If you've been keeping up with our recent ramblings you may be starting to think that we have a bit of a love affair with new French labels over here at Sleazy Beats (and you would be damn right!). A lot has been said of the emerging scene in France and I won't bore you with (much) more of it, but the fact is that there's been some smoking hot fuego spewing from L'Hexagone for a good year or so now.
Next to join the house and disco Renaissance is Groovence Records, a label that've been creating quite the buzz around their inaugural V.A release 'Cosmic Groove' for some time. It's almost 6 months since the introduction of their 'Invites...' mix series which, to my mind, is one of the finest collections of long plays you'll find on Soundcloud at the moment and little did we know that Toulouse-based label bosses Thibaut and François were using this as a little teaser of what was to come....
When you pick up this record you'd be forgiven for wanting to flip it straight over to the B to get a taste of what big hitters Luvless and Ethyène have to offer. By doing so though, you'd be missing out on quite the party on the A-side. First up is Tour-Maubourg, who the Groovence guys first met at a party he was playing at the Showcase Club in his hometown of Paris. The story goes that half way through his set, Thibaut finds himself compelled to run up to the DJ booth and demand to know the track he was playing - it turned out to be 'Rixe' and the decision was made there and than to sign it up to the new label.
'Rixe' throws us straight into the EP with a juicy Biggie vocal and a funk-laden guitar lick, both surrounded by no-nonsense percussion which drives us through the first couple of minutes. Before long we're taken over by an emotion-fueled strings line, around which Tour-Maubourg builds a host of perfectly placed elements to bring together a real solid opener.
When we gave you a Peek of Twice Movement's 'Bound to the Beat' earlier this month I invited everyone to be 'taken in by the bouncy bass line and the what-the-hell-is-she-saying vocal riff that'll keep you coming back for more.. and more.. and more'. Since then, not a single thing has changed - I still have no idea what she's saying and I still can't stop playing it.
Ok, ok, now we can flip it over. The B1 comes along in the shape of 'Sound of Freenidad' from fellow French master Ethyène, an artist that we're huge fans of and one that's already got a impressive collection of five star releases under his belt. There's a certain sound you come to expect from his productions which is exactly what you get here - a grooving bottom end coupled with a soul-filled vocal and hands-in-the air synths. Another head nodding combo from the Moonrise Hill Material star.
Last but not least is Luvless, a man who needs little introduction on these fine pages. For me, he's at his best with slightly more downtempo, groovy joints a-la Luvmaschine but with 'Heavy Button' you get the best of all he has to offer. Drop the needle and you're straight into a spaced-out bass line that's fit for any sunset but as the atmosphere starts to build you're hit with a dancefloor-melting 4/4 that takes you on a completely different journey. Melodic keys and a classy vocal sample keeps the whole thing oh-so-Luvless, but make no mistake that this one is a late-night party starter.
Grab it before it's gone over at Juno and keep your eyes peeled for what Groovence bring to the table next.