Some months ago I had a conversation on a social media about outsider artists, sparked by recently discovering the American artist Jandek. During the conversation a friend mentioned that they had had some involvement with the management of a Belgian artist that went variously by the names Jacques Emoi or Jacques et Moi. Active for a brief period in the 1990’s, Jacques was a proponent of a unique style of poetry, automatic writing, drawing, sound collages and chanson.
My friend was able to source some of the recordings (limited cassette releases) together with a transposed book of writings and scans of cassette covers and notebooks. The aesthetic is broadly Art Brut or Dadaist to some greater or lesser extent. The songs use voice, acoustic guitar, percussion (sometimes on domestic objects) and were recorded on a karaoke machine direct to tape. Since rediscovering these recordings they have been digitally remastered to remove the tape hiss, but they very much retain the intimate feel of an auteur artist working outside of a professional studio environment.
The lyrics are predominantly in French and use a style of word play that makes them difficult to translate into English. The written works do have some English language pieces, and the title for this archive compilation ‘Glue’ is taken from one of these.
Hearing Jacques Emoi for the first time is a mystery story that draws you in as it sticks itself to some curious corner of your soul.
This release includes an EP from 1992, ‘Des Astres EP’, a longer project ‘La Vision d’un Pro’ from early 2000, and two remix versions of tracks from the EP.
‘Des Astres’ is a word play on “désastres” meaning “disasters”, and “des astres” being “luminaries” or “heavenly bodies”. ‘La Vision d’un Pro’ can be translated as ‘the vision of a pro’ , but it also sounds like “la vision d’impro”, which would mean “the vision of improv”.
Various attempts have been made to present the broader works of Jacques Emoi since his last works appeared. Though various labels have shown interest, the poetry & artwork has received favourable comment in some quarters, a thorough retrospective has never materialised. Whilst not an academic study, we hope that this release is in some way doing justice to the authenticity of this artist.
This release is something of a curve ball in the Submarine Broadcasting Company catalogue, but the work is so unique, engaging and beautiful at its core; and we are pleased to be able to throw some light on this lost artist some two decades after his last fleeting appearance.
Jacques is a phoenix. Full of wonder.
This release includes a digital album, a cassette which use archive visual content printed on recycled papers, and a 120 page A5 book with verse and illustration. The physical materials are limited to 25 each so early adoption is advised.
We would be happy to engage with reviewers and archivists in relation to this release to better bring the work of this singular artist to a wider audience. Please contact us for more information.