Let me tell you about this Austin Powers look-alike Bernard Estardy , often referred to as Le Baron. One of the big players in French music history and one of the most sought after sound engineers throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Le baron always had a clear vision of where he was going with his productions, one of the few musicians at the time to which sound engineering made any sense (to give an example, Estardy was the first in France to employ phasing techniques on his recordings). After being involved on a number of sessions with Nino Ferrer, he started building his very own studio in 1967 (the legendary CBE studio in Paris). This would now be his playground, he utilized the best studio equipment imaginable at the time, including the legendary Neumann u47 and u67 microphones (also used by The Beatles at the time) and a custom made desk with 32-track tape machine, both designed by the Swiss genius Gunther Loof. They say records that were produced at CBE in the first two decades of its existence, accounted for 200 million copies sold (no surprise if you know CBE recorded many artists including big shots such as Johnny Hallyday, Claude François, Paul Simon, Nancy Sinatra etc.). But there’s more! When Bernard wasn’t producing records with/for other popular French artists or working on his own material (such as the way-ahead-of-its-time experimental concept album ‘La formule De Baron‘), he was recording background music and soundtracks for French television, movies and radio. Having the very open minded Paris-based label ‘Tele Music‘ as his playground, Bernard financed his studio and bought his bread from his income generated by a prolific career recording a series of highly regarded and much sampled library albums.
To illustrate the kind of genius this man was i’ve included his 1974 track ‘Gang Train’. A very experimental track that has some kind of a Shaft in outer space feel to it. A lovely spacy lead synth and various instruments solo all over the place. Also, check out this second track called Vertigo Leitmotiv. I like to believe it’s Bernard’s French instrumental interpretation of 60’s Motor Music, but that’s just an idea. I know it all sounds a bit vague, but that’s how Le Baron rolls.
Download: Bernard Estardy – Gang Train (1974) (320 kbps)
Download: Bernard Estardy – Vertigo Leitmotiv (1970) (320 kbps)