France Rocks Compilation Volume 4
This autumn, France Rocks’ popular College Radio compilation returns for its fourth edition with 23 of France’s most exciting rising and established musical artists. Highlights include a new collaboration between popular DJ and producer Wax Tailor and hip hop legend Ghostface Killah, the eponymous track from a Taureg group, called “Imarhan”, the all female folk-pop group Juniore’s “La Route”, one of summer 2016’s hottest tracks (Kungs’ “This Girl”), and sunny surf pop from Papooz with “Ann Wants to Dance”, among many other cool tracks.
Check out the artists and their tracks here and be sure to head over to their France Rocks pages for more detailed info, news, and tour dates!
1. Bon Voyage Organisation – “Géographie”
High in the atmosphere where the condensation trails of distant jet planes interweave, floats Bon Voyage Organisation. This band of Paris-based musicians led by producer and bassist Adrien Durand has no compunction about leading listeners a million miles off the beaten track. BVOS’s blend of Michel Magne-Jean Yanne soundtracks with tribal disco and spacey synth makes bodies move and minds follow the story.
Bon Voyage Organisation’s France Rocks Page
2. Juniore – “La Route”
Juniore is a boyish girl-band, brain child of Anna Jean and produced by Samy Osta. After two 7 inches in 2015, Juniore released an EP in the Spring full of more French pop songs, combining sweet retro and modern twist.
Hypnotic and dreamy, Anna’s soft voice pulls us in to tell us stories of loveless mornings and sleepless nights, imaginary apocalypses, walks of shame and unhappy endings. Desperately hopeful, Juniore’s tunes are a mix of old school melodies and modern lyrics, fiilled with delight and melancholy. Somewhere between Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and urban adventures straight out of Nouvelle Vague films, Juniore stretches out time and space, both dark and light, tense and reassuring.
3. Wax Tailor – “Worldwide (feat. Ghostface Killah)”
4 years after his last studio album, Wax Tailor announces his return with a single conceptualized during his last US tour.Wax Tailor answers the “call of the wild” with a personal take on a fabled road where blues, psychedelic rock, soul funk and hip-hop collide. The first excerpt from his upcoming fall 2016 album takes us in the deep confines of the Mississippi. Built around a sample of the blues classic “Once I Had A Woman“, the track showcases an evolution in writing, with a more beat-driven approach. Buckle your seat belts, and let the French beat maker take you on this new journey.
4. l’imperatrice – “Agitations Tropicales”
“A parade on its way to immodest latitudes”. Beneath ODYSSÉE’s naive and tender pop hide the decadent adventures of Theodora, byzantine empress and courtesan, whose charm and reputation for spellbinding dances preceded her. From tropical pandemonium to lunar safaris, she leads her entourage into the trances of a sensual odyssey, dipped in organic pleasures and shades of feverish rainbows. Inspired by the synth heritage of Lio’s Pop Model (“Agitations Tropicales”) and Air’s Moon Safari (“La Lune”), by way of Sebastien Tellier’s organic incandescence (“Parfum Thérémine”), the themes explored in ODYSSÉE are listened to with the indulgence granted to the shenanigans of a woman pushing her limits.
L’impératrice’s France Rocks Page
5. Kungs – “This Girl”
Kungs (pronounced “Koongs”) is a 19 year old producer from the south of France. He started his musical career with a djembe gifted by his parents to him at the age of five. From these early days Valentin would spend entire afternoons listening to Rock’n’Roll classics with his father. From The Who to The Kooks with many in-between, this essential listening forged the first steps to Kungs’ inspiration as an artist. Discovering a passion for electronic music in his teenage years, Kungs became infused with an interest for melodic sounds and crafted timbres always lead by a dominant vocal. By the age of seventeen his interests had evolved, and creating melodies using his own instruments became a passion.
Kungs’ France Rocks Page
6. Pi Ja Ma – “Radio Girl”
The single ‘Radio Girl’ is a lively piece of pop candy, teasingly not as innocent as it seems. ‘In The Air’, a piece of lazily dreamy psyche pop is followed with ‘By The River’, a sublime and melancholic folk ballad that is pure poetry, with the orchestral arrangements to prove it. The demo version of ‘By The River’ closes the album on a more intimate, acoustic note.
7. Mat3r Dolorosa – “Retroaction”
Mat3r Dolorosa invites us on an epic sound trip, on the background of clocks, mechanical toys, movies’ sets, industrial and organic rhythms. His works find their place between electronica, abstract hip-hop & progressive electro.
8. ASM (A State of Mind) ft MF Doom – “Masking”
A forgotten ancient world of bloodstained samurai swords and majestic sunsets over desert landscapes, ASM’s third album, The Jade Amulet, is their Magnus Opus. Imagine a Quentin Tarantino movie set in ancient Greece and scored by Ennio Morricone and A Tribe Called Quest.
9. Papooz – “Ann Wants to Dance”
Papooz popped up in the spring of 2015. They played smooth melodies, rhythms that swayed the hips with a pop spirit tinged with an exotic je-ne-sais-quoi. The song was called “Ann Wants To Dance” and made our spring, split between sudden downpours and sunny spells.
10. Camp Claude – “Don’t Hold Back”
Minimalist, serene, alternatively icy and volcanic, Camp Claude’s music is a delicate mix of sounds and sensations. Camp Claude: a unique and inspired trio, who have managed to spark the attention of many by refusing to give in to pre-set labels with their hybrid, ever changing music. When it comes to defining their art, the band usually talk about “Sky Wave”, at the crossroads between rock, pop, and electronic music.
