On 1996


Just when it began to seem wise to draw a line across some of my fruitless girl collaborations and go back to being Momus, two record deals for the Laila project falling into my lap at once, followed by the promise of a Milky album in late 1997
Scoring three Momus-written top ten hit singles in Japan with the ever sweet and gracious Kahimi Karie
Kahimi Karie's move to Pigalle and the ongoing drama of her love life
Hanging out in the 13th arrondisment with the anthropologist Condominas
Coming back into fashion in the reviews columns of the UK music press
Reaching the top of the Macintosh food chain with the creation and manufacture, chez moi, of the CD-ROM 'This Must Stop!' only to find four orders for the audio CD for every one of the ROM
Receiving substantial royalties for the first time in my career
My New York trip, and deciding to live there (can I really mean it this time?)

Ligs And Aftershow Encounters

With Beck in the Hotel Terminus Du Nord whiskey bar
(No, he'd never heard of 'Hairstyle Of The Devil'. No, he doesn't like Oasis. And no, he doesn't think of what he does as genre-hopping or pastiche. And yes, black people do like it too)
Discussing terrorism and air disasters with Luke Haines
A somewhat bland Nina Cardigan, before MTV dragged her away to open some champagne
Scanner (twice, once in New York, once in Caen)
Florence Manlik's Green Party in St Germain Des Pres
The Dirk Bikkembergs fashion show at the Lycee Montmartre


Ariel Wizman for playing my stuff so much on the Radio Nova Cocktail Hour and helping me to get a visa
Jean-Francois Bizot for his one-man campaign against French racism and stolidity
Matt Jacobson for making 'Twenty Vodka Jellies' possible, and for being a magician
Holger, Marcus and Christof of Bungalow Records in Berlin
Pascal Dauzier and Marc Thoron at Atmospheriques
Ola Torncrantz, the Swedish Tintin
Vicky Bogle for being such a bad influence
Mike Alway, insanely optimistic about his new label, finally vindicated
Meeting Eric Swenson - and all my other E mail friends who turned from ABCs into real people - in New York
Dave DiMartino for putting me in Launch
John Heany in Dublin
Alan Gac, 'The Gack'
Count Indigo, suave and mild on several trips to Paris


Buying in bulk at Guerrisol, more nylon than Oxfam ever dared to be


Pedro Winter's room upstairs at Le Palace
The Wilds in New York
The Cafe Moloko and Lili La Tigresse, where I came to appreciate go go dancing


'Idoru' by William Gibson
'Vox' by Nicholson Baker (which I was too embarrassed to read when it first came out)
Eno's 'A Year (With Swollen Appendices)'
Milton's 'Areopagitica', which I downloaded in its entirety from the net
'Lou Reed' by Victor Bokris
'Elevator Music' by Joseph Lanza
'Crumpet All The Way' by Patsy Manning


Purple Prose
Purple Fashion


'Breaking The Waves' (apart from the ending)
'The Celluloid Closet'
Martin Sulik's 'The Garden'
'Cyclo' by Tran Am Hung
'Season of Crysanthemums' by Mizoguchi
'Trainspotting' (the book was better)
Rohmer's 'Tale Of Springtime'
'No Sex Last Night' by Sophie Calle (this woman is me)
'Nico Icon' and the weird film her boyfriend made of her in the saltflats of Morocco
'Il Postino'


Peter Brook's version of Hamlet, 'Qui Est La?'
Carmen Funebre at the Edinburgh Festival


Baader Meinhof: Baader Meinhof
Cibo Matto: Viva La Woman!
Bjork: Telegram
Beck: Odelay
Tricky: Pre-Millenium Tension
Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Cornelius: 69 / 96
Citrus: Cymbal Hit
Stereo Total: Monokini
Philippe Katerine: Mes Mauvaises Frequentations
Mathieu Boogearts in concert at the Lavoir Moderne, Paris 18th
The Aphex Twin: Richard R. James
Roger Roger's Music For Plants
Ennio Morricone: A Fistful Of Film Music


To Galway with Shazna, where we heard Irvine Welsh read
To New York, where my show was a sell out and I totally bought into the atmosphere
Flat hopping with my subtle and groovy friends Gilles and Flo from Brussells to Rotterdam to Amsterdam and back, rediscovering some of the excitement of Europe
London, where I found the restaurants much improved

Songs I Wrote

(and who they were written with or for):

Mandalay Cow (Milky)
Estridentistas (Milky)
Le Roi Soleil (Kahimi Karie)
Bilitis (Laila France)
Little Red Ridinghood (Laila France)
Japanese Especially (Laila France)
Trance Cocktail Airlines (Laila France)
Fruits De Mer (Laila France)
Lolitapop Dollhouse (Kahimi Karie)
Cat From The Future (Kahimi Karie)
The Price Of Prada Shoes (Kahimi Karie)
The Anthem Of Shibuya (Laila France)
Synthesiser Wizard (Laila France)
Tiny King Kong (Kahimi Karie)
Superfreak (Kahimi Karie)
Polaroid Girlguide (Milky)
Un Siecle (Laila France)
Bancho Girls (Kahimi Karie)

1996: The Downside

Agreeing to do other people's websites (Basil Paterson, Rita Mitsouko, Cherry Red, Shazna) then losing interest
Abusive, insane landladies and concierges
Playing too much Doom
Getting my wallet stolen
Becoming disillusioned with computers, while relying more than ever on their transparent omnipresence
The Japanese sleeve for '20 Vodka Jellies'
David Bowie's 'Telling Lies' 'jungle' single
The Mike Flowers Pops album
A famous male model dropping my DAT recorder down a flight of stairs by the Seine
Finding France conservative... then finding bloody Chirac saying the same thing!
Bombs on the metro
The Eurostar fire stopping my friends coming over from London to visit
Having the neighbours threaten to poison my cat
Cronenburg's 'Crash' being ludicrous nonsense
'Through The Clouds' by Wenders and Antonioni being incoherent
Releasing a lot of archive stuff, playing well-received concerts, yet not writing a single new song for Momus
Faxing Creation asking them to sign me again and getting no response
Rhythm King turning down the Laila France project after being acquired by Arista
My kitten destroying a suit I bought in Dublin's Temple Bar
My expensive Patrick Cox boots being uncomfortable and treacherously slippery

Momus, Paris, December 1996

Previous Columns:On Columns, On Flatness, On The Couch, On The ROM, On Quality, On Image, On OasismandOn Scenes.