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French house music
Boulevard (1995) - St Germain [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
DefinitionFrench house is a late 1990s form of house music, greatly influenced by 1970s and 1980s disco and funk, as well as the productions of Thomas Bangalter. The music can be noted by the infamous "filter effect" (e.g. Daft Punk). French house may have vocal samples, which are mostly English and not French. A good example of French house is Music Sounds Better With You (1998) by Stardust. --adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_house [Aug 2005]
There’s a new sound on the block these days; distinctive, deep, and oh, so stylish. Brewed from a concoction of jazz, hip-hop, electronica and the spoken word, with rhythms spiced by Africa and Latin America it’s a soundtrack for prowling the cosmopolitan metropolis. It’s coloured Yellow and it’s accent is French.
It started like this. Chris "The French Kiss", from Mighty Bop, met DJ Yellow in a record shop and following a conversation about a sought after tune Yellow productions was born. Pulling together disparate talents like Dimitri from Paris and DJ Cam under the one label, Yellow mine a broad groove producing a cool breeze for jaded cars.
One of their earliest issues was La Yellow 357, and imaginary soundtrack for an non-existent film; described by Chris as "Dirty Harry directed by David Lynch". Featuring DJ Cam, Dimitri and the Mighty Bop, it was un petit aperitif for what was to come.
On Sacre Bleu! Dimitri escorts the listener into the 21st Century lounge, a quirky parallel to the easy-listening revival. The album was originally written for a fashion show and Dimitri mixes diverse samples and those loun gin’ rhythms into intelligent Martini music. In his other guise Dimitri hosts a nightly French radio show as the Pete Tong of French radio.
DJ Cam is a refugee from the gangland divide of Parisian hip-hop, it’s African guardians believing they alone should carry the flame. He and Chris "The French Kiss" are both jazz inspired, layering modern free-forms over subterranean beats. Music of substance, more intricate than hip-swingin’. From this nucleus the Paris scene has tendrils stretching-long time Mighty Bop collaborators La Funk Mob spawned Phillipe Zdar, who, with Etienne de Crecy makes up Motorbass. Last years pan soul is firmly dance music, voluptuous and sensual techno with not a duff track on it. Yes, I’ll admit to bias, but every time I hear it there is a little thrill of weekend pleasure.
And just a month or so ago, there was Super Discount Etienne de Crecy by himself. Deep house sounds cantering along nicely on The Boss Has Gone Mad, sit beside the mellower vibes of Prix Choc,  with the call and response from the bazaar, ‘sensmilla...marijuana’.
The French reputation for well dressed, well fed good living is at last obvious in their music. If this is the new Europe, I’m all for it
--unknown author, est. mid to late nineties
Disco houseVirtually pioneered by Dj Sneak, original Disco House actually started around in 1991, and consisted of looped disco samples with more upfront "Chicago" style beats. The term "disco-house" became more popular around 1994, and has since been taken on by the French scene by the likes of Bob Sinclar and Daft Punk. Also see the live Disco sound pioneered the Idjut Boys, Crispin Glover, Faze Action and early releases on Nuphonic Records. --http://www.galanta.net/genres.html
Cassius are a French duo whose real names are Phillipe Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francart. Together they have recorded as Boombass and La Funk Mob, releasing singles on the French label, Source. Neneh Cherry, Björk, Daft Punk, Air and Depeche Mode: they've done remixes for all of them.
