Label: BYG Records
Preorder: Postponed to September 2022
Newly mastered from original BYG tapes. Based on the original 1967 BYG ‘Special Disc-Jockeys’ LP sampler. Expanded with 5 additional tracks exlusive to CD. Introduction by surviving BYG co-founder Jean-Luc Young. Track-by-track notes by author and journalist Kevin Le Gendr. BYG were a pioneering independant record compagny, one of the first labels to actively promote diversity and support black African-American musicians and multi-cultural artists worldwide during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Launched in the late ’60s in Paris, a city then in the throes of great social upheaval, BYG became the home of music that was uncompromisingly new. The label issued a batch of seminal recordings by Americans who were creating a school of jazz that became known as ‘avant-garde’ - Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Alan Silva, and Don Cherry to name but some – as part of a series called Actuel (‘Current’). A hugely ambitious Actuel festival in Amougies, Belgium also brought together iconoclasts such as Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Pink Floyd, Gong and Soft Machine, who were all taking rock into excitingly fresh areas by way of a maverick marriage of improvisation, surreal imagery and technology. BYG subsequently championed artists who pushed the envelope in terms of lyric writing, such as the legendary French duo Areski & Brigitte Fontaine, or experiments in sound, such as the international ensemble, Musica Elettronica Viva. Decades after its inception, the label remains a key repository of ground-breaking music of the second half of the 20th century that still informs the first half of the 21st.
Newly remastered from the original tapes, each BYG album will be released on LP and CD with exclusive sleeve notes by Kevin Le Gendre and John Masouri.
“BYG were passionate in supporting diversity, against prejudice and narrow-mindedness so I am proud we fought for all our artists and their music, no matter what they were, who they were or where they were from [...] This sampler is a testament to their creativity...” Jean-Luc Young, 2021
The laughing Buddha is one of the great symbols of modern-day record company artwork. It is a perfect blend of reverence and irreverence, a nod to religion and philosophy that is playful as well as earnest. It captured the counter-cultural, rebel spirit of BYG, the label with three large letters taken from the second names of its visionary founders: Fernand Boruso, Jean-Luc Young and Jean Georgakarakos.