Hello people !
As you might have noticed (if not, just take a look outside), summer has finally landed in Europe and is now well established. And I love it. I love sun, I love heat, I love rolling in the grass, I love making sand castles, I love play ing water games in the swimming pool. Wait, a swimming pool ? We need some appropriate music then. But don’t worry: Breakbot, Goldroom and Get A Room! all have the situation well in hand. Sit back, grab a cocktail, put your feet in the water and press play: doesn’t it feel good ?
1. “Breakbot: The Lazy Sunday Selecta” – Funky love
Kicking things off in this summery list is none other than Breakbot (real name Thibaut Berland), from Paris. Originally a student in graphic arts, he started his career in 2007 by remixing other artists’s tracks, such as ‘Let There Be Light‘ for Justice (a quite rare remix appearing only on the japanese release of the EP), ‘A Thing For Me‘ for Metronomy or ‘Extraball‘ for Yuksek. After joining the Ed Banger crew in 2009, he released his first EP containing the hit ‘Baby I’m yours’ featuring his good friend Irfane from french electro-pop band Outlines (‘I cannot think‘). Two EPs would follow: ‘Fantasy‘ feat. Ruckazoid in 2011 (check out Jacques Renault’s pumping remix) and ‘One out of two‘ feat. Irfane again, in 2012 (and check out Oliver’s remix). Finally Breakbot released his first album (which I recommend) entitled ‘By Your Side’, on Ed Banger Records, in September last year.
Breakbot’s music is like sweets (candies for you americans): it is full of shiny rainbow colours, sugar tastes, and sexy silouhettes. Highly influenced by the 60’s and 70’s black music, Breakbot’s compositions always come with a huge dose of soulful piano chords, super-funky guitar riffs, and disco basslines; often accompanied with groovy rythms, dreamy synths and of course sexy vocals. One can note that under the effects of Breakbot’s music, people can’t help but smile, dance and love each other a bit more than before. The ‘Lazy Sunday Selecta’ mixtape is right about that: enjoying the moment.
The first song from MFSB gets you right in the mood with those beautiful piano chords that suddenly explode in violins and synths, before settling down gently into “Falling in Love” from Surface. What a stellar opening. Then it is a succession of about 30 quite unknown tracks but all the more fantastic: Gene Dunlap – There’s Talk and its slow and smooth guitar riffs, Conway and Temple – Love Lights and its wee synth melody (that personally drives me mad), Empress – Dyin to Be Dancin’ which was not mentioned on the tracklist despite its incredible bassline, or the often sampled Debarge – Stay With Me. Another definitive highlight is the beautiful and sexy as hell Saint Tropez – Belle de Jour, a true hidden treasure.
Altogether Breakbot delivers 33 minutes of contagious happiness, where every song seamlessly fades into the next one (seriously, the mixing is fantastic). I can tell you this is one of those rare mixes in which you get loads of amazing tracks in such a small amount of time. I highly encourage you to dig into the tracklist; it would be criminal to ignore all those gems.
(tracklist over here on youtube)
2. “Goldroom: Aviva Mix 2012” – Warm emotions
Number 2 on our today’s quest for the perfect swimming-pool soundtrack is Goldroom. Hailing from the sunny city of Los Angeles in California, Josh Legg (his real name) has been into music his whole life, but started producing as Goldroom only two years ago. Well, what a lightning rise it has been since then.
Also the driving force behind Binary Entertainment and Binary Records (which have released excellent music from Lancelot or Fabian), Goldroom brings a heartwarming, reassuringly human feeling to electronic music. A true songwriter in his own right, Goldroom does not produce tracks: he makes songs. Those always have verses, choruses and a bridge in between; more importantly they all include a voice part. In fact, the man started touring a couple of years ago as a DJ; but in February this year he opted for a real live show with a drummer, a singer and himself playing either keyboards or guitar on stage. His latest singles, ‘Only You Can Show Me‘ featuring Mereki and ‘Sweetness Alive‘ (feat. SLL) clearly reflect this will to play live, and a more ‘pop’ orientation.
To me, ‘Fifteen’ (check the amazing Oxford remix) encompasses the most the ‘Goldroom sound’: dreamy synths, a peaceful yet driving bassline and on top of it, floating and always sexy voices. Goldroom draws himself very deeply into his work: would it be his own songs, remixes or mixtapes, he puts a lot of efforts and time in it. As a result, his music feels very sensitive and warm, compared to the usually dull, tasteless electronic music of today.
