Tag: Giorgio Moroder

New Video: La Femme Releases a Dreamy Visual for Shimmering “Le Jardin”

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French JOVM mainstays released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” Striking while the proverbial iron was red-hot, the members of La Femme quickly followed up with three more singles, which I managed to write about:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik grooves, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.
“Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck freak out that meshed Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with ’77 punk rock nihilism.

Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their long-awaited and highly-anticipated, third album Paradigmes will be released on April 2, 2021 through the band’s own label Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL.
Continuing to build buzz for Paradigmes, the members of La Femme recently released the album’s fourth and latest single, the dreamy and achingly sad lullaby of sorts “Le Jardin.” Interestingly, the song is the band’s first song written and sung in Spanish — and the song can trace its origins to a trip that the band’s members took to Spain a few years ago. “This is kind of an old-school slow dance which underlines how fate can be random and fragile,” the band explains. “The moments we go through, sometimes very sudden, from shadows to light, and vice-versa.”

Directed by the band, the recently released video for “Le Jardin” was shot in Southern Spain between Granada and Sevilla. The video itself is a gorgeous fever dream in the middle of gorgeous Romanesque architecture, “where the Holy Virgins are omnipresent on the walls, overlooking at mankind and its madness.”

New Audio: Rising French Artist Clio Releases a Shimmering Pop Confection

Clio is a rising French singer/songwriter and pop artist, whose work is inspired by the spirit and aesthetic of short films with the rising French artist attempting to capture fleeting moments with intense, novelistic detail. So far, her previously released work has received over five million YouTube streams.

The rising French singer/songwriter and pop artist’s third full-length album is slated for a 2021 release, and the album’s latest single , the incredibly cinematic and melancholy pop confection “Vertige.” Centered around Clio’s ethereal cooing, shimmering synth arpeggios and a motorik groove, “Vertige” brings (to my ears, at least) Giorgio Moroder and Little Boots to mind; but while telling a a story of a girl, who ran away so much that she finally got lost — both mentally and emotionally.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Releases a Motorik Groove Driven Freak Out

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” They promptly followed up with two more singles, which I covered on this site:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik groove, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric elecvtroincns, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.

Interestingly, the Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated third album Paradigmes is slated for an April 2, 2021 release through the band’s Disque Pointu/IDOL. And along with the album’s announcement, the members of La Femme released Paradigmes’ latest single Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck, nihilistic, motorik-groove driven, freak out that sonically seems like a slick synthesis of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with a ’77 punk rock nihilism. The approximate English translation of the words chanted in the song’s chorus is: “It’s the return of terror, all the kids sing in unison, I wanna fuck it up!” And as a result, the song is a decided dance floor meets mosh pit ripper specifically designed to turn a crowd upside down.

The recently released video for the song was animated and directed by the members of the band — and the visual is a neon colored, lysergic freakout that includes a surfing guitar player, musicians, who’s innards are revealed and other weird imagery. It’s La Femme at their best — being a wild head fuck that you can bop to.

New Video: French Elelctro Pop Artist DeLaurentis Releases a Cinematic Visual for Shimmering “Life”

DeLaurentis is a French-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and interpreter, who can trace some of the origins of her own music career to watching her father play music. She quickly understood that music notes would spring up and fly away from her arms, hands and fingers — that music was essentially a part of her.

After spending several years studying in the conservatory, DeLaurentis returned back home, where she began working on material with keyboards, sequencers, computers and other electronics. Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Oneothrix Point Never, and Laurie Anderson, DeLaurentis eventually developed and honed a lush and cinematic sound centered around modern and vintage analog synthesizers, piano, loop machines and arpeggiators paired around her ethereal vocals.

The French electronic music artist and producer relocated to Paris, where she released her first two EPs, which featured some attention-grabbing videos. Several tracks wound up being placed in commercials and American TV shows. Building upon a growing profile, the French electronic music artist and producer began working on what would be her full-length debut Unica in a spacious and luminous Paris studio intensifying her relationship between her instruments and technology over a two year period.

Unica is a synth pop concept album that tells the tale of the fusion between woman and machine. Interestingly, the album features a track recorded with artificial intelligence, supervised by Benoit Carré, a pioneer in A.I. Additionally, the album finds DeLaurentis collaborating with Dan Black, Yaron Herman, Daymark and Fabien Waltmann.

“Life,” Unica’s cinematic first single is centered around shimmering, Giorgio Moroder-like synth arpeggios, soaring strings, skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking trap beats and DeLaurentis’ ethereal and plaintive vocals singing lyrics that draws from one of the more famous lines in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “It is a tale/Told but an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.” Thematically seeming as though it were influenced by Spike Jonze’s Her or Steven Spielberg’s AI, “Life” tells the tale of Unica coming alive and bursting out from the screen that contained her. The song goes on to have the fictional DeLaurentis and Unica meeting each other and observing each other with curiosity — and a bit of fear of what may be next for both.

