Alex Gopher Alex Gopher

Long-time fans of the French house scene likely remember Alex Gopher from the late ’90s generational surge that brought about the likes of Daft Punk, Motorbass, Cassius, Dimitri from Paris, Etienne de Crecy and Air. Gopher released a few impressive singles on labels like Source and Solid but by the time his debut album, 1998’s You, My Baby, and I, appeared it seemed that all the air had sputtered out of his sails. And that’s where most people left Gopher, as a footnote more notable for his associations than his records. 2002’s Wuz, although better than his debut, failed to leave a blip on the radar. Now, five years on, Alex Gopher has returned with a self-titled album bearing a large sticker highlighting the fact this album was made with Etienne De Crecy, both members of Air (with whom Gopher once shared the band Orange) and Olivier Libaux of Nouvelle Vague. Here, Gopher abandons house music altogether, opting instead to revive the clean, manicured ’80s art pop of Adam Ant and Joe Jackson while adding in a little French chanson vulnerability. So far this reads like a late career disaster, and it would be if not for the irrepressible strength of Gopher’s songwriting abilities. The songs are ace, the production is pristine and the high-profile backing band have done their job ably. Fans of French house, say goodbye to Alex Gopher. Fans of Phoenix and Air, say hello to Alex Gopher. This is worth seeking out. (Go4)