by Fred Falke
(Work It Baby)
Years after Fred Falke's yacht-rock/soft-'80s steez should have by logic run its course, it just keeps paying dividends. The man is so constant it's a little scary. (Yo, try having an off year or something, Fred.) He's gonna have one hell of a box set someday, and this four-song EP (plus two edits of "Last Wave") is sure to play a role. The French are romantic, no? Here, Falke offers a box of candies for the proverbial "everyone," meaning serious dance fans. On "808pm at the Beach" he offers soft-focus sentiment set against crisp-and-clear bongos in a fair bid to rival Tiedye's jaw-dropping remix of DJ Kaos's "Love the Nite Away" from last year, whereas "Last Wave" could have been called "Fuck You, Justice," only with every edge rounded like billiard balls. Ditto "Sanctuary," space-electro with a shamelessly hammy—I'm not making this up—happy hardcore–style breakdown-and-buildup. The opening track is called "Love Theme" (but of course): Gauzy soft-focus synth strings provide the landing pad for jack-your-body snares, meaning you can dance and make out to it. Falke knows how to provide user value.
Alan Braxe's 21-year-old English girlfriend (or so I hear), Florrie Arnold is the in-house drummer for British pop producers Xenomania (Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys), and she writes, produces, and plays most of her own mega-electro-pop songs, which she's spent this year uploading for free onto her website. This track is the most recent. She's basically Robyn or Annie with (duh) a far more pronounced electro streak, and this seven-minute extension of Florrie's I-want-it-now sing-along by German producer Jaxon whooshes and bleeps appropriately for that sweet spot between radio and club sensibilities. In other words, it's almost French. (HT: Thomas Inskeep.)
It's not exactly as if Paris has been on full burn lately—just a consistent medium, which keeps things boiling plenty. Still, I'm grateful for this reminder of French house's glory days, not least because it doesn't sound especially wistful or nostalgic: Take away the surface stuff nicked from Cassius's original, put something else on top of it, and Green's track would still fizz along. But Cassius's bumptious filtered disco-funk voices still propel this bumptious filtered disco-funk track very nicely.