Directed by the directorial collective ACCIDENT and production company Noside, the recently video is inspired by the collaborators fascination for sci-fi androids in films like Blade Runner and Ex-Machina and others. Visually, it’s a brooding and symbolic fever dream seemingly set in a dystopian world that’s not too far from our own.

As the collaborators explain the concept behind the video was to introduce the main concepts and themes behind the Unica with the video serving as a visual origin story into DeLaurentis’ Unica. “We wanted to develop this idea of birth and this coming alive process by infusing it with graphic and metaphysical references,” the collaborators explain. “The idea is to minimize the robotic aspect and to focus on the ambiguity of its double. In order to make the final revelation even more powerful: this entity that we thought was human is in fact driven by artificial intelligence. The choice of focusing on the hand is not trivial, it is in our opinion the strongest symbolism of humanity and the most powerful member on a visual and emotional level.”

The music video uses hybrid techniques combining real shots and 3D computer graphics to give life to a robotic hand, supervised by Laurent Hamery and Raphael G. while the Parisian teams of the ACCIDENT collective developed the environments and mood maps.

New Audio: Vancouver’s Pannekoek Releases a Shimmering and Trippy New Single

Andrew Pannenkoek is a Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ, who has a lengthy history of playing local punk and rock bands. The Canadian artist is the creative mastermind behind the new electronic music project Pannekoek, a project that can trace its origins to his long-held passion for experimenting with music software.

The Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ has spent the past 15 years working as a bike messenger — but a recently embraced sobriety has allowed him to realize his passion and interest in electronic music. Interestingly, the project finds Pannekoek putting a modern, sophisticated and trippy twist on a unique blend of sounds he heard growing up as a child of the 80s — in particular TV shows, going to mall, listening to the radio and video games.

“Polyester,” Pannekoek’s trippy debut single is centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats and wobbling low end within an expansive and mind-bending song structure. Sonically, the playful yet cinematic track seems indebted to 70s synth disco and hip-hop — in particular, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa immediately come to mind.

New Video: Emerging French Act Voie 81 Releases a Shimmering, Synth Pop Banger

Deriving their name from the French of word for “track” while simultaneously being a bit of a pun for the French word for voice voix and for 1981, a paradigm shifting year that saw an incredible array of changes in technology and across society, the Paris-band electro pop/New Wave duo Voie 81 prominently features three female vocalists hailing from Paris, Madrid, and Berlin, who sing unifying and socially conscious lyrics in German, English, Spanish and French.

The act’s full-length debut Ralentir which means “slow down” in French finds the act further developing a sound that’s heavily influenced by the analog synth sound of the 80s while thematically touches upon humans’ resistance to an unfair and unjust world and the hope for a better, fairer world. The album’s first single “Nirvana” is a euphoric track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, angular guitars and an arena friendly hook paired with vocals delivered in an ethereal yet sultry French. Sonically, the track finds the emerging French act nodding at early-to-mid 1980s New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Tour de France-era Kraftwerk and even contemporaries like DBFC.

Directed by the members of Voie 81, the recently released video for “Nirvana” is set in an industrial train yard as we follow, a boombox carrying dude and a gorgeous dancer, hang out and dance together before pulling out to follow a train track across the French train ride. The video manages to be playful and decidedly DIY.

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Born to an English father and Italian mother,  Paris-born and-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist, Frank Woodbridge grew up in a passionate, musical household: at an early age, the Woodbridge family spent their evening listening to their vinyl record collection in front of their huge stereo. “My father loved The KinksThe BeatlesThe Bee Gees and Al Jarreau. My mother introduced me to Stan Getz, Carole King and the romantic refrains of the crooners that reminded her of her childhood,” Woodbridge recalls fondly in press notes. “From the age of ten, I was already deep into The CureDepeche ModeU2. My teenage neighbor had decided to perfect my musical education. And then, Bernard Lenoir on Inter, the many weekends in London . . . I was an indie kid, that was my life.”

After spending many years in rock and electro pop groups as a singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Woodbridge has spent the past few years focusing on composing for films, the web, TV, as well as  sound design for events and stage music for theater. Currently, Woodbridge works with Andre Manoukian on his daily chronicle for the Daphne Burki-hosted TV show, Je T’aime, ETC — and he wrote a comic book Inversion, which follows its composer protagonist.

