Releasing a posthumous compilation of an artist’s work is not an easy task for a record label. And with a legacy as big and influential as the one Marc Moulin left behind him when passing in September 2008, Blue Note Records were in for a treat. Moulin was a composer, radiometer, writer, publicist and overall jack-of-all-trades, always remaining at the cutting edge of every decade he has lived. That’s how we’d like to remember him, because that’s what the man deserves.
Words Alex Deforce
With the triple CD-set ‘Boxof’, the cult jazz label has compiled some of the finest moments of his career. From his early work as a jazz fusion pioneer with his band Placebo to his unique Moog synthesizer sound explorations on the solo effort ‘Sam Suffy’, up until his most recent offerings as a solo artist on Blue Note, creating what was later described as ‘St. Germain-style house music’ (though it is said Moulin was first), ‘Boxof’ provides a solid overview of Moulin’s legacy. A music heritage that has transcended styles and genres, the Belgian composer’s tunes having been sampled by some of the world’s greatest producers such as J Dilla, Madlib, DJ Vadim or singers Baloji and Jill Scott, to name just a few.
‘Boxof’ succeeds in showcasing the mind and vision of an artist whose sole purpose was to explore and discover, constantly crossing-over various genres and bridging gaps between his connoisseur’s references and the mainstream music that surrounded him. The compilation’s major flaw however, lies in the total absence of any Telex track, Moulin’s synth-pop band that boosted his career and placed him on the map. That said, a fair number of unreleased tracks featured in ‘Boxof’ almost make up for this regrettable omission. ‘Boxof’ therefore proves to lack relevance if you’re looking for a complete review of Marc Moulin’s career. Then again, if you all you require at this stage is an introduction, ‘Boxof’ is a good start, if only for the extensive liner notes by Bernard Dobbeleer.
Marc Moulin and Placebo – Only Nineteen
Placebo – Humpty Dumpty
J Dilla’s Love Jones, containing the Humpty Dumpty sample