Laila France came to the world's notice as a protegee of Momus, aka Nick Currie, Paisley's answer to Serge Gainsbourg. Momus has long been famed for his seductive and perverse pop music, but teaming up with "Thai-Parisian supergirl" Laila France proved the perfect combination.
Laila (pronounced Lie as in bed and la as in do re me) and Momus together created the Orgonon album, a concept piece themed around the ideas of German dissident Freudian psychiatrist and sexologist Wilhelm Reich. She added her sultry yet poppy voice and some twisted, trashy, sexually-explicit lyrics (mostly about loss of virginity) to his usual cheesy synth pop and lasciviousness. According to Momus's website in 1996 the following happened:
Momus, who moved to Paris in 1994, placed an advertisement in the French capital's most adventurous magazine, Nova. 'Girl singer wanted for an album of songs in the style of 1970s Italian soft porn films', it read.
The half-Thai, half-French Laila France, a 21 year-old student of the plastic arts, was the successful applicant. Over the next year Momus and Laila wrote an album together, meeting every Wednesday in Montmartre. (Laila was often obliged to sting the lazy Momus back to work with a whip).
Reich, who believed in a universal force called orgone energy that was generated by sexual intercourse, and could be collected and magnified in a device called an orgone accumulator, has long been a favourite of radicals and free-thinkers, from Raoul Vaneigem to Dusan Makavejev. Presenting Reich's ideas about the importance of sexual intercourse was a natural move for Momus, who had covered little else in his work.
In musical terms, they called it "Trance Cocktail", a marriage of loungecore, easy listening, Funny Face, and Pizzicato Five with coffee-table drum & bass. The result is a pleasant, laid-back pop music with hints of porno soundtracks, Japanese pop and Muzak. Avant-garde techno artist Scanner added his remixing skills to the track The Sensations of Orgasm. Drum & bass people Pantunes also provided beats for the album.
Laila France, Orgonon (album), 1997, Bungalow.
Laila France and Maxwell Implosion, "Lailove: l'amour, sese formidable" (EP), 1999, L'Appareil-Photo Bis.
Momus's official web site: http://www.demon.co.uk/momus/