Set up as a ‘music library’ in 1966, Tele-Music is a French label that experimented with sound design. Roger Tokarz, a former appliance trader set the label up to cut sounds for radio and television advertising companies when it became legal to advertise on French TV in 1968. The money flowing in from the advertising companies enabled Tokarz and his musicians to record with quality, precision and in comfort for this ‘made-to-order’ label, also allowing them studio time to experiment.
At the start of the disco era during the early ’70’s Tokarz started to make deals with other popular French labels and musicians, but it was the Tele-Music ‘house musicians’ that took the French disco sound worldwide.
“Disco was very important at pushing things forward musically,” he argues, “because all of a sudden the musicians, composers and arrangers had a much more important position. They no longer relied on the vocalists; it was all in the arrangements and the progression of the music itself.”
The Tele-Music ‘house-band’ (whose members went on to form disco-band Voyage releasing on Tokarz’s sub-label Sirocco) consisted of prolific French musicians Guitarist Slim Pezin, drummer Pierre Alain-Dahan, keyboard player Marc Chantereau and Sauveur Mallia who played bass on most of Cerrone’s studio sessions and live performances, and Georges Rodi on synthesiser. Playing together from the early ’60’s and composing some of Tele-Music’s now most collectible instrumental albums, their musical output represented Tele-Music’s values of independence, artist support & quality.
- Claude Engel – Belle Gueuse (1972)
- French prog-rock guitarist Claude Engel was part of Tele-Music’s varied repertoire of classically trained musicians composing music for the label. Originally intended only as library music, this misleading rock album 99% Pop, is now a diggers prog dream.
- Bernard Estardy – Electro Sounds LP (1972)
- No.33 in the Tele-Music library series, Estardy recorded under many monikers including Le Baron. The producer nicknamed the “giant”, worked with numerous French stars in the EPC studio he set up with two friends Georges Chatelain & Günther Loof in the ’70’s. The Chemical Brothers sampled Estardy’s Tic Tac Nocturne for track My Elastic Eye
- Marc Chantereau/Pierre-Alain Dahan/Slim Pezin – Viva El Disco (1979)