Playlist 2: French Dance Music

December 18, 2012 | By Adrien Colle
garnier agoria brodinski @ nuits sonores 2012

Here is our second playlist, introducing French dance music. Unlike the previous playlist, we tried to include as many genres and labels as possible to get the most comprehensive and up to date overview of contemporary French dance music producers. From Surkin’s dancefloor bangers to Agoria’s deep and subtle odysseys, from Fulgeance’s wonky hip-hop beats to Rootstrax’s winks at oldschool Chicago house, we hope you will find your perfect match.




Justice – Newjack
Justice is Xavier De Rosnay and Gaspard Augé. Both fans of disco, 80s heavy metal and prog-rock, they met and started releasing music on Ed Banger Records in 2003. “†”, their first LP, came out in 2007. Influenced by rock’n’roll aesthetics, Justice’s music provides a link between pop and experimental music and the popularity of their sound marked the recent renewal of French electronic music. Their latest LP is called “Audio, Video, Disco” and came out in 2011. We chose “Newjack”, off their first album, because it mimics classic “French Touch” gimmicks while pushing them to their limits, thus coming up with a brand new sound.

Joakim – Forever Young
Joakim Bouaziz is a music producer and singer-songwriter from Paris. He has been releasing music since 2002, notably on the outstanding Parisian label Versatile Records as well as his own label, Tigersushi Records. Influenced by Balearic sounds, Italo-disco and oldschool techno, Joakim also performs live with his band “The Disco”. Carried by a catchy bassline, “Forever Young” brings together exotic house beats and synth-pop melancholia. Joakim’s fourth LP “Nothing Gold” came out in 2011 on Tigersushi Records.

I:Cube – Falling
While many of his counterparts chose fame in the French touch heyday of the mid-90s, Nicolas Chaix aka I:Cube always kept a low profile despite creating one of the most expansive and consistent discographies in French electronic music. A true veteran of the scene, Nicolas Chaix has been releasing music on Gilbert Cohen’s (Gilb’R) Versatile Records since 1996, either as I:Cube or as Chateau Flight with Gilb’R. Although it is almost impossible to pick a single track to describe I:Cube’s work as a producer, we chose “Falling” (2009), a stand-out track that was featured on Versatile Records 15-year anniversary compilation which came out this year.

Agoria – Panta Rei
Sébastien Devaud aka Agoria hails from Lyon and is one of the most respected DJ-producers in the world. In 2000, he was the first DJ to be taken on by the prestigious FAIR, a French support fund for new acts, signing his first publishing contract with Peer Music the same year. Influenced by jazz and Detroit techno, Agoria has released four LPs and many EPs for Different/PIAS Music as well as Infiné, a label he founded in 2006 to release records from producers all over the world working in an array of genres. Agoria plays an average of 100 shows a year sharing his tasteful selections and passion for electronic music. “Panta Rei” is an epic deep techno odyssey, taken from his fourth LP “Impermanence” which came out last year on Infiné.

Brodinski – Let the Beat Control Your Body
Brodinski is currently one of the most sought after French DJs. Calling himself a “music junkie”, Brodinski is always searching for the next dancefloor gem. Ever since his debut single “Bad Runner”, back in 2007, Brodinski has been getting support from the best electro DJs including Radio Soulwax, Tiga, A-Trak and Busy P. He recently founded “Bromance” together with his good friend Mike Gesaffelstein, a new label aimed at releasing forward-thinking electronic music from his DJ crew. “Let the Beat Control Your Body” is an unbelievably catchy track, the kind of crowd pleaser you often hear in Brodinski’s DJ sets.

Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane)
Thibauld Berland started releasing music as Breakbot in 2006 with his remix of Justice’s “Let There Be Light”. From there, Breakbot made a name for himself producing brilliant remixes that often outshined the original tracks. Sometimes referred as “the Brian Wilson of electronic music”, Breakbot undertook a softer approach to his music when he started releasing on Ed Banger Records, drawing more and more from classic disco and funk. “Baby I’m Yours” was first released in 2010 and went on to become a global hit.

Arnaud Rebotini – Another Time, Another Place
Often referred to as the godfather of French electronic music, Arnaud Rebotini is a former member of dark disco outfit Blackstrobe. His all analog live shows got him a reputation as a showman. His latest LP “Someone Gave Me Religion” was released on Blackstrobe Records, his own label.

Para One – When The Night feat. Jaw
Para One is one of the most prominent electronic music producers of the last ten years. Beginning his career producing tracks for the hip-hop band TTC, he later started releasing his own material on the defunct label Institubes. When Institubes came to an end, he founded Marble Records, together with fellow producers Surkin and Bobmo. Whether he makes disco-infused pop music with American-born singer-producer San Serac (Slice & Soda) or stunning soundtracks for movies (La Naissance des Pieuvres), or futuristic dance music with his friends (Marble Players), Jean-Baptiste Laubier aka Para One always gets it right. “When The Night” is a cut off his third solo album, “Passion”, released on Marble Records, and features Jaw from Paris-based tech-house outfit dOP.