The Aviva Mix is the sort of mix that takes you on a journey: it brings a gentle and serene atmosphere along. With a bunch of tunes all infused with californian sun and sand, it will be perfect for your afternoon poolside nap. Think of the Daft Punk-esque ‘At Night’ from Chris Malinchak of French Express fame, or the mind-blowing last track ‘Summer’ by Michael Cassette. But I dare you to fall asleep: Goldroom’s stellar selection could easily soundtrack a pool party. Tracks like his own amazing remix of Alpine – Hands , the fabulous Ray Mang remix of Cadillac – Blue Skies (I absolutely love this one too), or the Mickey remix of Housse de Racket will definitely have you practice your foot-tapping.
The mix is divided in two parts, the first one being more ravey while the second one is more dreamy. The mix slowly gains in density and power while remaining light and classy. Mixing is perfect and Goldroom takes you through valleys and peaks of emotion. One sure highlight is the magnificent ‘Falling‘ from Edwin Van Cleef that will get firmly set in your mind. It is like being submerged by a wave of foam: it approches you in slow-motion, then surrounds you in a cocoon of warmth and softness. You know you’re trapped but you love it. Lock yourself in the sun, click on the play button below.
3. “Get A Room! : Sunny desires
Our last providers of sun for this summer post are also french. Get A Room!, a duo composed of Aurélien Haas and Jeff Lasson have known each other for more than a decade but began collaborating in 2009. If their edits made them famous in the underground parisian scene, their eclectic tastes in DJ’ing made them popular in the french clubs. Their ”Sunset Mix 2013” will definitely convince you to keep an eye on them.
Get A Room! made a name for themselves with their compilations of edits ‘Dig Out Your Spade’ and ‘Dig Out Your Spade Vol. 2‘, released through their own imprint, Small Time Cuts, and distributed by the parisian concept-store Colette. Their edit of Spectral Display got played by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), while their pretty epic version of The Dreamer by Blizzard, an obscure 80’s italo track taken from the original soundtrack of ‘Le Marginal’ (a movie with Jean-Paul Belmondo) got immediate support by Ivan Smagghe or Busy P. They have only one rule when choosing a song in order to edit it: whether it be a forgotten rock’n’roll or disco hit, an obscure french new wave song or an original soundtrack, it must be danceable. For instance, check their beautiful take on Niagara – Pendant que les champs brulent (another 80’s french pop act).
As their compilations of edits turned out to be quite successfull, they scored a few remixes, for Yacht on DFA or recently for Breakbot on Ed Banger. But their talent truly shines in their DJ sets and mixtapes, in which they showcase their crate digging phenomenal skills. This Sunset Mix 2013 reflects their diverse tastes and ability to combine together all sorts of music. It is more a selection rather than a proper mix (there sometimes are barely any transitions) but that is no big deal: you will hear some californian folk, classic 70’s funk, old french songs from the 60’s, and even brazilian bossa nova.
As true masters in pool parties (they have a residency at the parisian club/terrace Wanderlust by the Seine river, playing every sunday afternoon), they are consistently looking for the best summery tracks. Would it be the smooth Topanga canyon edit of America – Submarine Girl (that gives absolutely no results when you google it, maybe that is a fake name), the sweet bossa nova of Marcos Valle, or Air – Le Soleil est près de moi (which translates to ‘the sun is close to me’), each track comes with a dose of sun that will gently caress your skin. Piano arpeggios are slowly flowing like water on the stunning Psychemagik edit of Harold Melvin while violins are crying for more love on (again) the fantastic Saint Tropez – Belle de Jour (a Get A Room! classic).
The second half of the mix is a bit more dancy, with tracks from Zdar (half of Cassius) and Cults, but the overall tranquil and soothing atmosphere stays on. Ray Mang’s fabulous dreamy take on Tangerine Dream’s “Love On A Real Train” (without a doubt one of my very favourite tracks) gets one of the last spots before the quite magical “Sleep In The Grass” from the late and sadly underrated Lee Hazlewood concludes the mix on an bright and hopeful note. Express your deepest (sexual) desires, click play below; tracklist can be found over here (with some explanations in french):
I hope you liked that summer post and those three mixes, don’t forget to dig into the tracklists for even more sun, love and happiness. See you in September !