VAN TREGGER-CATCHY AND DUCKS AND DRAKES.

Van Tregger-Catchy and Ducks and Drakes.

Label: BBE.

Forty years ago, in 1978, Van Tregger was part of the experimental French disco scene and released his third album Catchy on the Musical Touch Sound label. It usually released albums of library music, whereas Catchy was an album of instrumentals that showcased one of the stars of the experimental French disco scene. However, Van Tregger’s music didn’t go on to enjoy the commercial success and critical acclaim many expected.

When Catchy was released in 1978 by Musical Touch Sound the album wasn’t the success that Van Tregger had hoped, and it passed the majority of record buyers by. They missed out on an album that featured a vibrant  rhythm section who provided the heartbeat and were augmented by uber funky guitar riffs and space-age synths. Tracks like Carry On, Catchy, Sunny Wing and the sleazy disco of Riff On were joined by This Time and At The Feet. Catchy was an album of  experimental French disco par excellence that  had the potential to transform Van Tregger’s career. 

Van Tregger who was seen by many as a rising star of the experimental French disco scene. He was a pioneering musician who had the potential to rise to the top of French music and join the likes of Cerrone. However, Catchy which was released forty years wasn’t Van Tregger’s breakthrough album.

A year later in 1979, Van Tregger returned with his fourth album Ducks and Drakes. Again, it was released on the Musical Touch Sound label. Just like Catchy, Ducks and Drakes was another album of instrumentals that showcased a multitalented musician. 

Van Tregger wrote, performed and produced the music on Ducks and Drakes. It featured a musical pioneer at the peak of his powers on tracks of the quality of Friend Island, The Girl In The Gold, Threshold, the cult classic Girls Will Be Girls, and For The Hills and Huff.  Ducks and Drakes oozed quality again, many within the experimental French disco scene thought that it would launch Van Tregger’s career.

Sadly, Ducks and Drakes failed to find the audience it deserved and didn’t go on to enjoy the commercial success and critical acclaim that many expected. For Van Tregger this was a huge disappointment.

After the release of Catchy and Ducks and Drakes, which have just been reissued by BBE, Van Tregger continued to make music and released a number of other albums. However, it was only much later that Catchy and Ducks and Drakes found the audience they deserved.

By then, many crate-digging DJs with a passion for disco had heard of Catchy and Ducks and Drakes. However, the only problem was that both albums were almost impossible to find, and when a copy came up for sale the prices were prohibitive. This meant both Catchy and Ducks and Drakes were beyond the reach of most DJs and record buyers.

In 2008, Alexis Le-Tan selected Girls Will Be Girls from Ducks and Drakes for the experimental disco compilation Space Oddities. For many music fans this was the first they had heard of Van Tregger’s music. It wasn’t the last.

By 2018, Frankie Valentine a stalwart of the UK music scene brought Catchy and Ducks and Drakes to the attention of BBE. It didn’t take long before BBE were planning to reissue both albums. Forty years after the original release of Catchy, a new generation were about to hear two of Van Tregger’s finest album that are now regarded as cult classics from one of the pioneers of the experimental French disco scene.

Van Tregger-Catchy and Ducks and Drakes,

 

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