Sample 60s/70s Library Music by Iconic French ComposersSample 60s/70s Library Music by Iconic French Composers

Sample 60s/70s Library Music by Iconic French Composers

Reviews like “the good sides of early 70s Roy Ayers” and “basslines reminiscent of the birth of hip-hop” indicate how rich the catalog of French production music library Tele music is. Founded in 1966, their ‘Classic Vaults’ with music by composers like Janko Nilovic, Bernard Lubat, and Jean-Jacques Debout found their way into beats by No I.D., The Alchemist, Dr. Dre, and Madlib. With five full albums now available on Tracklib, you can dig in and scour your own sample favorites…




October 13, 2022

To you, is there a way French library music distinguishes itself in sound from, say, the sound of UK library music or Italian library music?

Jérôme Keff (Managing Director at BMG Production Music France): What distinguishes the French music library from UK and Italian territories is its history, as [library music] arrived later in France. On the other hand, it will experience a very prolix creative process and a plethora of brands will be born, some of which will become mythical such as Tele Music. The common point of all these libraries, apart from the content, is the concern for a coherent and striking graphic charter. Tele Music is now a reference in the music industry.

And what about specifically the sound of Tele Music as opposed to other iconic libraries such as KPM?

In all modesty, I place them on the same level. What distinguishes them is artisanal versus industrial production. Tele Music is artisanal because the production was limited to recordings in a small Parisian studio (CBE), a Mecca for French music since 1966. Then again, there are no orchestral recordings like at Bruton or KPM.

Founder Bernard Estardy at Studio CBE in Paris

A library release like Music Bazaar by Jean-Jacques Debout and the legendary Janko Nilovic is very rich, and could even be enjoyed as an actual record. The same goes for other releases in the library. Is that a core value to Tele Music?

In one word: yes! My big regret is that Janko Nilovic did not get along with Roger Tokarz, the founder of Tele Music. So Janko only composed a few (major) works for Tele Music—his masterpieces are elsewhere. But to answer the question: it’s the production, the sound, and the musicians/composers that make Tele Music’s repertoire special. All these artists were for the most part members of the backing bands of the great singers of French variety such as Claude Francois, Nino Ferré, Michel Sardou, and Françoise Hardy.

The music on Tracklib is taken from Tele Music’s Classic Vaults. Can you please elaborate a bit on that collection and the era the music is from?

You have five albums quite representative of the repertoire. Notably the key work such as Rhythms by Tonio Rubio, the most sampled album of the collection. That album is a good starting point.

Vibraphones by Bernard Lubat was described by a review as “good sides of early 70’s Roy Ayers.” What do you think of that description? Can you name any other original artists whose can be found in the catalog of Tele Music?

That's high praise! I am a fan of Roy Ayers and I am sure Bernard Lubat will appreciate the comparison. Amongst the composers who make this repertoire are Bernard Estardy, Slim Pezin, Sauveur Mallia, Marc Chantereau, Raymond Guiot, André Arpino, Michel Gonet, among others.

"Tracklib brings beautiful works back to life that have either fallen asleep or are reserved for an elite of connoisseurs."

—Jérôme Keff (Managing Director at BMG Production Music France)

Can you name any more artists sampling from Tele Music's vaults that are worth sharing?

The Chemical Brothers, Crimeapple, Conway the Machine, Jay-Jay Johanson, and Fred the Godson, for instance.

How do you think Tracklib can change the way people sample?

Make a previously illegal use legal! That’s heavy for library composers. For years, library composers and musicians have been spoiled with their works. Licenses and declarations were often made after a commercial success! Now, thanks to Tracklib, the licensing is done upstream and the sharing of the rights of new work is perfectly clear. It is a great opportunity for our repertoires to have access to the creations of great international stars.

What does Tracklib mean to a long-existing library music label like Tele Music?

It is mainly a new distribution channel to bring beautiful works back to life that have either fallen asleep or are reserved for an elite of connoisseurs.

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