Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
French art-rock unit Etron Fou Leloublan -- roughly translated, "Mad Sh*t, the White Wolf" -- was formed in 1974 by vocalist Eulalie Ruynat, bassist/vocalist Ferdinand Richard, saxophonist Chris Chanet, and drummer Guigou Chenevier. A product of the Rock in Opposition coalition -- a loose collective of British and Western European artists, spearheaded by Henry Cow, that openly challenged the commercial, creative, and sociopolitical aims of mass-market popular music -- Etron Fou Leloublan boasted a frenzied, densely rhythmic approach ably captured by their 1976 debut LP, Batelages. Saxophonist Francis Grand replaced Chanet for the 1978 follow-up, Les Trois Fou's Perdégagnent (Au Pays Des...); a brief 1979 tour of the U.S. yielded the live disc En Public au Etats-Unis d'Amerique. Bernard Mathieu assumed saxophone duties and singer/multi-instrumentalist Jo Thirion replaced Ruynat for 1982's Fred Frith-produced Les Poumons Gonfles, with yet another saxophonist -- Bruno Meillier -- signing on for 1984's Les Sillons de la Terre. That same year, a longtime Etron Fou Leloublan rule that the members could not participate in musical projects outside the group's ranks was lifted, and both Richard and Chenevier recorded solo efforts; the former teamed with Sophie Jausserand for A l'Abri des Micro-Climats, while the latter partnered with the celebrated cellist Tom Cora for En Avant. Chenevier concurrently formed a second group, Encore Plus Grande, while Richard moonlighted with Alfred Harth in Gestalt et Jive. Having apparently had their fill of revolving saxophonists, Richard, Chenevier and Thirion recorded 1985's Face aux Eléments Déchainés as a three-piece; the LP was the final Etron Fou Leloublan recording, with 1991's three-disc 43 Songs collecting the entirety of the group's studio output.