See also: Cassius
Filter house music
The filtered disco loops and funky house beats of the mid-'90s French house movement were nothing new to François Kevorkian. --Lucinda Catchlove
early filter-house/disco cut-up stuff -- Simon Reynolds
that filter-disco-groove that made Stardust's Music Sounds Better with You so cool is actually a tiny snippet from Fate by Chaka Khan,
Music Sounds Better With You (1998) - Stardust
Music Sounds Better With You (1998) - Stardust [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Stardust consisted of producer Thomas Bangalter, vocalist Benjamin Diamond.and songwriter Alan Braxe. The short-lived group released the immensely popular club track called The Music Sounds Better With You in June of 1998. The song, which is based around a sample from Fate by Chaka Khan, was an instant smash, and many have dubbed it "The Greatest House Song of the Millennium". It was recorded in Paris by Daft House productions, of which Bangalter, one half of the popular french House duo Daft Punk, is head. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_%28band%29 [Aug 2005]
French house music
French house is a late 1990s form of house music, greatly influenced by 1970s and 1980s disco and funk , as well as the productions of Thomas Bangalter. The music can be noted by the infamous "filter effect" (e.g. Daft Punk). French house may have vocal samples, which are mostly English and not French. A good example of French house is Music Sounds Better With You (1998) by Stardust. --adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_house [Aug 2005]
see also: house music - music - France - 1998 - 1990s music - French house music
- 1999 (1999) - Cassius [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Two of the most revered producers and remixers of the French Invasion, Phillipe Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francard more than have the skills to toss off crates of jiggy dance product if they so desired. But on their debut as Cassius, they've created something very different, a seamlessly postironic piece of abstract hip-house that's so off-kilter and fun, it feels subversive. Subtle gospel samples and a bluesy '30s trumpet bring on the opener, "Cassius 1999," then flip it into a flashy Latin electro super-digitale, and it's a good clue to where this whole thing wants to go. Thus we find plus-sized freestyle bass lines blithely slung under the vit-vit of old-school acid or a hard-house shuffle invaded both by toony synth arpeggios and liquid cobalt washes à la Richard James. Somehow, Cassius make it all cook. 1999 more than lives up to its unreasonable advance hype--a gorgeous and surprisingly restrained showcase for two visionaires. --Steve Lafreniere for amazon.com
- Disco Forever - Dimitri from Paris [3CDs, Amazon US]
1. Were on Our Way Home - Brainstorm 2. My Love Supreme - Hamilton, Milton 3. Barely Breaking Even - Universal Robot Band 4. Chameleon - Pregunta 5. You're So Right for Me - Eastside Connection 6. Ain't No Stopping Us Now - Charanga 76 7. Flight to Jamaica - Crashers 8. Que Tal America - Two Man Sound 9. Corazon - LTG Exchange 10. Love Hangover - Touch 11. Let's Make Love - Napoli, Jeanne 12. Just as Long as I Got You - Love Committee 13. Smile - Skylite 14. I Got a Thing - Silver, Platinum & Go 15. Shout at the Disco - Little Scotty 16. Work Song - Lundy, Pat
- A Night At The Playboy Mansion - Dimitri From Paris [1CD, Amazon US]
1. Reach Inside - Bah Samba 2. Star - Mecca Headz 3. Groove E.P. [Vocal Mix] 4. Down to Love Town [Dim's Secret Re-Edit] 5. Shangri-La [Dim's Mansion Anthem Re-Edit] 6. Talking All That Jazz 7. Outro de Lugar - Salomé De Bahia 8. Motivation [Dimitri's Dubwire Mix] 9. Give Me Love 10. I'll Be There for You [Joey Negro Vocal Mix] - The Sunburst Band 11. Sweet Music - Terry Hunter 12. Place Is Rockin' 13. Wonderful Person [Maw Vocal Mix] - Black Masses 14. Found a Cure - Ashford & Simpson
- Super Discount (1996) - Various Artists [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1. Le Patron Est Devenu Fou! (The Boss Has Gone Mad) - Minos Pour Main Basse (Sur La Ville) 2. Prix Choc (Price Shock) - Etienne de Crecy 3. Super Disco - Alex Gopher 4. Soldissimo (Super Sale) - Air (EDC Remix) 5. Affaires à Faire (Bargains Galore) - La Chatte Rouge 6. Tout Doit Disparaître (Everything Must Go) - Minos Pour Main Basse (Sur La Ville) 7. Tout à 10 Balles (Everything At 10 Francs) - DJ Tall 8. Liquidation Totale - Etienne De Crecy 9. Les 10 Jours Fous (10 Days of Madness) - Mooloodjee 10. Destockage Massif (Massive Stock Clearance) - Alex Gopher 11. Fermeture Definitive (Closing Down Sale) - Mr Learn
Don't listen to what has been told by in the only negative review this record had here in AMZ (it was written by an English and they usually don't like whatever come from Europe or US..even if it's really good). SuperDiscount has already deserved its place as one of the best compilations about the new French sound, and you can listen to it in the trendiest clubs of the planet from Ibiza to NYC, from Tokio to Milan. The best track,imho, is Etienne De Crecy's one but all are funny and it's impossible not to dance at.... --joaquim57 for amazon.com [...]
