépuscule in 1982, the remastered collection includes subsequent singles Un Naufrage en Hiver, Carnaval and La Fille du Soleil, as well as debut album Mikado from 1985, executive produced by Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Bonus tracks include b-sides, jingles and several demo songs for an unfinished second album. There is also an English-language version of Par Hasard (Romance), Christmas album track Noel Sous le Soleil, plus a previously unreleased cover version of Night of the Hunter.

2xLP tracklist:

A1. Par Hasard
A2. Au Jeu du Mikado
A3. Ce Garcon-la
A4. Les Enfants Pirée
A5. Un Naufrage en Hiver
B1. Attend ou vas-t'en
B2. Anita
B3. L'Exotisme
B4. Quand Viendras-tu?
B5. Si tu m'aimes
C1. Night of the Hunter
C2. D'accord, D'accord
C3. L'ile Sauvage
C4. L'Amour est un Peu Fragile
C5. En Sourient
D1. La Fille du Soleil
D2. Carnaval
D3. C'est le Vent
D4. La Tour Eiffel
D5. Romance

2xCD tracklist:

Disc 1

01. Par Hasard
02. Au Jeu du Mikado
03. Ce Garcon-la
04. Noel Sous le Soleil
05. Les Enfants Pirée
06. Un Naufrage en Hiver
07. Attend ou vas-t'en
08. Anita
09. Trois Beaux Soldats
10. Les Fleurs de l'été
11. L'Exotisme
12. Quand Viendras-tu?
13. Si tu m'aimes
14. La Sardine

Disc 2

01. Mikado Saxo
02. Night of the Hunter
03. D'accord, D'accord
04. L'ile Sauvage
05. L'Amour est un Peu Fragile
06. En Sourient
07. La Fille du Soleil
08. Carnaval
09. Emma et Vienna
10. L'Arc en Ciel
11. C'est le Vent
12. La Tour Eiffel
13. Mikado Game
14. Romance

Available on 2xCD, 2xLP and digital (MP3). To order please select correct shipping option (UK, Europe or Rest of World) and click on Add To Cart button below the cover image.

Or, you can order with the option of tracked shipping from our friends at Burning Shed (click here to order)

Watch the clip for Naufrage en Hiver here:

Forever [TWI 105]
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"The lush, kitsch Pierre et Gilles artwork here perfectly complements Mikado's electronic stylings, which sound like they relied on Casio keyboard preset rhythm patterns and chord generators. There's abundant charm in this collection's gentle and romantic sound and the vocals of Pascale Borel. Mikado were fully committed to creating a sweet world of French chanson where irony is airbrushed in and out of focus, and erupts into bouncy trashy pop like Les Fleurs de L'Ete on the turn of a sixpence" (Electronic Sound, 10/2017)

"Before Air, before St Etienne, there was Mikado. Consisting of chanteuse Pascale Borel (previously with Pop outfit Lala et les Emotions) and synth boffin Gregori Czerkinsky, they emerged from France's capital in 1982 with their first single Pas Hasard, issued on Les Disques du Crepuscule. It was an instant classic. This outfit were finely crafted and stylised, but also marked by a sly sense of humour. The attention to detail in their work betrayed their art leanings, with high kitsch photo sleeves by Pierre et Gilles housing their delicately concocted recordings. These just ooze Parisian cool, posed in artificial surroundings a bit like a New Wave Gilbert and George. Gazing through beautifully constructed flower/heart bouquets, pale and happy but seemingly distracted, Mikado appeared a more human alternative to the Man Machine/robot image.

"Mikado are a new name to me, but listening to this new compilation it appears that their fellow countrymen Air owe them quite a debt. Borel's breathy delivery and the spartan electronic accompaniment mean that certain tracks could have come straight off of Moon Safari. For all their posing in artificial collaged landscapes, Mikado were clearly something more than mere avant-garde pop preening, displaying a warm and sometimes cheeky approach to minimalist electro and indeed their own public image. They seem to be sending themselves up in fine style, whilst pitching up with some very listenable and catchy material.

"Par Hasard, which kicks off this compilation, is a lovely statement in restrained spellbinding - a perfect but hazy artificial world created in the space of four and a half minutes (it is also reprised in its English version, Romance, among the bonus tracks). Mikado occupy some sort of middle ground between Young Marble Giants and Depeche Mode, but that's only half the story. There's a hint of their approach being an update of Serge Gainsbourg's partnerships with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, and on occasion they veered towards more standard synthpop (like on Un Naufrage en Hiver). Even then there's a sense of the strange and a peculiar assertiveness in Mikado's typically low-key pathway.

"Always seemingly near-whispering at close quarters, Borel's vocals act as the perfect compliment to Czerkinsky's pared down proto-electronica. Like YMG they existed in their own world, with in their case Parisan late night drinking clubs replacing Cardiff's coffee bar scene. Ce Garcon-la has a beautiful sense of wonder in its plaintive voice and works well backed by minimal electronics, encapsulating what this duo did well. Though Trois Beaux Soldats is lengthy it doesn't waste a second - military drumming and a delicious, confessional-style vocal, moving on to verge on Psychedelia (there's a hint of Strawberry Fields Forever near the end). More in the synth pop mode both Attends ou vas-t'en and Les Enfants du Piree contain some nice vibes/glockenspiel work and the fast and buzzy Les Fleurs de L'ete features Mikado at their most upbeat.

"However, things get stranger on the bonus tracks, where the 'Pop' version of Mikado meet their more experimental edges head on. There are hints of La Dusseldorf on La Fille du Soleil and Czerkinsky's voice is employed well in duetting with Borel on it. Night Of the Hunter represents their most outre offering, a bit like the soundtrack to an imaginary David Lynch French New Wave flick. The CD ends with two English language versions, Mikado Game and Romance, showing the pair at least a match for the vast majority of 80s pop, let alone most synth duos.

"On Forever Mikado reveal hidden depths that one might not have considered amidst the perfect heart-breaking synth-pop they evidently were dab hands at. In addition to their obvious skill in seductive, a bit naughty electropop, the second disc here shows that they were a more well rounded and experimental proposition at times than one might have thought on first impressions. The English language versions appended to the second disc show that US and UK music fans missed a lot in not placing Mikado close to their hearts." (Louder Than War, 09/2017)

"Forever begins with Par Hasard, their wonderful first single and signature tune. Czerkinsky's pretty keyboards and Borel's eloquent air reminiscent of Francoise Hardy, France Gall and Brigitte Bardot made this a cult classic. Their 1984 single Un Naufrage en Hiver was their first studio liaison with Haruomi Hosono and signalled Mikado's move towards a more punchier pop sound while still retaining their inherent elegance. While not massive selling, their cocktail electro template no doubt inspired Nouvelle Vague, and Forever provides an interesting snapshot of French new wave pop and updated ye-ye" (The Electricity Club, 09/2017)

Forever [TWI 105]