The Paris club music scene quietened down after the French Touch era in the 90s, but now, with the arrival of a dynamic new generation of French DJs and producers, the revival of Gallic club culture is well underway. Filling up dance floors, taking over the airwaves, touring the world and releasing records on international labels, this new guard of music makers is bringing an eclectic electro sound—a genre-defying combination including techno, house and hip hop with UK and African influences—to the wider worldwide stage. We met ten of the most influential figures on the scene to find out more about the return of Paris to the contemporary music map.
Here is the first part with: NSDOS, Bambounou e Detente.
NSDOS is a musical mad scientist, creating conceptual soundscapes using field recordings from his travels. Intuition, his latest project, is a two-volume album recorded entirely outside in the Alaskan wilderness and composed of digital data collected directly from nature.
Parisian music producer and DJ Bambounou is an established name on the electronic music scene, having emerged on the circuit in 2010 and now playing worldwide. His success continues into 2018 with a new EP, a world tour and a remix out on the UK record label Young Turks. DJ and producer Detente mixes abstract ambient sounds and club anthems to create a chopped-up style that gets his fans going on dance floors in Paris and beyond, or via his radio show on urban music station Rinse France. He co-runs the record label Permalnk and is currently working on a new project for early 2018.
Is Paris back on the music map?
N: Paris has always been well placed on the international music scene but it’s true that there is a difference between now and five years ago, particularly with new electronic music. There is a real cultural emancipation that is being defined by the ambitions of this new generation, which I’m proud to be a part of.
B: I’ve always battled with the city of Paris. I sleep there, I eat there and that’s it. Alongside a group of people, I started thinking about no longer expecting anything from a city like Paris. We created an “Operating System”, called “∞OS”, which was founded in Berlin and then relocated to Moscow. We decided to set it up in Paris. The idea is to use all of the resources that we generate—like physical activity, art, the exploration of dreams—in order to transform them using tools that we have programmed.
D: There are lots of artists who are producing a new sound and I see the scene opening up more and taking away barriers between notions of styles. Personally, the idea of doing something new and current is important and it’s also the direction I’m taking with my label Permalnk.
How would you describe your style?
N: My clothing style has nothing to do with the music that I make. I don’t pay much attention to it. And actually I wear quite a lot of things that are given to me so I often end up wearing strange sweaters! When I’m performing I have a kind of uniform: a white t-shirt and dark trousers.
B: I have a scientific approach to music, but it expresses itself with a sense of urgency. Poetry begins with the creation of sound in my work as I use algorithms that are extracts of data that relate to nature, the activity of Internet networks, dance and DNA. My work is very close to science but it is also a spiritual reflection between man and new technologies.
D: For my clothes, I wear lots of black, sportswear and technical clothes. For my sound, I bridge club music and experimental electronic music: Dark Survivalism.
Who and what influence you and your music?
N: At the moment I’m inspired by what I read—I like Kundera a lot. I also went to see the Hockney retrospective and found the colours interesting.
B: Nature and humans who try to understand. The artists who were pioneers in their research and invisible in this world.
D: At the moment I’m listening to Jim O’Rourke. As for my influences when I’m producing, I try not to think about them. It’s something that is subconscious.
Is social media important in your work?
B: No, but I do find it fun. That said, I’m aware that today a career in any artistic field requires active participation on social media.
D: Very important: it’s my media. I use it to communicate about my news and to share my current stuff. That said, creating non-stop content quickly becomes boring, so from time to time, I like to be a bit more off the radar.
Photographer| Lucie Hugary
Stylist| Nicholas Galletti
Assistant Stylist| Ariane Haas
Hair Stylist| Delphine Goichon @Backstage Agency
Make up Artist| Ludovic Cadeo @Backstage Agency
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