Surkin – Fan Out
Surkin began releasing music on Institubes in 2006. In 2011, he co-founded Marble Records with Para One and Bobmo. Although he’s already written many anthems - “Radio Fireworks”, “White Knight Two”, “Ultra Light”, “Fan Out” – Surkin just released his first full-length “USA” this year on Marble Records. On this LP we see the producer taking new roads, trying out new arrangements and leaving his comfort zone a bit.   “Fan Out” embodies these new directions perfectly: catchy, classic house-infused, rough electronic music.

Canblaster – Clockworks
Canblaster is perhaps the most talented and forward-thinking producer of all Club Cheval, a DJ-producer crew which also include Myd, Sam Tiba and Panteros666. He started making electronic music by writing soundtracks for video games. This imagery still influences his work as 8bit sounds are blended with sharp garage beats and analog synthesizers, giving the impression of an intricate, complex, yet futuristic sound.

Débruit – Nigeria What?
Débruit is a Paris-based producer influenced by Afro-beat, as well as West Coast hip-hop and UK garage. Close to the Parisian label Musique Large, he just released his first LP “From The Horizon” on London-based bass music label Civil Music.

Bambounou – Pixel
Bambounou is one of the most promising young producers of the French electronic music scene. After a debut EP on Youngunz, featuring his friend French Fries and a collaboration with Joakim, influential German outfit Modeselektor spotted this young talent and released his first full-length album “Orbiting”. Drawing from classic Detroit techno, ghettotech and UK garage, Bambounou contributes his unique voice to the ongoing explosion of global bass music. 

Fulgeance – London Falling 
Fulgeance is part of Parisian label Musique Large. This talented producer and remixer is well known for his devastating beats and his stunning live performances across Europe. Focused on hypnotic, electronic hip-hop, “London Falling” is a somewhat unusual track from Fulgeance that sounds like a tribute to London bass music. 

Larcier – Sometimes I See (feat. Isaac Delusion)
Larcier’s first EP was released on up-and-coming Paris-based label Cracki Records. Larcier’s delicate and subtly tuned house beats welcome guest vocals by Isaac Delusion, another young project releasing music for Cracki Records.

Cabanne – Fkey
Jean-Guillaume Cabanne is a pioneer of the French minimal techno scene. Crafting glitchy, miniaturized but yet groovy house beats, Cabanne’s productions have often been labelled “micro-house” and compared to Ricardo Villalobos – the Paul McCartney of electronic music in terms of genius and success. He has released EPs for Parisian labels such as Minibar, Karat, Telegraph and Hello Repeat. He took part in the “Narod Niki” project during the MUTEK festival of Montreal in 2003 for a several hour live show with 8 of the best minimal techno acts - Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Dimbiman, Akufen and Ritchie Hawtin.

dOP – New York
Daman Van De Sande, Clément Zemstov and Jonathan Illel are dOP – which stands for “Deep, Organic and from Paris”. Serving a fierce cocktail of techno, deep house and poetry, dOP are signed to Circus Company, one of Paris’ most prominent electronic music labels, and have released EPs for a number of acclaimed tech- house labels such as Paris-based Eklo, Guy Gerber’s Supplement Facts and Berlin club-affiliated Watergate Recordings. They are best known for their wild, raging and sweaty live sets, mostly thanks to their frontman and singer “Jaw”. Here is their take on our beloved city of New York.

Oleg Poliakov – Comet
Also known for his releases under the ‘Skat’ moniker, Oleg Poliakov’s early production career was built on creating beats for Hip-Hop MC’s and lending his studio skills to rappers. Switching to radio production, he went onto to work with French national stations, further enhancing his technical skills. It was at this time that he began to explore electronic music as a composer. With a sound that resists easy definition, he looks to create his own compositions using a subtle combination of all electronic genres. His early releases on labels including Karat and Sthlmaudio won him acclaim, but it is his releases for Circus Company that have really put him on the map.

Rootstrax – Harlequin
DJ Deep is one of the most acclaimed techno DJs in the world. In 2003, he started his own label, Deeply Rooted House, and his philosophy as a label manager has always remained the same: to release “true to it’s roots” house and techno. Rootstrax is by a French producer who remains anonymous. "Harlequin" is reminiscent of '80s Chicago gone jazz-funk, with twining keyboard parts building to a graceful tension that a Miles-ian trumpet cools off. Infectious groove, gorgeous track.

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