Nordic quality reaches France

Jean-Pierre Moya – the brains behind

Once a week in the French city of Reims, musical current from the Nordic countries floods the airwaves. The show Rockomondo supplies the French listeners with two hours of indie-oriented rock and pop for. The guidelines for what type of music the show airs are simple: The artist may not be from the USA or UK – and it must be of a high musical quality. Given these selection criteria, a large part of the music on the show actually derives from the Nordic countries. But how does music by names like Under Byen, Lise Westzynthius, Spleen United, Erwin Thomas, Moi Caprice, Money Your Love and Jomi Massage end up on a radio station in the north-east of France?
The answer is Jean-Pierre Moya. A man with a burning passion for music. In his spare time he runs the radio show and weblog named Rockomondo, and promoting music for the interested Frenchmen has become his calling. ROSA made an interview with him about Nordic music from a French point of view.

It begins on the internet
Several artists have visited Jean-Pierre Moya on his show and his playlists overflow with new and exciting names from the Nordic countries among others. In recent years, names like Superheroes, Lise  Westzynthius, Jonas Bjerre from Mew and Under Byen have been interviewed or have given small acoustic concerts on Rockomondo.
The radio show is a non-profit enterprise based on volunteer work and a strong interest in music.
– We are independent, we don’t advertise, we can play what we want, says Jean-Pierre Moya and he continues: – It is a privilege only very few radio people have. Our only obligation is quality: We have to make a good show. Apart from that, I don’t have any specific criterion for selecting music. If I like it, I play it. It’s that simple.

Jean-Pierre Moya makes it a point of honour not to follow the established music press, which he feels bases itself on short-term hypes of single bands. He only trusts the artists themselves and his own judgement. That’s why the internet has become a crucial tool that secures direct access to bands all over the world.
– When there is a band I like, I go to their website, find the links’ page, and that way I might find a couple of bands that I like as well. From their site I might find even more good bands. It is domino theory applied to music, says Jean-Pierre Moya.

Specific Nordic qualities
In his systematic search for good music, Jean-Pierre Moya often comes across bands from the Nordic countries. He thinks their musical praxis is of a high quality, but mainly the quality of the Nordic bands are to be found elsewhere than in musicality. Most of all, Moya stresses Nordic bands’ ability to communicate:
– All the Nordic countries have important productions in terms of quality and quantity and they know exactly how to utilize new methods of communication. It helps a great deal, he adds.
In addition, the radio host emphasizes a different quality that he feels separates Nordic artists from their colleagues around the world:
– Most of them are simply pleasant people, and it’s nice to meet them for a cosy talk and a beer. And the relaxed attitude reflects in their music. They are fresh, they don’t cheat, and they apply themselves 200 percent to what they do. And they have their own sound. Even when they play music slightly similar to the British or American, there is always something that makes them different.

Jean-Pierre Moya:
To me SPOT Festival is like a big Christmas tree with a giant pile of presents in front of it. The organizing is perfect, the atmosphere is cool, it is easy to meet the people you are supposed to meet. It is truly an event not to be missed”

The SPOT Festival is a feast  
Jean-Pierre Moya doesn’t only do his research on the internet. For several years, he has been an eager concert-goer, and the SPOT Festival has a significant place in his work with music:
– To me SPOT Festival is like a big Christmas tree with a giant pile of presents in front of it. The organizing is perfect, the atmosphere is cool, it is easy to meet the people you are supposed to meet. It is truly an event not to be missed, he says.
From the list of names for this year’s festival released so far, Moya especially points out Powersolo, Doí and Jomi Massage as being the most alluring. True to tradition, however, the SPOT Festival also features a long line of other names that can hopefully surprise even the most passionate French radio host.

Reims is on the way to Paris…… 
Jean-Pierre Moya is always in contact with bands and labels, and he encourages interested musicians to send him album releases or to visit the radio station. Unsolicited, he finishes the interview by making a concrete offer:
– Reims is on the way to Paris and southern France. Bands that are nearby could stop by and make an acoustic concert for the show. Nice food and accommodation will be taken care of. And bands and labels can send their promotion material to the show and weblog. No risk. If I don’t like it, I won’t review it. The invitation has hereby been passed on.

•    Rockomondo airs every thursday from 21-23 on Radio Primitive (Reims and
Champagne region) on frequency 92.4
•    Currently, internet streaming of the show is on the way
•    Rockomondo weblog (updated daily): http://rockomondo.over-blog.com

Jean-Pierre Moyas Nordic recommendations:

•    22-Pistepirkko: Big Lupu (1992)
•    Larry and The Lefthanded: Quantum Rider (1998)
•    Under Byen: Det er mig der holder træerne sammen (2002)
•    Nikolaj Nørlund: Navnløs (1996)
•    Motorpsycho: Timothy’s Monster (2003)
•    Jaga Jazzist: A Livingroom Hush (2002)
•    Sigur Rós: Agaetis Byrjun (2001)
•    Mew: Half The World Is Watching Me (2000)
•    Tys Tys: Go Get Some (2001)
•    Jomi Massage: Aloud (2004)
•    Munck/Johnson: Unlike You (2005)

Playlist, Rockomondo, 19th of January 2006, 21.00-23.00, “Best of 2005”


Artist Track Album
AAVIKKO (FIN) Salamapallo Back from the futer
TEHOSEKOITIN (FIN) Freak out Freak out
THE SHEER (NL) It only gets better The keyword is excitement
MIST (NL) Hips of the year Bye Bye
SAFE HOME (NL) Suspended in gaffa The wide wide world and all
SERGEANT PETTER (N) Corner of an eye Monkey tonk matters
THE NATIONAL BANK (N) I hear the sparrow sing The National Bank
EMMERHOFF (N) Juggernaut Electric reverie
BIG BANG (N) Fly like a butterfly Poetic Terrorism
THE ROBOCOP KRAUS (D) All the young men Theu think they are
STELLA (D) Never going back to school Better days sound great
TOCOTRONIC (D) Mein prinz Nerves
EA PHILIPPA (DK) Hestenes sang Fjerne himle
REFREE (E) L’heréncia La matrona
REMATE (E) Born with a stranger inside On junk
NACHO VEGAS (E) Perdimos el control Desaparezca aquí
THE ROLLSTONS (FIN) Vitamin D. Taping trees
BOOMHAUER (FIN) John Me think OK!
SWEATMASTER (FIN) Dirty rabbit Tom tom bullet
SYDÄN SYDÄN (FIN) Perkele kolme hevosta Auto
ASTRID SWAN (FIN) They need you if they think Poverina
FIGURINES (DK) Ambush Skeleton
GRAVY (DK) Behind my walls Gravy
TYS TYS (DK) Busses Go get some
DIEFENBACH (DK) Bruising my eyes Set and drift
STARFIGHTER (B) Access wars Orion
RUMPLESTITCHKIN (B) Digging holes Somersault
ZITA SWOON (B) Josiesomething A song about a girls
OLD JERUSALEM (P) 180 days Twice the humbling sun
EMILIANA TORRINI (IS) Sunny road Fisherman’s woman
SOFUS FORSBERG (DK) Dam dam Udefra