Best known as the front man of Belgian electronic trailblazers TELEX, Michel Moers releases what is only his second solo studio album ‘As Is’.

Together with Dan Lacksman and Marc Moulin, TELEX were the ultimate passively subversive pop group, whether it was by performing a funereal robotic cover of ‘Rock Around The Clock’ on Top Of The Pops while Moers was reading a newspaper or entering the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest to send up the whole charade with the sole intention of coming last!

When TELEX went into hiatus after their 1988 album ‘Looney Tunes’, the dryly humorous Moers released his solo debut ‘Fishing Le Kiss’ in 1991. Although the trio reunited, with the sad passing 2008, TELEX were formally retired.

After 33 years, Michel Moers has admittedly that working on music alone has been a challenge in the absence of his late bandmate and while continuing jobs in photography and architecture, he made music on Sundays like a painter. Recorded primarily using Logic, the songs have been developed over several years and although Moers continues with his distinctive cynical surrealism, one change in approach has been a more direct lyrical expression.

Like with TELEX, ‘As Is’ is multi-lingual while the mood is reflective. Representative of this is ‘Les Gens Sont Affligeants’, a rework of a song that actually appeared on Moers’ debut. Translated as “People Are Disappointing” because let’s face it, they are, with deep chanson resonances offset by arpeggios, it is sad that individualistic entitlement is still very relevant today.

The single ‘Microwaves’ features Claudia Brücken on lead vocals for a more straightforward slice electronic pop with solid bass and icy synth lines that come over like PROPAGANDA meeting TELEX. With dead pan and treated vocals in unison, ‘Potentially (Love-Hate)’ is like a spacey commuter train ride that makes an ideal backdrop for the frustrations expressed; the psychedelic overtones provide an interesting twist while the closing synth work is fantastic.

Declaring “we are only human, curious by nature”, ‘New Friend’ is solemn yet strangely heartfelt while ‘Beau-Triste’ offers sci-fi Charles Aznavour. Upping the pace with splashes of subtle percussive noise, ‘Keske Tu Veux?’ sees sparkly pulsating electronics come into play to contrast the low vocal nonchalance and what’s this? Kerranging rock guitar? In an almost resigned state wondering where the child in himself has gone, ‘Back To Then’ featuring the additional voice of fellow Belgian DAAN continues with the guitars although in a more understated manner alongside the electronics.

The absorbing ‘Pixels’ brings in an appealing synthetic cacophony over a steady metronomic beat but the throbbing ‘R.E.M.I.X’ is a fabulous slice of arty machine dance music where Moers laments aspects of his past, wishing he could “remix my life” just as Karl Bartos did on ‘Without A Trace Of Emotion’ in 2013. To close and translated as “You fall asleep”, ‘Tu T’endors’ is bare to the bone, an airy atmospheric lullaby embroiled in a drifting melancholy before a closing chime of guitar.

While delightfully astute and thoughtful, attentive effort is required from the listener but this makes ‘As If’ all the more satisfying in these days of disengaged music consumption. With this album, you can become invested and involved. Describing where the album belongs in the modern world, Moers himself says “it would be on the living room table”.

‘As Is’ is released by Freaksville Records on 19 April 2024 as a transparent vinyl LP and digital download via

Text by Chi Ming Lai
18 April 2024