Beyond The Booth 017: Breakbot, the Animé aficionado

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Beyond The Booth 017: Breakbot, the Animé aficionadoBreakbot Press Supplied By His PR Team

Beyond the Booth is a feature dedicated to the hidden side of artists that exists outside electronic music— a side rarely discussed with those outside their immediate circle. We venture “beyond the booth,” so to speak, and dive into their deepest passions that tie into their unique personalities. After some self-introspection, each participant then returns to the booth, providing an exclusive mix for the Dancing Astronaut audience.

The aughts were a time ruled by originality and experimentalism across dance music. It was a time after dance music’s first commercial boom, where the resulting vacuum left behind the “bubble burst” was filled by bedroom producers fusing sounds of older times together, and blogs becoming the dominating force of media around the scene and also the unofficial A&Rs of the era.

During this “Blog House Era,” one particular strain of dance music erupted out of the blogs and into the stratosphere of the mainstream. This was French house/electro, whose gritty, funk-and-disco-infused sounds and emphasis on feeling live and organic catalyzed an entire indie movement around it. With foundations laid by Daft Punk in the late 90s and early aughts, labels like Ed Banger and acts like Justice helped make their country’s unique brand of a music a global sensation.

Breakbot‘s rise came toward the end of this era, but it didn’t take long for this artist to reach the top and remain a stalwart in forward-thinking dance music from there on out. Getting his start in 2007, he was quickly taken into the Ed Banger family, winning the public over with his breakout remix to Justice’s “Let There Be Light,” and other singles like “Make You Mine” and “Baby I’m Yours.” By the time his critically-acclaimed debut album, By Your Side, was released in 2012, he’d already began intertwining his artistry with that of his protégé and vocalist, Irfane. Their official joint LP Still Waters came to fruition in 2016, and along with it that the lovable character Breakazoid was born.

This brings us to the duo’s most recent EP: Another You. Assisted in part by vocalist Delafleur this time around, the EP is set in Breakbot’s signature formula of nostalgia-laced electro and promotes nothing but smiles when listening to its infectious vocals and guitar riffs. The Breakazoid story line continues as well, leaving fans already keen on hearing about his next set of adventures.

How does Breakbot get inspiration for such quirky animated characters, though? It turns out the producer’s passion for art expands far beyond the auditory realm and into the visual. For one, he originally specialized in 3D art and design in school, before switching lanes to music. Secondly, he actually has a deep passion for animé and manga. His aesthetic and eclecticism suddenly make sense. We were able to pick his brain on all things Japanese-art-related, from how he fell in love with this type of art, to his current recommendations.


When did you first begin getting into Manga/Anime, and what draws you to this type of graphic novel/animation in particular? Is it the story lines, the illustration styles, etc?
As many French people of my generation, I remember a lot of old different Japanese animated tv shows. They were imported by Dorothee, very famous in the 80’s and 90’s. She presented a kid’s show based mostly on anime. Some of it, like Hokuto no Ken was not always aimed for kids though. City Hunter, Saint Seya, Dragon Ball, Cobra, Captain Harlock, Go Nagai, were among my favorite things to watch.

Did you ever read Inuyasha or Fushigi Yugi as a kid? On that note, which were your favorite manga series in general when starting out, and which are your favorites now?
I did not, but I loved most of Rumiko Takahashi’s work, especially Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2. This last one was among my favorite when I started reading mangas, with Dragon Ball of course. Now I love the works of Naoki Urasawa, Katsuhiro Otomo, Tsukasa Hojo, and of course Osamu Tezuka, which was a very prolific author, and many more.

Which is your preferred subgenre of manga/anime to read/watch?
I don’t have any! I like good stories that are cleverly told. I am also quite sensitive to design and animation. I tend to regret the fact that 2D animation is only colored through computer. I love the fact that every frame of a cartoon used to be painted on a celluloid before the nineties.

Who is your favorite illustrator in terms of technicality, design, etc (doesn’t have to be tied to your favorite series)?
If we stick to the Manga/Anime conversation, it has to be Katsuhiro Otomo. He released two wonderful art books named called Kaba 1 & 2 dedicated to his illustrations, poster designs and various artworks. He’s such a genius, like a Japanese version of Moebius.

Of all the series of manga that you’ve seen adapted to anime, which has been the best adaptation in your eyes and why?
Akira is definitely the best in my eyes. Of course, the story differs from the manga, there’s no way you can fit more than 2000 pages in a movie. It shocked me the first time I saw it, and it still has the same effect. It is as beautiful as it is weird. It is one of these rare timeless movies that will always be relevant and modern.

