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Super Discount 3

Étienne de Crécy’s first Super Discount album – initially released as a series of EPs in 1996, then rounded up for album release  – was not just one of the very best of the French Touch albums to see the light of day, it was one of the Frenchest.

From the laid-back, almost loungey feel, to the grace and beauty of the production, which touched on disco, house and dub, to the way the music always seemed to take exactly how long it needed to make its point, be it 10 minutes (opener, Le Patron est Devenu Fou!), or nine seconds (Tout à 10 Balles), Super Discount radiated effortless Gallic élan.  It was house music, by and large, but took a magpie approach to its source material, sampling everything from jazzy piano, to dub bass lines to flamenco castanets, in a way that The Avalanches would later emulate.

So cool was Super Discount, in fact, that it didn’t seem to even be bothered who it was by. De Crécy was the ringleader, certainly, and two tracks are credited to him alone, but otherwhere there are tracks from Minos Pour Main Basse (Sur La Ville) and Mooloodjee (De Crécy pseudonyms); La Chatte Rouge (De Crécy and Philippe Zdar, then of Cassius, who had previously worked with De Crécy as Motorbass); Air (remixed by De Crécy); Alex Gopher; Mr. Learn (Laurent Collobert) and the enigmatic DJ Tall. In many of these tracks, Crécy may or may not have had a hand. But it somehow didn’t matter.

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RouleThe story of Roulé, the label founded by Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter in 1995, has to be one of the most unique tales in the history of dance music, no so much because there is an incendiary story behind it (in fact, it was very sensibly run by long-time Daft Punk associate Gildas Loaëc.) or because it shook the world to its foundations (it didn’t – although a world without Music Sounds Better With You would have been a sadder place).

Instead, Roulé was remarkable for the incredible run of quality it spewed forth, with almost every single record it released a buy-on-sight and wear-out-the-grooves affair.

Indeed, for eight short years Roulé pretty much ran things in house music, releasing a stream of 12 inches from Bangalter, his Paris friends and associates and various US house legends that were, variously, funked up, furious, deranged, soulful and nasty but always essential.

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