11. Adam H – “Abolition Rag”
Adam H. is a singer-songwriter from the Louisville, KY area. He is based in Paris and Brooklyn. Glacier, his first album, was released on the French micro-label MK; Abolition, his new album, was produced by Jean-Charles Versari (Hurleurs, Versari) and is due to be released on T-Rec/L’Autre Distribution early 2017. Think of John Fahey meets Big Black or Neil Young meets My Bloody Valentine.
Adam H France Rocks Page
12. Imarhan – “Imarhan”
Imarhan have a sound that reflect their cultural and generational background; dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and panafrican rhythms which draw upon traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and modern pop and rock they have heard while growing up. The voice of a new generation, Imarhan create a rare symbiosis of the ancient and modern and channeling a rich and varied wave of musical influences from Algeria, Sub Saharan Africa and the West, Imarhan celebrate Kel Tamashek stories of today.
13. Laura Cahen – “Ça depend des saisons”
Possesing a singular voice reminiscent of Barbara, Laura Cahen sings songs with folk roots and swing inflections – songs about love, with a sense of humor, but not just that. Born in Nancy, France, Laura likes to instill her songs with a sense of movement by writing on trains.
14. Broken Back – “Halcyon Birds”
Jérôme Fagnet, or Broken Back, discovered an early passion for music, first learning music theory and… tuba! At the end of his studies, he broke his back (hence the origin of his artistic persona) and began to play guitar during the recovery. Then, he made his first rough versions, and was rapidly discovered online by influential media and called by international DJs, such as Klingande, for collaborations. In 2015, he signed his first release and toured. First album will be released before the end of 2016.
15. Point Point – “All This”
After their successful “Life in Grey ” with more than 3 millions plays on Soundcloud, the eclectic Parisian collective Point Point composed of Aazar, Devoted-to-God, and Nömak will continue to be talked about. These 3 young producers, with their distinct styles, are united on this project for our ears’ delight, delivering us a sweet music that takes the mind to new places.
16. Hypnolove – “La Piscine”
Hypnolove is a Toulouse based band with mediterranean and german roots. Their music filled with energy is a little like your first kiss… chill and emotional, with lyrics in French, Portuguese, German, Italian, and English. They handle both slows and techno beats, in line with their new wave influences but always in a smooth way.
17. Robin Foster – “Everlast (feat. Ndidi O)”
Composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Robin Foster’s intensely brooding instrumentals bring an intangible but undeniable tension, packed with lush cinematic textures, electronic loops, airy synths and all driven by waves of guitars. Hints of Talk Talk, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, New Order or even The Smiths can be noted as Foster’s music floats back and forth between subtlety and intensity. Other influences include his passion for cinema, film directors such as Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice), Ridley Scott (Bladerunner), David Lynch, film score composer Ennio Morricone (For a few dollars more) amongst others are a huge inspiration to his “cinematic post-rock”.
18. Smokey Joe & The Kid – “Six Feet Below (Feat. Pigeon John)
Smokey Joe & The Kid are two killer beat masters from Bordeaux, passionate about hip hop, bass music and groovy melodies from the early 20th century. Percussion solos played with scratch, beats and melodies are performed with an MPC; everything is played live.
19. Tristan & the Plane – “Riding Shotgun on Our Love”
Tristan & the Plane is a family history. Two cousins, Tristan Boccara and Nathaniel Brendel, were raised as brothers in music and writing. At vocals, Tristan. In the songs Tristan takes care of the music and Nathaniel the lyrics. Tristan is a pianist and director. Signed first under his own name to Mercury Records in France (Universal Music), he released several singles and has performed at significant venues around France and appeared in television programs in his country.
20. Nu Guinea – “Howls”
By re-working the original magic drum patterns from the Afrobeat master Tony Allen, Nu Guinea created a compilation of tracks which is charged by a voluminous electronic jazz-Psyche funk imprint. For this release, Comet records teamed up with Early Sounds recordings, the Berlin label also home to duo berliners Nu Guinea.
21. Jain – “Come”
It takes just a few seconds of listening to Jain to know that you’ve stumbled on someone special. Pick a song – any song – from the Parisian’s glorious, globe-trotting debut album, Zanaka, and the effect is the same. Instantly, you’ll be startled, smitten and smiling.It took about a minute for the audience at this year’s French Grammys, Les Victoires de la Musique, to anoint Jain pop’s most compelling new star. Performing her song Come at the televised ceremony, surrounded by dancing doppelgangers, backed by masked drummers and blaring brass, Jain stole the show as the crowd leapt from their seats in disbelief. The following day, Come was at No.1, helping to propel Zanaka to platinum sales in France within a couple of months of its release.
22. Synapson – “All in You (feat. Anna Kova)”
Synapse (from Greek syn = together and haptein = touche, seize; meaning connection), describes the zone of functional contact between two neurons. Touch the audience and make them “feel” the music: Synapson’s primary project since it formed in 2009 has been to unite French producers and multi-instrumentalists: Alexandre Chiere (keyboard, saxophone, beat and voice) and Paul Cucuron (drums, scratch, production and mixing).
23. Møme – “Aloha”
When not surfing the Australian waves, the musician Møme (aka Jérémy Souillart) likes nothing better than composing. He has converted his van into a studio-on-wheels and, driving from coast to coast, he composes as he goes. Jérémy was raised in Nice and his ‘chillwave’ sound is proving a great hit back in his native France. Nevertheless, Møme’s latest EP, Aloha, owes much to artists like Flume and Chet Faker on the Australian Future Classic label.