What is your favorite anime? Any other recommendations of what to watch for those interested in it?
It’s hard to choose, if I had to pick one outside the Ghibli filmography, I’d choose Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon. It’s a very dark film about a Japanese idol who is slowly but surely losing her mind. Satoshi Kon(who sadly died too young), also directed an animated series called Paranoia Agent, that I highly suggest watching. My other recommendations include Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki by Mamoru Hosada. It’s a beautiful film about a mother raising two children who become wolves from time to time. This young talented director also made a very cool film called Summer Wars. Cowboy Bebop is a classic show that is one of my favorite of all time, and it’s currently available on Netflix! And if you’re a Miyazaki fan and you haven’t seen the series Future Boy Conan and Sherlock Hound, they’re definitely worth watching.

What is the most peculiar manga series you’ve ever read, or anime you’ve ever watched, in your opinion? Why is that, and how did you come across this series?
I came across an anthology of the works of Maki Sasaki, and it is one of the weirdest manga authors I read. He published mainly little stories that seem to be drawn on acid. He reminds me of Robert Crumb in a way. Another peculiar manga I read recently is Pluto by Naoki Urasawa, another author I really admire. It is a free adaptation of Testuwan Atomo, or Astro le petit robot in French. Naoki revisited the Tezuka classic robot story and took it to another level. A must-read for those who love to see robots cry. (by the same author I also recommend 20th century boys and Monster). In a completely different style but still very peculiar, the works of Hideshi Hino are quite bizarre. They’re an interesting gate to the yokai culture.

Where do you source your anime/manga from? Are there shops around where you live, do you travel to Japan, order online…?
There are manga everywhere in France, I think we are the biggest consumers after Japan!

Have you ever considered doing a Porter Robinson Worlds-type show where you’re incorporating anime into your visuals and such? Is that something you’d ever look into for the future?
Not really, but I definitely want to do more animated videos in the future! Like the one Olivier Lescot just directed for Another You. I would really love to work with a Japanese animation studio.

Let’s pivot back into the booth — starting with the intriguing storyline of Breakazoid. Did you make that up yourself, or was it a joint effort with yourself, Lescot, and Ruckazoid?
I came up with the basic idea of the Breakazoid character being a mix between Ruckazoid and me, but Olivier designed it and directed the whole video. I try to be as much involved in the process as I can.

What can we expect to hear on the whole of Another You EP? Did you try out any new/interesting production techniques, gear, etc when writing it?
There are two original tracks apart from Another You and two remixes. One by Yuksek and the other one by me. I am really happy about the whole EP !

Finally, tell us what’s in store for Breakbot through the rest of 2018!
I’m finishing a remix for Parcels and a new mixtape. I will work hard on some new Breakbot music and collaborate more with other artists, like I did with Yuksek for example on this new EP. I have a few gigs that I really look forward to in USA in October. And a perfect trip to the festival ‘Your Paradise’ in the Fiji Islands to end the year!

 

Photo credit: Breakbot’s Team

Ed Banger honors 15th birthday with orchestral album + tribute to DJ Mehdi

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Ed Banger honors 15th birthday with orchestral album + tribute to DJ MehdiEd Banger 15 Ans

Ed Banger is celebrating its fifteenth birthday in the most ethereal of fashions. Known for its leadership in French electro and its unique aesthetic, the label is taking things down a notch for its commemorative 15 Ans LP, which is entirely orchestral. The upcoming album — set for a November 23 release — is an explorative one, reimagining 27 of the label’s most iconic records in a cinematic, instrumental form.

Those who know the label know there’s no shortage of incredible music housed within the Busy P-owned imprint. In addition to groundbreaking albums from Daft Punk themselves (formerly managed by Busy P) as well as Justice, countless other major league acts like Mr. Oizo, Breakbot, SebAstian, and more have continued to make new waves in their field. The aforementioned artists are featured heavily in the album, in addition Uffie’s “Pop The Glock,” “Jacques In The Box” by Laurent Garnier, and other newer releases from the label family.

DJ Mehdi, who passed away in 2011, is another key featured talent on 15 Ans. His famed “Pocket Piano” happened to be chosen by Busy P as the announcement piece for the LP, whose celebration concert took place earlier in the year.

