Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier - Les Chemins De Katmandou
(Finders Keepers)

Finders Keepers marks its 100th release with an album that has long been considered lost to the annals of vinyl lore, Les Chemins De Katmandou. Written, recorded, produced and arranged by the legendary duo of Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier, it is an album that has cast a shadow that has loomed large over the more quintessential works of these two pioneers. Gainsbourg you are certainly familiar with having proven to be possibly the most iconic and influential French performer & composer of the 20th century with a far reaching and expansive discography. Vannier may be a less familiar name, but his work is certainly not. Jean-Claude Vannier was largely responsible for the sound and aesthetic of what most consider to be Gainsbourg's magnum opus, 1971's Histoire De Melody Nelson. Not so coincidentally, Finders Keepers inaugural release was a reissue of Vannier's 1972 album L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, recorded with the same band used on Melody Nelson. That album took those same unmistakeable textures and grooves and pushed them so far out of this world that the results are as terrifying as they are inviting. Truly an avant-psych, funk freak-out that until that reissue, was one of the most sought after albums for only the most adventurous Djs or collectors. The two would go on to produce several soundtracks throughout the 1970's that only furthered the sound that the two of them basically invented; a sound and texture so singular that anyone who dips into their world is unable to avoid comparison at the least, or thievery at the very worst. But what about Les Chemins De Katmandou? Sometimes referred to as “The Pleasure Pit” or “The Road To Katmandou”, it was a 1969 french “Smacksploitation” film featuring Jane Birkin, herself another essential ingredient to the Gainsbourg / Vannier oeuvre. As the story goes, the music marked the first collaboration between the two but it was left out of the final cut, due to being destroyed by a studio fire where the tapes were kept. For those of us who have come to depend on both Melody Nelson and L'Enfant Assassin as record collection cornerstones, this is a big deal. In a time where we seemingly have more music available at our fingertips than ever before, it's always exciting when an album comes along that is just plain out of reach, even if it’s only for a few more hours. (Adam)
Check out a track here.