Veteran French producer Laurent Garnier will release a three track EP via Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger imprint, it has been revealed.
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Mickey Moonlight has always seemed out of place on the Ed Banger roster, but then he’s remained something of an under appreciated musical savant on these shores for well over a decade. For those of a certain vintage why not cast your mind back to the days when Jockey Slut was a living, breathing, pithy fountain of dancefloor knowledge and you might recall Moonlight appearing under his Midnight Mike moniker on their excellent Disco Pogo cover mount CDs.
Those who matured too late to know what this writer is talking about can at least bask in the fact Moonlight has a new album out soon on the grizzled Parisian imprint. Mickey Moonlight & The Time Axis Manipulation Corporation is framed as the debut opus from Moonlight, though some might recall his ill-executed Midnight Parade karaoke covers album from a few years back. A chance to bask in what to expect from the album is offered by lead single Close To Everything, which features the vocal talents of Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jnr, surely one of the most flamboyant front men currently operating.
The title track neatly echoes the early days of Chicago House, where heartfelt emotive male vocals regularly lined the basic, rough hewn drum machine patterns and steadily intoxicating bass line. At less than four minutes it’s also the kind of track which might easily cross over into wider acceptance and is surely more worthy of attention than the Guetta led march of idiocy that currently dominates popular culture. Alongside it, “This Son” ensures Moonlight is making no concessions with regards to his avant garde nature, it being a short excursion through delicate Tropicala featuring esteemed steel pan player Fimber Bravo.
This being an Ed Banger release there are naturally remixes involved with Dirtybird familia The Martin Brothers present and correct for the main room clubbing clique, and Moonlight also contributes further renditions. Of far more interest here is the remix from Trevor Jackson, returning to his Playgroup moniker for the first time since a remix for Tiga last year. Obviously inspired by the nascent house sound of the original, and perhaps poking fun at the current vogue for exhuming forgotten gems and remastering them, his “Back To 86” remix is produced as a live bootleg, heavily saturated and with crowd noise intact. It’s debatable whether you could get away with playing this to an unassuming crowd, and by the time it’s over you kind of want to hear the untainted version, but it’s an ingenious effort from Jackson.
Music thrives on mystery, and Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher has provided it in spades since his early singles in the mid 90s. His esoteric appeal is almost unparalleled, thanks to his 20 minute bass solos, Amen-sampling end-of-the-world drum and bass and excursions into ambient jazz. His fan club includes Andre 3000 and Thom Yorke, while Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers once declared Jenkinson “the best bass player in the world”.
His new project, Shobaleader One, was formed when a troupe of musicians – who, true to form, shall remain anonymous – approached Jenkinson to put into reality a daydream about watching a “crazy, beautiful rock band play an ultra-gig” that he mentioned in the sleeve notes of his 2008 album Just A Souvenir. The Shobaleader One album is ostensibly his most accessible work to date, but it still came as a surprise to many when the debut single was released not on Warp, but on Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger. The French imprint is best known for its electro club tackle, although it does harbour its own small stable of leftfield thinkers (chiefly Krazy Baldhead and Messer’s Flash and Oizo). Indeed it was the latter who provided a suitably off kilter remix when the Cryptic Motion EP hit the shelves in September. With the full album, entitled D’Demonstrator, set for release on October 18 – this time back on Warp – Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate caught up with one of electronic music’s most revered characters.
The recent news that Warp stalwart and electronic wizard Squarepusher would be debuting his new Shobaleader One project on Ed Banger was met with quizzical looks by most. Yet this is not the first time Ed Banger has flirted with Warp Records, with both imprints co-curating a WARP-ED night in Paris last year. Furthermore, Ed Banger boss Busy P recently claimed this release, which contains a remix from Mr Oizo, was “my dream come true – two worlds, one release”. So how does the music sound? Well, “Cryptic Motion” leans heavily on vintage electro funk aesthetics with typically Gallic undertones such as robot vocoder. If your brain can depict DMX Crew being remixed by Daft Punk then you have an idea of how “Cryptic Motion” plays out.
On the flip, Mr Oizo focuses on the bassline, adding some pace to the groove which is subjected to typically unique editing. Somehow a bastard acid line gets dropped in and pulled in several directions simultaneous for a sinuous finish to one of Oizo’s more intriguing productions of recent times. With Warp having just announced details of a forthcoming nine track mini album from Shobaleader One, it will be intriguing to see where Jenkinson takes this sound.
2010 looks like it’s going to be a very big year for Parisian producer Thibault Berland aka Breakbot. As part of the Ed Banger family he’s been producing a steady slew of quality remixes for Metronomy, Justice, Sebastian Tellier and Late of the Pier, and now he’s stepping up with excellent new material of his own.
In the vein of seriously smooth late 70′s rockers like Hall and Oates and Michael McDonald, the title track has tons of charm courtesy of a vocal from Irframe. Add to that the modern production of Holy Ghost or Discovery-era Daft Punk and it’s a pretty special disco-flavoured slice of sophisticated French pop.
Another man who’s becoming hot property for 2010 is German producer Siriusmo, who turns in a remix that matches Breakbot’s sense of retro fun and studio mastery. Far from Siriusmo’s more techno roots, this mix is almost a psychedelic rock song, complete with cowbells and chiming 12-string guitars. It’s weird and wonderful, and has more than a nod to Archie Bell and The Drells’ seminal “Tighten Up”.
Further mixes from fellow Frenchmen La Funk Mob, as well as awesome b-side “Make You Mine” make this an essential purchase from yet another Ed Banger star.
Review: Oliver Keens
Remember Ed Banger? French electro exploded into everyone’s consciousness in 2006/07, only to be met with the inevitable backlash that comes with overexposure. DJ Mehdi was – and still is – at the forefront of this scene, but he was around long before the hype, and his quality production means he’ll be around for a while yet. From humble beginnings on the outskirts of Paris, Mehdi has become one of the world’s best party DJs. He spoke to Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate about Hong Kong brawls, movie soundtracks and his new collaboration with Riton.