 

 

Tracklist:

1. Breakbot ‘Star Tripper / Back For More’
2. Breakbot ‘Fantasy / By Your Side’
3. Breakbot ‘Baby I’m Yours’
4. Cassius ‘I <3 So’
5. Mr. Oizo ‘Intra / Tricycle Express’
6. Mr. Oizo ‘Hand In The Fire’
7. Busy P ‘To Protect And Entertain / Pedrophilia’
8. Busy P ‘Genie’
9. DJ Mehdi ‘Pocket Piano’
10. DJ Mehdi ‘Tragicomehdi / Signatune’
11. Vladimir Cauchemar ‘Aulos’
12. Uffie ‘Pop The Glock / Difficult’
13. Boston Bun / Borussia / Feadz ‘Paris Groove / Kinda Love / Metaman’
14. SebastiAn ‘Motor / Prime / Hudson River’
15. SebastiAn ‘Embody’
16. SebastiAn ‘Tetra’
17. Krazy Baldhead ‘My Soul Is Like A Tree’
18. Laurent Garnier ‘Jacques In The Box’
19. Mr Flash ‘Champions’
20. Para One / Myd ‘Elevation / The Sun’
21. Justice ‘Genesis / Phantom / Phantom Part. II’
22. Justice ‘On’n’On’
23. Justice ‘Safe And Sound’
24. Justice ‘D.A.N.C.E.’
25. Justice ‘Canon / Alakazam ! / Horsepower’
26. Justice ‘Stress’
27. Justice ‘Waters Of Nazareth / We Are Your Friends’

 

Photo credit: Twitter/@edbangerrecords

Daft Punk member Thomas Bangalter shows off acidic new techno record

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Daft Punk member Thomas Bangalter shows off acidic new techno recordDaft As Punk

Thomas Bangalter, best known as part of the near-mythical duo Daft Punk, has been inching his way into the film world. In spring 2018 he penned a song for a horror movie, and prior to that he’d played a brief cameo in 2015’s Reality. His latest work follows this path, and shows off his roots in the process.

Titled “Riga (Take 5),” the track immediately shows its connection to its film of Riga (Take 1). Ed Banger, Bangalter’s longtime label home and also the landing spot of this release, showed off a preview via blue vinyl on Instagram. Perhaps the thing that piques interest most, however, is the fact that the entire 14-minute song was recorded in one take. Based off the acidic sounds and gritty, industrial arrangement, one can guess that Riga (Take 1) is not going to be an uplifting watch.

 

 

Busy P drops off funky new remix

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Busy P drops off funky new remixBusy P

Ed Banger label boss Busy P has been bringing the best French music to light for more than two decades, while pumping out a solid catalog of his own. Back with some new heat, the artist has just released his remix of French vocalist Corine’s “Il fait chaud” on her new four-track remix EP.

Busy P starts off the track with his signature deep synths and crisp, hard-hitting drums. While stripping back most of the vocals, the producer still manages to craft an exciting homage to the original track. With hints of disco and funk lacing the production, Busy P once again shows his skill at blending his electronic prowess with the smooth and soulful sounds of the 20th century.

Boston Bun releases hilarious music video for ‘Spread Love (Paddington)’

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Boston Bun releases hilarious music video for ‘Spread Love (Paddington)’Boston Bun Press Pic Da

French-born and London-based DJ/producer, Boston Bun, released the music video for his sweeping new house track, “Spread Love (Paddington)” featuring fellow Ed Banger affiliate DVNO, and it is, in a word — hilarious.

The tune’s new visual narrative begins with our protagonist mourning the loss of his beloved feline friend. To alleviate his pain, he seeks new companionship in an otter. That’s right…a sea otter who can sing the infectious high note accents that made this song such an inescapable earworm. And who doesn’t love an otter? The slick little fella helps his new buddy secure bags, make new friends, and even dominate the record charts — you know, as otters typically do. However, all good things must come to an end as the otter’s good will eventually runs out.

“Spread Love (Paddington)” is a deep house track perfect for the summer and with a perfectly memorable video to boot, expect this one to be on repeat all season long.

Boston Bun drops tasty new house tune, ‘Spread Love (Paddington)’

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Boston Bun drops tasty new house tune, 'Spread Love (Paddington)'

Ed Banger Records veteran Boston Bun has a knack for creating high-energy house music with a bounce. Back with his newest release, the French producer has just put out “Spread Love (Paddington)” featuring fellow Ed Banger vocalist, DVNO, just in time for heavy summer airplay.

Inspired by the exceptionally lovable children’s character, Paddington Bear, Boston Bun creates an infectious, fitting tribute consisting of crisp piano keys, light-hearted synths, and a groovy bass line that bound for repeated plays in poolside playlists and club setlists alike. Paired with DVNO’s cool but casual refrain, “I’ma spread love like a Paddington Bear,” this track perfectly straddles the line between deep dance floor belter and whimsical, fun-loving party cut. Weaving together DVNO’s singalong-ready versework with a percussive rump-shaking house arrangement, Boston Bun drops off one of the tastiest dance jams we’ve heard so far this summer.

