In 1973, 22-year old Richard Pinhas was well on his way
to becoming a full-time philosopher. He had almost
finished his Ph.D and begun teaching at the University of
Paris. But he also had a hobby: writing music and
recording it himself. When he submitted a few tracks to
British label E.G. (home of King Crimson and Roxy
Music), the imprint was interested, but Pinhas was
frustrated to find out he'd have to wait a year for them to
So Pinhas put out his first album on his own label,
Disjuncta. He called the project Heldon (from a location in
Norman Spinrad's 1972 sci-fi novel "The Iron Dream"). It
might have been the first self-released rock record in
France. "Or at least the first one that worked," says
Pinhas. "It was like a musical and political event in France.
Musical because there were few artists using synthesizers
here, or even in the world. And political because we tried
to say that the big companies make everything bad and
their records are too expensive."
Most of "Electronique Guerilla" was made by Pinhas
alone, but "Ouais, Marchais, Mieux Qu'en 68" featured
five collaborators, including one of his mentors, Gilles
Deleuze. Over winding guitars and pointed percussion,
the French philosopher reads lyrics taken from Friedrich
Nietzsche's "The Voyager and His Shadow".
Despite being self-released - with Pinhas himself
delivering some stock directly to record stores -
"Electronique Guerilla" quickly sold over 19,000 copies.