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Charles Aznavour, still going strong
French chanson

Charles Aznavour, still going strong

Ever-popular Charles Aznavour has announced his retirement time and again, but he’s never managed it. The veteran star, who was elected Artist of the Century by CNN and The Times in 1998, has released a boxed set of 90 greatest hits and celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday 22 May with a live performance in Berlin.

Yann Tiersen knows no limits
New

Yann Tiersen knows no limits

The astonishing Yann Tiersen has once again got himself noticed with a fifth, variegated album, Infinity. The Breton multi-instrumentalist, who took a while to shake off the legacy of “Amélie Poulain”, made a move into noise, then post-rock. With his new foray into experimental music, he told us why he turned to the UK and about his love for electronic violins.

Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains, over hills and vales
French pop

Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains, over hills and vales

Following exile in the UK and several trips to Africa, Frànçois and The Atlas Mountains are back with a new album. The only Gallic group to feature on the British label Domino (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys) has released Piano Ombre, serving up soft pop with an electro edge and a touch of Africa, mixed by Ash Workman of Metronomy fame.

Zachary Richard, for the love of French
World music

Zachary Richard, for the love of French

With his 20th album, Le Fou, "Cajun King" Zachary Richard, creator of the hit Travailler, c’est trop dur, appeals to a French public once again. The spiritual ecologist fervently defends the French spoken in Louisiana, set to a happy groove. RFI Musique met up with a musician keen to perpetuate his ancestors’ language: a militant musician bursting with poetry.

Paris Combo, swinging back in
French chanson

Paris Combo, swinging back in

The last Paris Combo album, Motifs, dates from 2004. A decade on, Combo is back in Paris and other French venues to tout their new opus, 5. The long pause clearly hasn’t diminished their love of singing and swinging. RFI Musique met up with Belle du Berry, lead singer of this slightly reshuffled but totally talented quintet.

Gaspard Royant’s vinyl revival
Revelation

Gaspard Royant’s vinyl revival

Despite being reared on a diet of Roy Orbison records and Phil Spector productions, Gaspard Royant isn’t particularly nostalgic about the sixties. With his slicked-back hair, three-piece suits and seductive stance, the singer reveres rock-soul music, and has grouped a clutch of prime hits on his 10 Hit Wonder.

Gipsy Kings, the real thing
World music

Gipsy Kings, the real thing

To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of their group made up of two families, the Gipsy Kings have released a new album entitled Savor Flamenco, offering a familiar energetic cocktail of guitar work and vocals.

Sylvie Vartan returns to her American dream
French chanson

Sylvie Vartan returns to her American dream

Fifty years after recording her first album in the capital of country music, French singer Sylvie Vartan has released Sylvie à Nashville. A nostalgic trip back in time.

The French punk that almost wasn’t
Legacy

The French punk that almost wasn’t

From 15 October 2013 to 19 January 2014, the Parisian Museum of Music is showing an original exhibition entitled Euro Punk, an artistic revolution in Europe (1976-1980). To mark the event, RFI Musique looks back over the punk movement in France, how it started, who took part, how it took root… and how France nearly missed the musical boat.

France seen from abroad October 2013
Press review

France seen from abroad October 2013

It’s the year of Édith Piaf. A whole range of events have been planned to commemorate fifty years since the legendary singer’s death. The United States, for example, has launched itself into some particularly sumptuous celebrations.

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