Monday, 8 August 2011

The Peppers - Pepper Box (1974/ No. 6/ 12 weeks/ Spark)

'Pepper Box' is an instrumental that would not exist without the exciting possibilities created by the development of the primitive synthesiser. There are three elements; A generic, but still highly pleasurable, pop/ funk bassline, some handclaps, an a persistent very-high-pitched Moog whine (like the one in 'Machine Gun' by The Commodores, but all over the thing). I imagine that for a lot of listeners, the synth solo might be as irritating as a buzzing wasp in the room (and it is so high pitched that it could remove earwax on headphones) but works for me within the jolly spirit of the thing.

Research leads me to discover that The Peppers were not, as I'd presumed, some very minor Moments-type American R&B troupe but a pseudonym for Roger Tokras, a French studio musician. So historically this could be the source from which (the 1970s) Space, Ottowan, Daft Punk and Air all flowed from.

2 comments:

  1. great track. first single i ever bought.

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  2. Roger Tokarz was the producer's name; his day job was running the Tele-Music label of library music, with this lot as regular session men. Think of them as a French equivalent of Alan Hawkshaw and his KPM chums over here.

    And you're a lot closer than you think re Space; the guy who drummed on this, one Pierre-Alain Dahan, was a founding member.

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