Chapeau Claudette, Fashion C'est La Latest Attraction  
Chapeau Claudette
Fashion C'est La Latest Attraction
EUR 12inch 
Label: Into The Light
Release Year: 2021
Style: Funk & Soul
 
  Tracks  
  Fashion C'est La Latest Attraction  
  Pass Auf (Kifissias Ave Dub)  
  Having previously focused on inspiring new music from around the world, Into The Light’s ongoing International Series is set to step back in time with its’ first ever reissue: a new edition of a street soul-inspired 1991 single from African-American photographer, film-maker and hat designer-turned-vocalist Claudette Outland AKA Chapeau Claudette.

Outland’s sole single is in many ways an unlikely curio – one of the tracks featured a rap inspired by German reunification, and the other was a stylish celebration of the relationship between fashion and music – but one that has undoubtedly stood the test of time. Musically inspired by a mix of late-‘80s work, British street soul and glassy-eyed European synth-pop, the double A-side was produced and mixed by Cologne studio engineer Jurgen Garbitowski, and subsequently released on his own short-lived label, Gato.

‘Fashion c’est la latest attraction’, which originally adorned the A-side of the 12” version of the single, is a slow-motion, hip-hop tempo affair in which Outland whispers, sings and raps in English and French over smooth, groovy bass, crunchy street soul beats, chiming synthesizer melodies and dreamy, glassy-eyed chords. Some of the melodic flourishes recall the new age synthesizer sounds of the 1980s, while the track’s bubby groove also boasts subtle nods towards lovers’ rock

For this reissue edition of the single, Into The Light has secured a previously unreleased “dub edit” of ‘Pass Auf’, the reunification-inspired rap track that first scored her a studio date with Garbitowski. More up-tempo with weightier bass, house-style piano riffs, sampled horns, funky guitar riffs and bustling, club-ready breakbeats, the track casts Outland as Berlin’s answer to Neneh Cherry. All these years on, the record remains as funky, joyous and celebratory as ever!
 
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