Category: dance music

Funky French League is a label and collective of multi-generational DJs, producers and musicians led by Groove Deluxe’s Uncle T that also includes Young Pulse, Chaps, Malka Family‘s Woody Braun, Générations FM and Radio FG‘s mOnsieur Willy, Radio Nova and Générations FM’s DJ Asko.

As a collective and label, Funky French League has two missions:

  • promote and advance the entire disco, dance music and funk spectrum through parties, remixes, edits, radio shows and even their original material
  • to encourage and promote partying — with good taste, in which good people can hang out and listen to dope music with funky grooves

Over the past couple of years, the French collective have been busy: 2020 saw their debut effort, Disconauts, Vol. 1. They released a critically acclaimed series of remixes of French superstars off the Warner music back catalog, which included remixes of Françoise Hardy, Sheila, Veronique Sanson, and others. They then released a collection of reworks of three Latin American disco tracks initially released in 1980 — Irakere‘s “Baila Mi Ritmo,” written by Chucho Valdes; “Dance, Dance, Dance,” by Orquesta Novel; and “La Cotorra Criolla,” by Perucho Conde, one of the first Spanish rap songs, inspired by The Sugarhill Gang’s iconic “Rapper’s Delight.

This year, the French collective released the Baule Vice EP. The EP’s first single, EP opening track “Heaven” is a synth-driven, disco-inspired banger centered around a relentless, two-step inducing groove, glistening synth arpeggios paired with soulful vocals and and an irresistible hook. It’s a fun song that sounds as though it draws from Nile Rodgers and Chic, Cameo, The Dazz Band, The Gap Band and others — but with a sleek modern feel and production.

New Video: ADULT. Releases an Uneasy and Cringe-Inducing Visual for Glitchy “Fools (We Are . . .)”

Throughout their 25 year history, acclaimed Detroit-based multimedia and electronic music production and artist duo ADULT. — the husband and wife team of Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus — have a sprawling catalog of material released through  Mute RecordsGhostly InternationalThrill JockeyThird Man Records and a list of other labels that has seen the duo obscure and blur lines between genres and styles in a cohesive fashion in the album format.

“but for this we wanted something that’s falling apart.” Becoming Undone, ADULT.’s ninth album reportedly sees the duo explicitly aiming for that goal, while simultaneously rejecting and reflecting the planetary discord that inspired and informed it. Written between November 2020 and April 2021, Miller and Kuperus kickstarted the creative process through additions to the rig: a vocal loop pedal for Kuperus and Roland percussion pads for Miller. They also reconnected with some of their earliest influences including Test Department and Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats, which helped spark a series of fruitful and frenetic sessions, centered on themes of impermanence and dissonance. “We weren’t interested in melody or harmony since we didn’t see the world having that,” ADULT.’s Miller bluntly reasons.

While there are still plenty of the dance floor bangers the duo is known for, Becoming Undone is also informed by deep, personal loss: Kuperus’ father died during the height of the pandemic, just before the duo were about to start working on the album. As his hospice caretakers, she and Miller faced the banality finality, surrounded by objects drained of meaning — “the joy of having a body, but also the drudgery of having one,” they say.

The end result is an album that crackles with revulsion and dissent, and it seemingly equal parts exorcism and denunciation, centered around a breadth of vocal effects: Kuperus at times sounds alternately indignant and possessed, decrying the crimes, fears, and failings of a deluded, broken world. “Humans have always been pretty terrible,” Kuperus explains. “But every year the compromises of culture just accelerate.”

“Fools (We Are . . . ) is a glitchy and uneasy bit of EBM centered around stuttering beats, dense layers of arpeggiated synths paired with an unhinged and desperate vocal performance by Kuperus, who sings lyrics describing the sensation of being stuck in a seemingly endless and foolish loop of the same ol’ things while everything around them falls apart.

