André Popp & His Orchestra – Delirium In Hi-Fi
CD Album, Reissue, Remastered, Netherlands, 1997 (Originally 1957, France)
I bought this album to be a completest with respect to my collection that includes anything to do with Boris Vian. Which over time, leads one to strange places and times. André Popp is for sure in the strange category. Delirium In Hi-Fi is one of the many albums released in the late 1950's dealing with the wonderful world of home Hi-Fi. On one level it is used to test the sound of your new system at home, and on another level it is total perverse French pop music. Like the brilliant Alain Goraguer, who was around the same time and a buddy of Vian's, Popp was in the same line of business. Backing various French stars of the 50's and 60's – for instance Brigitte Bardot, among others. Compared to Goraguer, Popp is more commercial minded and more easy-listening. Except this album is border-line experimental with speeded up vocals and instrumentation. It is sort of like an over-sized or aged child playing in the recording studio. No wonder Boris Vian worked and liked him! The very devil even wrote the liner notes to this album!
But beyond Popp's trash sensibility, lurks a man who loves sound. One often thinks of Eno as a sound-breaker, but it is actually people like Joe Meek and Popp, and in a certain way Andre Hodeir were pioneers in the recording studio and how sound can be reproduced or thinking of recordings as a sepearate medium than live sound. Kitsch as hell, but fascinating as well.