Heavy Rotation Vol. 11 – French HouseAugust 23, 2009
It’s taken weeks but I finally have a Heavy Rotation with an actual theme. And what a theme!
As you read on, feel free to take the exclamation point off the previous sentence at any time. But musical tastes being subjective and whatnot, I’m going to head off to the club and spend a little time discussing French House.
House music being very much an offshoot of disco, usually featuring a somewhat milder tempo and more vocals than your average techno genre, has enjoyed immense popularity in Europe. However, the French have actually taken the idea and run with it (rather than from it, like so many other ideas, like defending your country).
The positives they’ve added are: fewer vocals (for me, this is a positive), more filters and some of the funkiest basslines ever etched into vinyl.
Previous versions here:
Heavy Rotation Archive.
Alan Braxe – Rubicon
Release in 2004 to much fanfare (I would imagine), Braxe’s lovely slice of funky French house travels pleasantly along with some tasty pads and synths and, of course, a little de rigeur electro-cowbell. Almost works in a verse-chorus-verse structure except for the noticeable lack of vocals.
Note to Claire Collins: this video does include parallel parking.
Bob Sinclar – Gym Tonic
Fantastic tune from another French House player. Sinclar stole the greatest sample ever, hooking some vocals from a Jane Fonda workout album. Funky as hell, and after a few virtual spins I guarantee you’ll be walking around counting out loud. “2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and back…”
Sinclar was forced to delete this from his catalog thanks to Ted “TNT” Turner, whose explosive temper and fat wallet intimidated the penniless Frenchman into acquiescence. However, the version I have uploaded has the original “vocals” as does the video below. Enjoy.
Daft Punk – Around the World
While not my favorite track by the helmeted duo, it was the first track I heard by them. Another “gets stuck in your head” sort of track that is greatly aided by Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind). Featuring the appearance of another trademark French House staple, the vocoder.
This is off their monsterously awesome debut album Homework. If you are going to buy only one French House album, make it this one. Understandably, most people will only need one French House album, if any at all. Again, make it this one.
Embedding for the kickass video has been disabled by EMI. For more information on EMI, consult the Sex Pistols.
DJ Mehdi – Signatune (Thomas Bangalter Mix)
French electro producer DJ Mehdi gets all Housed up by Thomas Bangalter, one-half of Daft Punk. This track is all kinds of fun. The synth lines get stuttered, dragged around, shuffled and ground to a halt. A prime example of the French filter fuckery that is Bangalter’s trademark.
Note: while I enjoy these noises and distortions, I realize that many of you will not. My partial apologies for that. However, give it a shot and perhaps you’ll see things my way and presumably seek help immediately.
Justice – Phantom Pt. II (Soulwax Remix)
The new face of French House, although the face is French, the house is not really house. More of a high-energy electro-pomp combining everything bombastic about soundtrack music and thumping 808 beats into an arena-filling monster. Belgian producers Soulwax up the ante with one of the greatest remixes done anywhere at anytime. Brace yourself for the sudden drop about 2/3’s of the way through the track. This track has killed more dancefloors and turned on more houselights than anything since Black Strobe’s Fireflies.
All tracks in one zip file (link opens in new window):
Heavy Rotation Vol. 11