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A quick overview of the French turntable quartet, Birdy Nam Nam
September 23, 2011 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Birdy Nam Nam is four f*cking guys, named for a reference from the 1968 movie The Party. They are a quartet of French turntablists, consisting of Crazy B, DJ Pone, DJ Need, and Little Mike. They've spun solo and together at the 2002 DMC competitions, where they took the team championship title. In 2005, they released an album made from turntable-manipulated samples, but they weren't studio-only tracks. They were also performed live, though some tracks featured additional live musicians. A 2007 live album followed, keeping the same over-all turntablism sound as their first album. Their second album was largely produced by French produceder/DJ Yunksek, and the sound changed accordingly into an album of delightful French dance music, but they kept (generally) to the turntables to create their songs. The band has released their third album, now working with Para One, another French producer/DJ. Their sound has gone on a slightly new path, with another bizzare music video to accompany their sound.

Birdy Nam Nam previously:
* A Fez-wearing superhero in a music video (2009), a music video for their 2nd album, Manual for Successful Rioting. The track was produced by Justice.

* Turntablism (2006), wherein the quartet show off their skills on the track Abbesses, found on their debut album.

Bonus videos:
* Scratch Action Hero -- the group name before Birdy Nam Nam. Looks like its recorded from VHS, but an interesting look back.

* DMC 2005 part 1, part 2 -- not much info about the clip, and DMC doesn't do a good job of displaying the past competitors and whatnot, so I'm not sure if they were competing or just putting on a show.
posted by filthy light thief (28 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm in a band too! I play laptop.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:08 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome post! Look forward to digging into this tonight.
posted by erebora at 1:13 PM on September 23, 2011


Yay, a third Birdy Nam Nam. I've really enjoyed their first album since hearing Abbesses here. Not as wild about the second album, but it's pretty solid. The new album Defiant Order does not yet appear on US Amazon MP3 or iTunes, hope it shows up soon.

(Oh, and your favourite band sucks.)
posted by Nelson at 1:16 PM on September 23, 2011


J.D. Salinger loved "The Party" and the "birdy num num" line was one of his favorites.

He and his son used to have a running joke back and forth with the "num num" lines.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 1:22 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's not a weird video. this is a weird video.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:29 PM on September 23, 2011


'White man speak with forked tongue'


One of my very favorite Peter Sellers movies
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:33 PM on September 23, 2011


I'm in a band too! I play laptop.

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but turntablism is incredibly difficult and requires a great deal of skill. On top of which they have up to 4 people on 8 decks.
posted by Hoopo at 1:39 PM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ad hominem: "I'm in a band too! I play laptop."

Oh, curses on you and the snark you rode in on. Did you see the "also performed live" link?

Try that.

I look forward to seeing the results in MeMu.

Birdy Nam Nam are great. Thanks for posting, filthy light thief.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:40 PM on September 23, 2011


Wow, my wife and I have something in common with Salinger and his son.

As for the music, sounds like I have some listening to do over the weekend.

laptop is harder than you think, man, you gotta have fast gear and be careful what you play because there ain't no flicker fusion for sound, man
posted by infinitewindow at 1:45 PM on September 23, 2011


Isn't it 'birdy num num' as spelled on the container of bird food in the film?
posted by item at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2011


Whenever a non-English speaking band refers to themselves as "crazy" or "cool", you instantly know they're so not. Sadly, this band appears not to be an exception to that rule.
posted by Decani at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2011


Snarky assholes are lazy shit eaters. Please disable your accounts.

On a lighter note, who do I have to kill to be able to scratch like that. The timing necessary to make it sound like anything other than not being able to use a record player is so far being me and my piss poor motor skills.

I love these guys. I love their videos. I love their name. Thanks, FLT
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's something here. I love that turntable's are an instrument that requires considerable skill and good ears. And although the results are uneven and difficult to parse as a specific band "sound," I like what these guys are trying to do.
posted by Skygazer at 2:15 PM on September 23, 2011


I watched The Party in the 90s some time and "birdie num nums" struck me as hilarious (probably because it's easily half the total dialog of the movie). I've been happy many times since then when I hear someone else reference it. I have no idea why.