2020 has been a busy year for the French artist: companies like Kenzo Parfums and Oris Watches commissioned him to compose music for web campaigns and for a series of 10 films. He also composed the soundtrack for Florie Martin and Melissa Theuriau’s documentary  Seine Saint Denis Style, which aired on French station C8 earlier this year. Woodbridge also released an album of original compositions LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC earlier this year.  

I’ve written about two of LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC’s singles so far:

  • Lola dans le bus” a melancholic and cinematic M83-like track specially composed to drive to or daydream along with, inspired by personal experience: Woodbridge ran into an ex-girlfriend he had lost contact with. He saw her on a bus and waved at her but unfortunately, she didn’t see her. And as a result, the song is punctuated with a profound sadness over a missed connection, as well as nostalgia for something you can’t ever really get back.
  • To The End” is an optimistic, motorik-groove driven track, reminiscent of  New Order and From Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . and Back-era Giorgio Moroder As Woodbridge said at the time “It is music driven with an urge, a dream for something else, a lot of energy and yet peacefulness coming from inner strength and will, I composed it thinking of movies I love, where people are at a turning point of their lives knowing it or not, and heading for their future. Although slightly melancholic, it has a positive light and effect.”

LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC‘s lats single “Je me souviens de tout,” (which translates into English as I remember it all)” is a dreamy, downtempo track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats paired with a a heartfelt mantra as its main lyric, a lyric that simply says ” Love, in the end, is just love.” Interestingly, the track is one of the few off the album with lyrics — and was specifically written as a way to “escape gravy and access an inner light” as Woodbridge explains in press notes.

New Audio: French Producer Sory Releases a Cinematic and Retro-futuristic New Single

Deriving his name from a French word for “tawny,” an orange-brown or yellowish-brown, Sory is a mysterious and emerging Parisian electronic music producer and electronic music artist, who has started to receive attention for a sound that’s heavily influenced by electro pop and electro funk. Thematically, the French producer and artist’s work draws from his lifelong obsession with robots — with the material taking the listener on an intergalactic future in which humanity is at one with machinery. 

Last month, Sory released his debut EP, the four song Fall ‘N’ Rise,  which featured lead single “Sitting on a cloud.” “Sitting on a cloud” gave a hint at what listeners should expect from the effort: slickly produced electro pop that nodded at funk and disco, centered around vocodored vocals. The EP’s second and latest track, the cinematic “Cyberpunk attack” is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, four-on-the floor drumming and an enormous hook. Arguably, the most retro-futuristic of Fall ‘N’ Rise’s four tracks, “Cyberpunk attack” manages to bring Daft Punk, Giorgio Moroder and John Carpenter soundtracks to mind. That shouldn’t be surprising: the song imagines an attack in which humans are captured and made into cyborgs through the implantation of bio-mechanical components. In the case the song’s composer imagines a future in which a memory chip that captures the entirety of his personality, memory, talents and history was implanted in his brain. The track asks if that were to happen, how does one regain their humanity and soul? 

New Audio: French Electronic Project VAPA teams up with VoxAxoV’s Charlotte Cegerra on a Sultry Club Banger

Formed in 2017, VAPA (an acronym for the French phrase Vous n’Avez Pas d’Avis, which translates into English as “You Have No Opinion”) is an emerging French electronic music collective that’s inspired by what the French journalist Jean-Yves Leloup has dubbed “conscious dance floor,” the project aims to bring people together through music but while addressing larger social issues, linking the hedonism and freedom of the party to the seriousness of our age — with a hint of optimism.  

The project’s sound draws influences from Thylacine, Jon Hopkins, Agoria, and Essaie Pas but paired with the voices of personalities, fellow musicians and journalists as a way to  to take an honest look at the world, to raise questions and our fears as a way to push the listener into action. “An introspective quest put into words and melodies!” VAPA’s mysterious creative mastermind says in press notes. 

VAPA’s latest single “Nuages Oranges” is an eerily atmospheric track and sensual track centered around shimmering and squiggling synth arpeggios, rapid-fire beats, a dance floor rocking hook and the dreamily sultry French vocals of VoxAxoV’s Charlotte Cegarra. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves and From Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . And Back-era Giorgio Moroder, the track focuses on the climate crisis, exile, existential anguish in the face of the world that’s adrift — and then hope. 

A Q&A with Juno Francis

Juno Francis is a mysterious and emerging Berlin-based indie synth pop duo, featuring two Swedes, who serendipitously met through mutual friends and had an instant creative connection. With the release of “Dance With Me,” the Swedish-born, Berlin-based duo have received attention in Germany for a sound that they describe as a mix of 60s psychedelia and cheesy 80s sounds. But interestingly, “Dance With Me” sounds as though it were inspired by Giorgio Moroder and Daft Punk – in particular, Moroder’s From Here to Eternity . . . And Back and Daft Punk’s Homework comes to my mind.

