Staff Takeover – Bertrand Porhel, Paris 1998-2000

During this past winter, I often felt nostalgic of times when my freedoms were not curtained and I was able to socialise with no restrictions. In some way 1998 seemed a very long way off.

Back then at 21 years old, with a keen interest in music, I had just landed my dream job in a Paris music shop. Finally leaving  Brest – my bleak hometown, my youth was finally lighting up and I was thrilled to join the music retailing industry.

The vibrant multicultural 18th and 20th districts of Paris turned out to be spots where I met so many interesting, challenging and quirky individuals making those two years enriching and memorable.

Working in the Soul-Funk-electronic section of the music shop, those years living in the capital were also musically formative. I discovered many new genres that I had never been exposed to before. I remember being hooked on blaxploitation movie scores, abstract hip-hop and acid jazz.

This playlist is a collection of the tracks I discovered, cherished and played endlessly in my Barbes apartment. They were often recommended to many of my customers!

Cover picture by Aurore Gemble.

Paris 1998-2000

Nightmares on Wax – Les nuits

DJ Cam – Meera ft Kakoli Sengupta

Air – Les professionnels

Marvin Gaye – ‘T’ plays it cool

Wilco – How to fight loneliness

Lambchop – Grumpus

Neil Young – I believe in you

Ann Peebles – Trouble, heartaches & sadness

Shuggie Otis – Aht uh Mi Hed

Serge Gainsbourg – La Ballade de Melody Nelson

Kruder and Dorfmeister – Useless (depeche mode remix)

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson – We almost lost Detroit

Ms. Lauryn Hill – Forgive them father

Gwen McCrae –  Let’s straighten out

The Roots ft Erykah Badu – You got me

Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons – See and don’t see

Wendy Rene – After laughter (comes tears)

Curtis Mayfield – Eddie you should know better

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