The same goes for: flames. on the sides of my face.
posted by DU at 2:27 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't it 'birdy num num' as spelled on the container of bird food in the film?

In the movie it is, but as I understand it, in France "nam nam" is how they spell that idiom.
posted by rhizome at 3:01 PM on September 23, 2011


So, what do I have to do to see them live? I"m not flying to Stockholm any time soon.
posted by loriginedumonde at 3:04 PM on September 23, 2011


item: Isn't it 'birdy num num' as spelled on the container of bird food in the film?

My excuse for them is that they're French. I'm interested in how they picked up on this movie, of all random English movies from past decades. Is/was it big in France? Was it some interest in Claudine Longet? A French fixation with weird comedy?


loriginedumonde: So, what do I have to do to see them live? I"m not flying to Stockholm any time soon.

Their MySpace page claims they'll be in LA on October 2nd, but the Ooh la L.A. fest page only lists Sept. 29-Oct 1st as event dates. WTF.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:19 PM on September 23, 2011


FLT and others, they're playing the El Rey in LA on Oct 1 w/ Feadz. Should be a memorable show, esp. w/ the recent passing of one of French electronic music's stalwarts, Mehdi. Hope to see a few of you there.

BNN are excellent, btw. Thank you for the post. Didn't know there was so much love for turntablism and electronic music around these parts, maybe it's time for me to get an epic FPP together :)
posted by raihan_ at 4:32 PM on September 23, 2011


Howdy Partener!
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:56 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love these guys. Abbesses is one of my favorite songs of all time, despite the fact that it makes me visualize playing X's and O's with a trained chicken. Thanks for the post, hope they play SF.
posted by benzenedream at 5:01 PM on September 23, 2011


Call me old fashioned, but naming yourself after a reference from a film based on a racist caricature seems a little odd to me.
posted by spectrevsrector at 6:10 PM on September 23, 2011


I was familiar with both the group and the movie, but I had never connected the two. I think I just had a MetaMoment. Thanks, filthy light thief.
posted by DaddyNewt at 7:15 PM on September 23, 2011


I have loved that movie for a long, long, long time.

Call me old fashioned, but naming yourself after a reference from a film based on a racist caricature seems a little odd to me.

It is worth noting that by the end, he has gone from bumbling fish-out-of-water to the only one with inner peace, while the rest slowly fall apart -- not from his initial ineptitude, but from their own hubris and inner demons. So he is ultimately playing a very sympathetic character who ultimately triumphs.

the turning point is the sit-down dinner, when he attempts to sit on the too-short chair they provide him, and upon falling, it is the host and other partygoers that are mortified, rather than him.
posted by davejay at 7:15 PM on September 23, 2011


"This Apple ID is only valid for purchases in the US iTunes Store."

TO THE TORRENTS. Sorry guys. You would have my money if you offered a direct download, but since you only outsourced the purchase to iTunes in France...
posted by egypturnash at 7:34 PM on September 23, 2011


I'm in a band too! I play laptop.

This is an amazing comment. Bravo.
posted by swift at 8:41 PM on September 23, 2011


I think the album was released in France a week+ in advance of ROW. Silly, given the global nature of the world wide web and all, but there you have itt.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:30 PM on September 23, 2011


Apart from many other wonderful things found in this great post, I really loved the last minute or so of the "DJ PONE Championnat de France DMC - 2002" video (the "solo" link above). Such a great idea! Like a percussion music box or something! And it sounded great! Seems to me that this "gimmick" could be expanded upon, but maybe someone has? (Christian Marclay?)

Speaking of great things done with turntables, I really recommend Dennis Duck's "Goes Disco" (a great write-up can be found here). If you like your madness, you should check it out.

Anyway, as I said, great post. Would scratch again.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:18 AM on September 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Parachute ending is a true trippy masterpiece!
posted by lalochezia at 6:24 PM on September 24, 2011


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