Ghedalia Tazartes

One of the hazards of doing a blog like TWBITW is that you tend to get pretty jaded. Jake and I sift through so much oddball music that after awhile, we start to get a little hung up on the dog and pony aspect of the whole thing. It’s like—yeah, okay, you guys sound kinda weird, but do you wear goofy costumes or claim to be from another planet? No? Next!

But every so often, someone introduces us to a piece of music that’s just so downright bizarre, so totally unlike anything we’ve ever heard, it really doesn’t need any kind of wacky backstory or WTF visual accompaniment. Such was the case with French musician-composer Ghédalia Tazartès and his 1979 masterpiece, Diasporas.

We got wind of this completely wackadoodle album thanks to a cool little reissue label called Dais Records, who have only been around since 2007 but have already rescued a shit-ton of weird music from the scrapheap. Apparently it’s not quite available yet—we’re not sure what the release date is—but we got an email with a download of the track “Un Amour Si Grand Qu’il Nie Son Objet” and it pretty much knocked us on our asses. You can hear the whole sighing, moaning, nine-minute monstrosity in the YouTube clip below. [Update: No, you can’t. And the Diasporas reissue is sold out. Read more below.] Trust us: Don’t listen to it alone after dark or in an altered state of consciousness. Actually, listening to this will probably alter your consciousness all by itself.

We haven’t been able to find out too much else about Tazartès. We do know that he still occasionally does concerts (and he and his music are as bizarre as ever) and, according to his French Wikipedia page, he still releases music. He also apparently operates out of a home studio in Paris that looks like something out of a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie. He was interviewed in the September 2008 issue of Wire but as far as we can tell, the interview’s not available online. The only other English-language article we could find on him is this unreadably pretentious mess. So he remains a bit of enigma, at least to us poor Americans. Hopefully the Dais reissue will help to change that.

We could attempt to describe Tazartès’ music–French avant-garde gypsy trance minimalism?–but really, there’s not much point. You just have to hear it. This guy is attuned to some other frequencies, for real.

P.S. We originally embedded a YouTube clip of this track from a YouTube channel called Undergroundedful, but the whole channel has since been taken down due to copyright claims. While we totally recognize the right of copyright owners to protect their work, we also think it’s a bummer when obscure and hard-to-find music gets taken off the Internet and put further out of the reach of potential new audiences. Anyhow, hopefully the above YouTube video stays up a while longer.

P.P.S. Okay, so the second YouTube clip was also removed due to copyright claims. Apparently Mr. Tazartes, or one of his representatives, really doesn’t want the Internet to know he exists. But hey, third time’s a charm, maybe?

P.P.P.S. A kindly reader provided a Soundcloud link to “Un Amour Si Grand Qu’il Nie Son Objet” in the comments, but we decided to delete it because, unfortunately, we have to be careful about such things. If anyone knows of any authorized Tazartes music available online, let us know about it, please! We’d like our readers to hear more of his weirdly beautiful stuff for themselves.



7 thoughts on “Ghedalia Tazartes

  1. Glen

    I found this record in a cool little record store in Indiana a few years ago. The person working there was playing it and I couldn’t help but to ask about it. I bought the record, and its been a special gem in my collection since. It is definitely weird!

  2. it is truly sad what DMCA/Safe Harbor has done to youtube. (and other such sites) Overzealous labels relying on automated response to content matching notifications is ONLY HURTING the artists they supposedly represent. Paranoia about making sure they “Get Paid For Their Art” only ensures that they remain in obscurity, alienate what fans they might have had and never get paid at all.

  3. hello there, thanks for writing about Ghedalia! My name is Pascal, I work for a booking agency called Julie Tippex and I am Ghedalia Tazartes’ agent. Yes he is touring – about one show per month, in Europe only.
    The only “official” pages for him are:
    The first one comes with a discography.
    Ghedalia does not haves a computer (!) so this is really me providing infos for him… Please note that Ghedalia NEVER asked for youtube tracks or whatever to be taken down (he does not care I think)

  4. Undergroundedful

    Hello, this is Mr. Undergroundedful, here just to notify that my account was closed down due to.. well, copyright, and s0me people being very picky about it. I thought i’d been careful, removing stuff that stepped on peoples toes, but unfortunately things still went the way they did.

    It’s a shame, Youtube is a simply great way to educate the public about rare and wonderful music such as Ghedalia does. My goal was not to profit in any material way or “commit piracy”. My goal was to give these little-known artists a chance to get heard. Such restrictive copyrighting, i hope, will get for the better in the future.

    I still hope that the music i posted reached people and got them excited about various artists.

    So far, i’m not keen on restarting my account, least not on youtube. Perhaps a blog might be a proper tool for it, but we’ll see. I know there’s a lot of people doing the same as i did (better than i did), and i hope it will happen in the future.

    Peace, Out.

    1. weirdestband

      That really sucks…sorry to hear they shut you down. And thanks for letting us know so we can try to find another Ghedalia video to link to. WordPress really only accepts YouTube embeds for some reason, not other services (Vimeo, etc.) so that’s pretty much our only reliable source.

      I understand the desire to protect copyright but at a certain level it winds up hurting the artists more than helping them. I doubt any of the artists you featured were going broke because of YouTube.

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