- Best of Sourcelab (2003) - Various Artists [1 CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1. Espece Funk - DJ Gilb'r 2. Modulor Mix - Air 3. Nuphunk - Daphreephunkateerz 4. Bad Vibes - Motor Bass 5. Ecouter Fumer - La Chatte Rouge 6. Mandrake - Alex Gopher 7. Hunt One Connection - Main Basse Sur La Ville 8. Musique (Long Version) - Daft Punk Disc: 2 1. Gordini Mix - Alex Gopher 2. Casanova 70 (Brendan Lynch Remix) - Air 3. Mondorama - Chateau Flight 4. Power Sandwich - I Cube 5. Post It - Scratch Pet Land 6. Jean-Jacques Et Les Dauphins - Le Tone 7. Sunshine - Mozesli 8. Paris Acid City - Black Strobe
Classics from 1995 to 1997 from Air, Alex Gopher, Daft Punk, I Cube, Black Strobe and more. Gatefold sleeve. Astralwerks. 2002.
While the Paris-based Source Label certainly didn't invent French dance music, they did spot that sci-fi disco and hazy downtempo were the best things to happen to French music since Serge Gainsbourg. They introduced Gallic dance-floor chic to the masses via the now legendary SourceLab compilations. Cherry-picked from seven years of the series, which essentially became a showcase for the Paris dance fraternity, this two CD best-of sashays with catwalk poise and sophistication through the most ridiculously sumptuous groove selection. Save for Daft Punk's proto-type boogie "Musique" and Black Strobe's P-Funk strutter "Paris Acid City", there are few podium storming moments. However, the supply of sexy shimmies, sultry jazz-funk and 1970s intergalactic fusion is more than plentiful. Alex Gopher's "Gordini Mix" and DJ Gilb'r's "Espèce Funk" are the slinkiest things ever aimed at a dance floor, with Motorbass's "Bad Vibes2" the most hypnotic. Meanwhile, listening to Air's embryonic aquatic atmospheres and the soulful swagger of "Modulor Mix" and "Casanova 70" is like listening to the birth of chill-out. With no vocals and running times edging seven minutes, these tracks are aren't exactly commercial dynamite. But as a definition of French cool, they're pretty much unbeatable. --Dan Gennoe for amazon.co.uk
- Frederic Galliano - African Divas[1 CD, Amazon US]
The sounds of Africa have become increasingly prevalent in house music recently - from the subtle afro-beat of the likes of Joe Claussell to the pummeling tribal beats of, well, everyone else. French deep house savant Frederic Galliano has taken this current trend to its logical conclusion by traveling to Africa to record with a multitude of local musicians, returning with two experimental suites making the traditional sounds of Africa more palatable to the masses without sliding into Deep Forest-like advert soundtrack crappery.
The Mom Kai Suite begins with more traditional sounds and just a touch of dub, Galliano preferring not to overshadow the ancient talents involved, even adding the sounds of an African village with no more accompaniment than the wind. It doesn’t take long though before the fusion begins, firstly in a sublime jazzy house style moving into harder tech house sounds, skittery off-kilter drums and then back to house again. Traditional African vocal and instrumental stylings constantly maintain a presence giving the set a bright organic feel.
The second Manding-ko suite keeps its distance from contemporary dancefloors initially, content to leave the stage to the African artists. Eventually house beats return and it is at this point it becomes clear that this experiment is a winner as Hadja Kouyates’ exotic voice combines brilliantly with the chunky 4/4’s. Echoey dub effects and basslines abound throughout the remainder of the suite re-creating the wide open space feel of an African savanna.
A horizon broadening set that allows for give and take between traditional elements and technology and successfully brings Senegal onto our dancefloors via your front room. -- DARREN COLLINS
- First Album - Miss Kittin & the Hacker [1 CD, Amazon US]
Kittin, a former French pole dancer, and Hacker, a one-time hardcore headbanger, combine forces in a decidedly sleazy niche, but it does make for disarmingly catchy music. Its simple New Wave synth beats and Kittin's (a.k.a. Caroline Herve) deadpan delivery make it easy to imagine you're lounging in a Eurotrash strip joint, circa 1977, as scantily clad dominatrixes torture willing customers. The 1997 single "Frank Sinatra" is more shocking for its spot-on electro atmospherics than for its lyrics, proving that Hacker's punk years were a valuable tutorial for success 2002-style. Throughout, Hacker spins weird little theramin squirms, horror halo tones, and chunky beatbox handclaps, while Kittin discourses about trading sex for cash ("Stock Exchange"), ambitious disco queens ("Nurse"), and, of course, the burlesque life ("Stripper"). First Album is really a one-song affair, but its alluring message is so kitschy, kinked, and campy, the song never sounds the same. --Ken Micallef [...]
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