;When the Dead Kennedys railed on drunken idiocy 25 years ago, it's doubtful that guitarist East Bay Ray thought his surf-ridden punk licks would someday resurface in the cool, comforting shade of bossa nova. In 2004, a couple of French producers calling themselves Nouvelle Vague accomplished just that. On their self-titled debut, Nouvelle Vague transferred a number of punk and post-punk bangers like "Too Drunk to Fuck" to the realm of acoustic guitars, breezy samba percussion and sexy female vocals. On this year's follow-up, Bande à Part, they again adopted an array of hits and nonhits, this time mangling the lot with mixed influences, chiefly a gorgeous Caribbean overtone.
;;Nouvelle Vague's Bande à Part sounds as if it were recorded with organic precision by a small band whose set was meticulously captured with room mics in the corner of a nearly deserted restaurant. But one of the Nouvelle Vague project's leaders, Marc Collin, calls Bande à Part an ultimately electronic album.;
;"It sounds really acoustic, but it's totally recorded in an electronic way," says Collin, whose experience includes everything from TV ads to faux bossa nova records. "There's not really a band who can play the songs the way we've recorded. It's not like that at all. Everyone can come and sing and sometimes play guitar, some accordions … it's really a producer album.";
;Though the acoustic guitar and implausibly electronic elements from the first album remain intact, Collin's Caribbean concept is specific to Bande à Part. The occasional appearance of tropical ambience via rippling tide sounds and percussive island plinks showcases Collin's newer theme at work, specifically on the busy cover of New Order's "Confusion." Mélanie Pain's comely vocal introduces romantic flourishes into the melody, finding a new home for the more than two decades–old club classic. In NV's sleepy interpretation, "Confusion" is shortened and shrouded in chimes, putting to rest the original's skittering beats with rimshots and synth strings. Its appeal seemingly originated at the hands of a weathered Caribbean musician, but Collin's development of these pristine seascapes is as new to him as the bossa nova tracks were on the first Nouvelle Vague album. He's no veteran island performer; Collin is just a good electronic producer with an active imagination.;
;"I never recorded things like that before," says Collin of the first record. "It was the first time. But I can analyze a song, and try to imagine how they recorded this song, and how they produced it, and I did my own thing with the music and what I know. For the sake of bossa nova, yes, I never recorded and played bossa nova before. It's not really bossa nova, finally. It's just white boys in Paris, in a small studio. It's just the idea of bossa nova, and the idea of Caribbean music. It's the inspiration of this music. But if you played this to a real Caribbean musician, he would maybe laugh.";;
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