zondag 19 juni 2011

I wait your answer, Jérôme Fontan.

Shocked. I am shocked when I get a phone call from Bran from France… things are not good with Jérôme… most likely he has passed away… the next day this is confirmed. Jérôme had a cardiac arrest on friday evening (17 June 2011) and the reanimation came too late…

Most people in our music world will know Jérôme as the musician behind the elektro act Porn.Darsteller. Since 2000 he released some of the best elektro music around on the now defunct Invasion Planète label. With Porn.Darsteller he produced a body of work not still only relevant to date, but also influential when it comes to style, references used and image. Porn.Darsteller was erotic elektro with a pornographic touch, but this never was done in a cheap or easy way but always decadent and stylish.

We first met in Amsterdam in 2003 when I got the Invasion Planète crew to perform there at a festival. Porn.darsteller was always an important part of the label, next to Le Syndicat Electronique and It & My Computer, so Jérôme came over to perform live. Later on we met two more times when I set up other concert nights for the Invasion Planète crew in Holland.

I remember best the night we did in Rotterdam. Only very few people came to see these concerts then but the live performances were great. The best I think of the three times we did shows in Holland together. Also I remember we drank too much Leffe beers and drove back to Utrecht afterwards, where I lived at that time, to sleep at my place. The next day we had talks over breakfast, listened to some music and had a nice walk in the city… with me at least trying to get rid off a hangover from too much beers. They had to drive back more then 1000 km’s later that day to get back home.

Porn.Darsteller collaborated on two releases I put out in the early phase of my Enfant Terrible label. In 2005 he contributed an absolute stunning remake of the classic track ‘Covergirl’ by Dutch cult elektro pop legend The Actor. This track was released on the third record I put out. The next year I was blown away and got boosebumps when a cd arrived with his track ‘L’Ingénue’ for the first compilation I was working on.

This record became “Electronic Renaissance” and opened with this track by Porn.Darsteller. I knew this track already from his live sets and for me this record opening with this track was, and still is, more perfect as perfect could be.

Then when Invasion Planète stopped there was no contact for some time. It was an odd period for many people involved I guess but that is also a different story… probably one which will never be told. Anyway… a little more than two years ago I got an e-mail message… Jérôme wrote me that he had been following my label work and that his project Porn.Darsteller had come to and end and the album he was doing for Invasion Planète was cancelled.

Also he wrote me about the soundtrack he had done for an old silent Spanish film from 1929, entitled “El Sexto Sentido” (The Sixth Sense). And… he first mentioned his new project La Mort De L’Hippocampe. From there on the correspondence continued and he sent me the first recordings by La Mort De L’Hippocampe and the “El Sexto Sentido” with his soundtrack on DVD.

The first demo was a collection of tracks with some hints to elektro but rather industrial and experimental. Still this could be seen best as a sort of a product from a transitory phase. Even more as a few months later I got a message he had finished new pieces and when I got these I was instantly impressed by the sheer quality and originality of this work. He had tapped into a truly new world of music and art now.

This work consisted of two long tracks that evolved into different phases. Some parts where pure electronic music, but of the experimental kind. Other parts also incorporated medieval instruments and spoken word. As I was very enthusiastic I wrote Jérôme I was more than interested to make this into a record release with him. He liked the idea so we started to make plans.

In the meantime of course he could not stop being creative and he was always working on new music and he also set up a performance group around La Mort De L’Hippocampe which involved other artists as well.

Also a complete new work was written and recorded. Another two long pieces of experimental electronic music with some strange cabaret like influences in one part and moving in and out of phases of (un)certain textures. The whole of sound and structure made up for what could be called a piece of contemporary art music. This as it has very little to do with pop music in any possible way.

After some discussion we decided to make this the first release for La Mort De L’Hippocampe. Again Jérôme had been busy with formulating plans and making ideas real… he was starting a record label for his own called Verbascripta. We decided to make the planned release a collaboration of his new label and my Enfant Terrible label. Also we talked about this collaboration as a good way of working together… also for possible future projects.

We were both very enthusiastic about this all… both our activities and interests seemed to mix well and there were more then enough ways to work together and still do our own things as well. The record was fully in progress and we were working hard on getting all done for the planned release…

I wrote him on the status and all last Thursday… not sure he ever read my message… as Saturday Bran, a close friend of Jérôme, called me…

Jérôme, you will be missed… for your work and for your enthusiasm… and of course as a person…

So many plans were lying around and I had hoped to do so much more together… I had hoped to meet again later this year as we were talking about... I have always loved your work and I have always valued your opinion… don’t worry La Mort De L’Hippocampe will be released as discussed and planned… so once more people can hear the genius of your work and how you have evolved throughout the years… it is rare gift the talent you have…

I stop here… with the phrase you always ended your writings with to me…

I wait your answer.


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