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Savoire Faire: Best Of

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Album Review

Family Fodder released two extremely obscure but oddly delightful albums in the early '80s, Monkey Banana Kitchen and All Styles. With the blessing of the loose-knit London-based group's leader (and sole constant member), Alig Pearce, the New York indie Dark Beloved Cloud gathered the best of those two discs, plus some singles and previously unreleased tracks, onto the 16-track Savoir Faire: The Best of Family Fodder. Kicking off with the title track, a brilliant organ-based pop song with bilingual verses sung by Dominique Levillain, the album proceeds to try to encapsulate this collective's curiously wide-ranging pursuits (that album wasn't called All Styles for nothing), but ends up sticking mostly to the group's quirky pop songs rather than its dub or musique concrète experiments. Of course, it takes a certain artistic fearlessness to cover Blondie (a weird and ultimately unsuccessful deconstruction of "Sunday Girl" with coy electronically processed vocals and a middle eight sung by a child), Franz Schubert, and Erik Satie (done inna reggae stylee, yet) on the same album.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '00s

Family Fodder was less a band than a never-ending collective of musicians messing with tapes in the basement of a London flat. Begun in 1979 by Alig Pearce, a label called Small Wonder released their first 7" when they still went by the name Te Deum. (Interestingly, the other two singles released concurrently by the label were the first Cure single and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead.") The band was led by odd splices of tape, dub effects, and Dominique Levillain's chanteuse vocals. Influenced by Syd...
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Savoire Faire: Best Of, Family Fodder
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