French music fans have long held an affinity for electronica. This genre has had an enormous influence on artists across the world and continues to be enjoyed on dance floors today.
Daft Punk’s early releases may have helped bring attention to the scene, but they weren’t alone in doing so: Thomas Bangalter’s Roule label and Philippe Zdar’s and Etienne de Crecy’s contributions were also pivotal.
People usually envision DJs as young men in shades and sunglasses accompanied by chaotic beats, but producer Thibaut Berland, more commonly known by his stage name Breakbot, has an array of backgrounds and styles which set him apart from this typical image of DJing.
Breakbot, a French electronic music producer and DJ, shot to prominence with his 2010 single Baby I’m Yours. This catchy tune helped to reignite disco’s revival and remains heavily played 12 years later due to memetic use. Additionally, its success gained Breakbot a dedicated following of disco traditionalists while making him the go-to remixer for artists such as Royksopp, Metronomy and Chromeo.
Breakbot and Ruckazoid’s funk enthusiasts have come together for another captivating collaboration, this time with Another You. Packed with cosmic flair and smooth disco notes, it fuses old school production techniques with contemporary energy for an absolutely captivating track.
We caught up with them to learn more about their new EP, Remedy. Packed full of synth swells and strings, head-bopping basslines, and Breakbot’s signature deep layered vocals, Remedy is an exhilarating four-track record that is both engaging and addictive.
Theo Le Vigoureux, known by his stage name Fakear, is a French producer whose sound can only be described as mesmeric. His beats roam throughout electronic music’s global neighborhood with samples collected from all corners. Influences from East Asian music can also be heard through his delicate plucked melodies and use of word orientation to create rhythms.
Fakear’s mesmerizing brand of glow-electro has taken him around the globe, from London to Tokyo and New Zealand – even selling out Paris Olympia. His music has also attracted the interest of peers like M.I.A, ODESZA and Helena Hauff who have all sought remixes by him.
FRENCH WAVES presents an enchanting narrative about electronic music’s incredible journey in France over decades and generations, from Detroit and Chicago house music through French Touch movement, from its birth in Detroit and Chicago, through creation, international tour and immersive website to today. FRENCH WAVES explores this cultural phenomenon through documentary, international tour and immersive website with perspectives from iconic artists as well as digital natives who saw this genre develop first-hand through FRENCH WAVES itself; its results being an ode to innovation, audacity and diversity!
French Kiwi Juice
French Kiwi Juice, commonly referred to as FKJ for short, is an accomplished producer who has perfected the art of sophisticatedly smooth electronic music. A multi-instrumentalist using live looping to craft soothing tunes that combine jazz, soul and experimental electronica genres – making his style ideal for late night bonfires or plane rides towards spring break.
FKJ’s latest track “We Ain’t Feeling Time” displays his ability to craft tracks with diverse sounds. Beginning with whimsical saxophones and vocals, then adding subtle guitar strums that blend in beautifully with airy synths; its lyrics are also touching and reflective, helping convey his message from his new album.
French producers have found success thanks to the internet, rising to prominence quickly and revolutionizing their genre. One such exciting producer is Madeon, who has achieved global fame through his groundbreaking mashups that combine 39 songs into single anthems. Furthermore, Madeon recently released his full-length album entitled Pop Culture which is sure to please music fans of all types.
OrelSan, a Parisian rapper known for his powerful lyrics and rhythmic beats, has mesmerised audiences. His polemical single Sale Pute — in which he attacks an ex-partner directly — caused controversy within conservative parties as well as freedom of speech advocates; since then he has established himself as an exceptional performer with an impressive stage presence.
Tellier employs French for electronic music to seduce his audience with passionate pop mating calls mixed with lush French synthesizers, creating songs that feel both instantly familiar and completely novel. After his 1999 song Fantino appeared on Source Material various-artists compilation, Air’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel noticed his work and signed him to their Record Makers label; eventually going on to compose for Gilles Lellouche and Tristan Aurouet’s 2004 comedy Narco.
Tellier released his fifth album Sexuality in February 2008, produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and featuring Daft Punk-esque synth-pop elements that showcase his sensuous side – an electropop triumph which explores primal urges like only French artists can.
Adieu kickstarts Tellier’s album with its trademark string-wriggling soundscape and romantic piano work; featuring wordless vocals that invoke Vaseline lenses and unruly body hair; its slow-mo pace and sense of decadence suggest French porn movies of old. Achieved through brilliant musical creation, Tellier followed this up in April 2012 with My God Is Blue (produced by Mr Flash and Pavle Kovacevic). Later in October he issued Confection ( a tender collection of instrumentals).
Darius is an award-winning producer known for his work in French electronic music. His style stands apart from that of Cassius and Fred Falke; instead, it utilizes melodic layering and brass instruments to create dreamy and sensuous ambiences that have been featured in films and television shows alike. Darius has received great acclaim for both live performances as well as having his tracks used prominently within their tracks.
Darius is an artist who has found ways to continue creating and sharing his art even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of staying inside and isolating himself from people, he has used technology such as Zoom co-writing songs with friends and other artists, performing live over the internet as well as co-authoring songs with others using Zoom co-writing features, co-composing songs on other people’s songs etc.
Maurice Martenot’s invention of the Ondes Martenot keyboard instrument, revolutionary at its time and now considered one of the founding figures of modern electronic music, set off an exciting chain reaction: composer Pierre Schaeffer later invented musique concrete, an avant-garde form using studio realizations of sounds and voices to produce musique concrete music that inspired artists such as Edgard Varese and Pierre Henry to produce works that still survive today.
Daft Punk cemented France’s place as one of the global dance music powers. Their infectious choruses, tight basslines and funky samples resonated across the world; filter disco also became an internationally popular sound; these influences can still be heard today in contemporary artists like Mooglie & Mozaik from Bordeaux.
Beginning after World War II and through experimentation with electrical and electronic devices, musique concrete had its beginnings. Composer Pierre Schaeffer pioneered its use by editing together natural and industrial sounds recorded during this time to form new compositions – this approach later inspired numerous producers and musicians such as Jean-Michel Jarre.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were two early French touch acts who launched the groundbreaking Roule label. They quickly gained notoriety for their mesmerizing synthesizers and sensual rhythms that transport listeners through soundscapes. Following in their footsteps, numerous young French producers dared themselves into producing or remixing dance tracks themselves.
Hip-hop and reggae were key influences in French touch’s early days; many early producers would cite these styles as inspirations for their songs. St Germain’s Sentimental Mood from Boulevard’s album shows this perfectly – its beats pay homage to hip-hop while its saxophone solo may have inspired Notorious BIG to sample this track in his song Street Scene.