The recently released, self-created video for “Fools (We Are)” is a surrealist fever dream featuring a clown in a bathroom. Initially mischievous, we see the clown playing with the toilet paper and sanitary toilet seat covers, before she daintily pretends to use the toilet. The video turns increasingly surreal when the clown goes through the repetitive actions of having to use the bathroom — with all the toilets backing up and overflowing. It’s a menacing and unpleasant nightmare.

The video’s concept can trace its origins to an idea to combine Kuperus’s recurring performance of the clown/fool theme and a series of drawings that Miller had always waned to turn into a sculptural installation — The Golden Fountains. “Inspiration came from performances by Paul McCarthy’s ‘Painter’ to Bruce Nauman’s ‘Clown Torture.’ The sculptural work of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ to Robert Gober’s ‘Two urinals (in 2 parts),’ and the album artwork of Fad Gadget’s ‘Incontinent.’” The duo explain. “The toilet is a universal motif, a shared human situation or in some cases shituation. We are all fools in one way or another, from war to waste to societal trends in ridiculous human behavior.”

New Video: Rising Brooklyn-based DJ and Producer Fiveboi Teams up with Sola on a Shimmering Meditation on Loss

Opening for the likes of Madison McFerrin, KeiyaA and Shabazz Palaces, the rising nonbinary, Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Fiveboi has steadily established am atmospheric and melancholic dance sound that moves listeners to dance while completing existential matters of the heart. Following the release of their attention-grabbing debut single “Out of My Head,” the rising Brooklyn-based DJ and producer started working on their latest single “Fall Apart,” at In Session, a virtual, one-week summer camp that they co-founded and organized for women, nonbinary and trans producers of color, “as a way to center joy and creativity after enduring many months of pandemic isolation and racial injustice on a global scale.”

After posting the original instrumental track on Discord, London-based “warped-soul” artist Sola reached out to Fiveboi to collaborate. “That was the very first track I ever produced where I worked with a vocalist and was a huge moment for me,” they explain, “tapping into the power that can come from putting my music out into the world and collaborating with others and recognizing that my collaborators can be anywhere— IRL, on the internet and even countries apart.” The end result is a song that’s dreamily introspective and full of loss, centered around atmospheric and wobbling synths, skittering beats and Sola’s achingly soulful vocals.
“It’s funny,” Fiveboi continues, “at the time I was still processing a breakup I had gone through at the beginning of lockdown and the lyrics were a perfect reflection of how I was feeling.”

Directed by Hasan Khalid and shot by Imani Nikyah, the recently released and incredibly cinematic video for “Fall Apart” was shot in Arizona and features a couple dancing together as the sun sets — but throughout there are reunions and departures. And according to the rising Brooklyn-based artist the video shoot helped the song take on a different meaning: “I was actually going through another breakup, this time with a best friend. That time around, the lyrics took on an entirely new meaning for me, and being able to act out and translate the pain and sadness I was going through when filming the video.”

Throwback: Black History Month: Nile Rodgers

Today is the 16th day of February — and the 16th day Black History Month. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been proudly featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles with the hopes that these artists can guide you towards further understanding of the Black experience.

As the month goes on, I hope that you’ll be reminded of these urgently important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Nile Rodgers has written, cowritten and/or produced some of the biggest and most beloved dance floor and pop hits of the past 50 years while working with a who’s who list of artists across a diverse and eclectic array of artists. I’d guarantee that Rodgers has worked with an artist you love on a song you love. And as a result, his sound and approach has been instrumental in your life.

New Video: Rising French Artist Bambino Releases a Club Banger

Hailing from the Parisian suburbs — bouncing between the 18th, 92nd and 93rd arrondissements — Bambino is a rising emcee and vocalist, who has contributed toplines and melodies to the work of acclaimed French artists like Amir, Kendji Girac and others. The tracksuit and Afro wearing emcee and vocalist is the first signing to French label Local Records, who will be releasing his debut, EP Enfant difficile.

The six song debut EP finds the rising French artist crafting a genre-defying, club friendly sound centered around his dexterous flow, which finds him spitting bars and singing infectious melodies. Thematically, the EP’s material touches upon several things — his love of wild parties and beautiful women, and the heartaches and lingering ghost of the past that still haunt.

