FRENCH KISSING – A Guide To French House and Electro

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October 18, 2012 by sshhoobbmmxxbblloogg

A french kiss is a beautiful thing, no?
French house or the “french touch” is just as beautiful; whether the post-rave techno of Daft Punk, the crooner-esque lounge styles of Sebastian Tellier or the chopped and distorted sounds of Justice.

There has been some debate as to the origins of French house. Some say that the earliest works of Thomas Bangalter on his Roule’ label is the definitive start point. I;d state that it was just a very french way of making records, beat based and danceable.

Etienne de Crecy’s work with Zdar as Motorbass too, is probably more just French made funk inflected house, but EDC’s own SUPERDISCOUNT LP is possibly the ground zero. A collection of sexually charged, potently dancefloor friendly tunes, it paved the way for the acts that followed; basslines popping and a shift away from rave styles to a more universally approachable aesthetic.

Post SUPERDISCOUNT there came a slew of equally brilliant acts; AIR, Cassius, Stardust etc… an emphasis on retrogressive techniques, analogue equipment and a slower tempo took them to the tops of charts and to worldwide acclaim. Cassius 1999, AIR’s Moon Safari featuring heavily on year-end best of lists.

The shift came in 2001, Daft Punk released Discovery and that was that. An LP so good, French acts had to evolve or die trying.

Evolve they did. Mr Oizo leading a charge with MS-20 acid squeals and cheap drum machine beats, followed by Sebastian, Busy P, and of course indie crowd pleasers Justice. The emphasis shifted from the groove to the beat alone.

The rest is pretty much still in memory, so needs less discussion.

But here is my personal favourites from 1996 – 2012;

  • Etienne de Crecy – Tempovision

  • Daft Punk – Rollin’ & Scratchin’

  • Busy P – Chop Suey

  • AIR – J’ai Dormi Sous L’eau

  • Justice – B.E.A.T

  • Mr Oizo – Flat Beat

  • Sebastien Tellier – Leagues Chicanos

  • Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Intro

  • Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You

  • Cassius – Feeling For You

But really you can listen to / download / buy anything by any of these:

DAFT PUNK / THOMAS BANGALTER / PLAY PAUL / LE KNIGHT CLUB / PHOENIX / CASSIUS / MOTORBASS / ETIENNE DE CRECY / TOGETHER / DJ FALCON / STARDUST / MODJO / JUSTICE / MR OIZO / ALAN BRAXE / ALEX GOPHER / ALEXKID / FRED FALKE / UFFIE / BUSY P / FEADZ / DJ MEHDI / AIR etc etc etc

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