Building upon a growing profile, the Berlin-based duo released their latest single “Queen’s Anthem” today – and the single continues a run of shimmering and sultry pop centered around rousingly anthemic hooks but unlike its predecessor, it’s decidedly ‘80s inspired, reminding me of Stevie Nicks and JOVM mainstays St. Lucia and Washed Out. Certainly, as a child of the ‘80s, the track manages to bring fond memories of much simpler – and perhaps, far safer – times.

I recently exchanged emails with the members of Juno Francis for this edition of JOVM’s ongoing Q&A series. In this interview, I chat with the emerging and mysterious band about their shimmering and infectious new single, their influences, Berlin – in particular, places to go, things to see and places to see music, and more. And of course, with governments across the world closing bars, restaurants, nightclubs and music venues to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the impact on the music industry – especially on small and mid-sized venues, and the touring artists, who grace their stages has been devastating and life altering. Over the course of this pandemic, I’ll be talking to artists about how the pandemic has impacted them and their careers. Naturally, there are a lot of lost gigs and lost opportunities and artists across the world have been frantically figuring out what their next steps are – if any. In the case of Juno Francis, they tell me what they’ve been doing to remain creative, as well as continue the momentum of “Dance With Me.”

Check out the interview and the single below.

JUNO-FRANCIS-picture-1

COVER original

 

Solina Records · Juno Francis – Queen’s Anthem

________

WRH: Much of the world has been in quarantine and adhering to social distancing guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. How are you holding up? How are you spending your time? Are you binge watching anything? 

 Juno Francis: We are safe and healthy and spending most of our time hanging out with a webcam drinking wine or working on some new material. New favorite shows are Foodie Love, Killing Eve and a little bit of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! when the quarantine loco vibe strikes.. 😉

WRH: Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, festivals have been postponed or cancelled outright, artists of all stripes have postponed, rescheduled or cancelled tour dates. Most of the world has been on an indefinite pause. How has COVID-19 impacted you and your career?

JF: All shows have been cancelled or postponed and of course that is affecting our career, but we’re working on new material and some live streams instead and it’s not that bad.

WRH: You’re currently based in Berlin. What brought you to Berlin?

 JF: Well we both moved here to float around in the music scene with the intention to float into a person to do great music with. It’s a city we both find fascinating and crazy, right up our alley

WRH: I’ve been to Frankfurt many years ago for the Frankfurt Book Fair. What can I say? It was a free trip. I desperately want to see Berlin though. So, say I get on a Lufthansa flight to Berlin. Where should I go to get a taste of local life? What’s a tourist spot that I’d have to see to get a true sense of Berlin?

JF: Berlin has many sides and in our side there’s not that many tourist spots or book fairs, but if we were your guide for a weekend we would probably show you ”Juno Juno Shop” a great vintage store and the location for our studio. We would take you to nice wine bars and show you some nice industrial areas where you can boogie woogie to some disco beats all night long. 🙂 

WRH: Where’s your favorite spot to see live music in Berlin?

Oh there’s many.. some are Schokoladen, Acud Macht Neu, Kantime Am Berghain, 8mm, loophole (we live on the same street..)

WRH: Are there any acts in Berlin that should be getting love from the outside world that haven’t yet? Who?

 Children (wearechildren.de)

Plaisir (facebook.com/plaisirtomeetyou)

Dance Depot (facebook.com/DANCEDEPOTBERLIN/)

WRH: How did you meet each other?

JF: We met randomly in Berlin through some common friends, it was a creative explosion at first sight. 

WRH: Who are your influences?

JF: Kate Bush, Saâda Bonair, Desire, Sylvester, Donny Benét

WRH: Who are you listening to right now?

JF: A lot of Italo Disco!

WRH: How would you describe your sound?

JF: We describe our sound as mix of psychedelic 60s and 80s pop. So far we only released songs that sound more 80s pop but later this summer we will release an EP that show the other side of the Juno Francis project..

WRH: Your latest single “Queen’s Anthem” officially drops today. I love the track It’s got that anthemic 80s synth sound paired with enormous hooks – and as a child of the 80s, it brings back a lot of memories. What’s the song about?

 JF: It’s a nostalgic memory of growing up in Sweden and the mixed emotions connected to moving back. It’s also about believing in yourself and the longing for something more.

 WRH: How do you know when you have a finished song?

JF: It’s all in the vibe, if it feels right and sounds right it’s done. Some songs take a week to finish others months and some haunted ones never seam to be done..

WRH: What’s next for you?

JF: We are working on an EP at the moment and aim for a release in the middle of this summer. It will be exploring other sides of the project and sound a bit more dreamy and mysterious…