The French presidential palace is hosting its first ever rave later this month

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With a storied list of legendary electronic musicians that includes Jean-Michel Jarre, Air, Daft Punk, Justice, and M83, to mention just a few, it comes as a surprise that the French presidential palace has yet to pay its respect to the country’s great talent.

Later this month France will celebrate its electronic masterminds, as on June 21, the country’s presidential palace will host its first-ever electronic music celebration, dubbed Élysée Fête La Musique, or an ode to the “French Touch.” In coincidence with the 37th edition of Fête de la Musique, also known as Music Day,  the palace will host a wide range of the country’s best electronic talent over the years. Confirmed performers so far include Ed Banger label-boss Busy P, Kavinsky, Céziare, Chloé and Kiddy Smile.

Over 1,500 people are expected to attend.

H/T: Mixmag

Photo Credit: Paris Attitude

Justice reveal how they originally signed with Ed Banger in new interview

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DFN17_SUN_JUSTICE_1, credit Ismael Quintanilla

Various periods of time serve as pressure cookers for the geographic music scenes they envelop: post-punk in the UK during the late 1970s, Seattle’s grunge scene in the mid to late 1980s, Detroit techno in the early 1990s — each period defined by the visionaries who constructed it in the first place.

The 2000s were an explosive period for French house. Spearheaded at the turn of the century by the iconic robots known as Daft Punk and their manager Busy P, a number of groups emerged under the Ed Banger record label moniker such as SebastiAn, Cassius and, of course, Justice.

In a new interview with Stoney Roads, the elusive duo revealed how they originally came into contact with Ed Banger founder Pedro Winter aka Busy P. According to the publication, the two founders of Justice — Xavier De Ronsay and Gaspard Augé — met in Paris in 2002 as graphic designers. The pair had mutual friends seeking tracks for a compilation to release on their record label, which is how the seminal tune “We Are Your Friends” come to fruition.

The two French house pioneers subsequently entered their song into a remix contest, which they lost, but the release reportedly garnered the attention of Ed Banger founder Pedro Winter in the process. A mere week later, Justice signed their first record deal on the label.

Photo Credit: Smael Quintanilla

H/T: Stoney Roads

Charlotte Gainsbourg – A-Ring O’Roses (SebastiAn On The Beat Remix)

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SebastiAn Charlotte Gainsbourg Remix

French electro house stalwart Sebastian Akchoté-Bozovic — better known simply as SebastiAn — never seems to take his foot off the gas. The Ed Banger icon’s discography has gravitated towards cult acclaim over the last decade and, while his prominence isn’t quite as forthright as French colleagues Justice or Busy P, his releases are always a welcome dive into authentic French house.

Now, Bozovic is here to quench our French thirst once again with his latest release of Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s seminal track “A-Ring O’Roses.” Toned down, stripped to minimalism, and subsequently re-adorned with the dressings of French synths that veer towards heady futurism, the remix is a melodic build culminating in a melancholic tug.

Note the capital A.

 

 

Justice are releasing a CD/vinyl hybrid of ‘Woman’; behold it in all its glory

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Justice‘s Woman excelled in pushing genre barriers – so much so, in fact, that we’ve named it our number one album of 2016. Now, the duo are pushing technological barriers in an unusual way. Justice’s third studio album has been available in CD, vinyl, and digital formats since mid-November; however, their backing label, Ed Banger, has created a prototype which melds the three formats.

Justice uploaded a video to their Instagram today, December 7, that shows a CD/vinyl hybrid of Woman in action. Captioned, “•WOMAN• one side CD / one side VINYL – this very limited edition is a prototype (first ever!) and is not yet for sale.” The video sees Ed Banger label-head Busy P showing off the progressively retro format to astounded cameraman Glenjamn. Though no release date for this multi-functional iteration of the album has been set, it will the ultimate collectors item for any Justice fan.

Imagine being able to appreciate the warmth of Xavier and Gaspard’s tertiary LP on a record player, then blasting “RANDY” in the Honda Accord’s CD player, and then becoming giddy with excitement upon the recollection that the Woman CD/vinyl can be transferred onto iTunes via any computer with a CD drive. Sure, the album is available on every major online streaming platform, but didn’t that scenario sound titillating?

Watch the “new” format of Woman being played on a turntable in the below video.

H/T: Mixmag

Read More:

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

Weekend Rewind: Watch Justice’s I Love Techno set from 2006

Watch Justice’s new video for ‘Fire’ featuring Susan Sarandon