Enfant difficile’s latest single “Kekra” is a smooth reggae-influenced banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, stuttering trap beats and the rising French artist’s self-assured rapid fire flow and smooth melodies, and an infectious hook. Sonically, the track may remind some listeners of Sean Paul and others –but while managing to eb the sort of song you’f wine down with a pretty young thing at the club.

Directed by Romain Habousha, the recently released video for “Kekra” is cinematically shot visual that employs a bold color palette while being a perfect vehicle to show the rising French artist’s infectious, Busta Rhymes-like energy.

New Audio: Australia’s Mildlife Releases a Shimmering Club Friendly Jam

With the release of 2017’s full-length debut Phase, the Aussie quartet Midlife — multi-instrumentalists Jim Rindfleish, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and Tom Shanahan — exploded into the national and international scene. Phase was released to critical acclaim from Resident AdvisorResident Advisor, Uncut, The Guardian and airplay from BBC Radio 6 — and the album helped the band garner several award nominations including Best Album at the 2018 Worldwide FM Awards,  Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2018 AIR Awards and Best Electronic Award nomination and win at the The Age Music Victoria Awards. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of the Midlife have opened for the likes of Stereolab, JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Harvey Sutherland. Their first national headlining tour was sold out, and the immediately followed up with a ten-date UK and European tour, which was culminated with a homecoming set at Meredith Music Festival. 

The rising Aussie act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Automatic is slated for a September 18, 2020 release through Heavenly Recordings and the album reportedly is step-change from their debut with the material being much more disciplined, directional and more danceable but while continuing their unerring knack to let a track luxuriate and stretch out without ever being self-indulgent. “The recorded songs kind of become the new reference point for playing the songs live,” Midlife’s Kevin McDowell says. ““They both have different outcomes and we make our decisions for each based on that, but they’re symbiotic and they both influence each other. It’s usually a fairly natural flow from live to recorded back to live.”

“Vapour,” Automatic’s second and latest single is centered around a shimmering, cosmic groove featuring glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, a fluttering and expressive flute solo, shuffling four-on-the-floor, a euphoria-inducing hook and McDowell’s plaintive falsetto.  While sonically the song brings Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and DBFC to mind, it conjures memories of carefree dance floors of pre-COVID quarantines, lockdowns and isolation. “Vapour is a dance mantra with enough weight to blow the cobwebs off your tired mind and snap you out of your endless feed scrolling rituals,” the members of Midlife say of the song. 

JackLNDN is a rapidly rising London-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer. who can trace the origins of his music career to when he was a boy: he grew up in a hone in which his family almost exclusively to jazz, funk and classical music in equal measure. When he was 7, he sang in professional choirs — and by the time, he was 10, he had met Queen Elizabeth and recorded material at Abbey Road Studios.

With the release of attention grabbing tracks like “The Feels,” “Never Get Enough,” “Start Over Again” and “All I See,” the British electronic music artist and producer firmly established a unique sound and approach in electronic music/deep house: he frequently pairs his own vocals with productions that are simultaneously indebted to jazz and house music. Along with a series of successful remixes, JackLNDN’s work has amassed millions of streams. Adding to a growing profile, the rising British artist and producer released his self-released full-length debut Thoughts last year.

Since the release of his full-length debut, JackLNDN has followed up by enlisting two of his favorite electronic music artists, electronic music producers and fellow Brits — Fluida and Frameworks — to remix two of Thoughts songs. Album single “With You” is a sultry and summery track centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, the British producer’s plaintive and ethereal vocals and a sinuous yet crowd pleasing hook. Sonically, the song — to my ears, at least — brings Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves and Giorgio Moroder to mind.

Clocking in at a little over seven minutes, Fluida’s remix is centered around propulsive tribal beats while retaining the shimmering synth arpeggios, the gorgeous melody and sinuous hooks of the original; however, the remix turns the song into a euphoria-inducing drum ‘n’ bass meets tribal house instrumental.