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Posts Tagged ‘house music’

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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Rainy City logoManchester doesn’t just do things different musically, it also has a strong history of house music, staking a good claim to be the first place in Britain to have played the emerging house sound back in the 80s.

By the 1990s the Manchester house scene was led by Paper Records, which released records by the likes of Salt City Orchestra, Dirty Jesus and Crazy Penis, while label founders Miles Holloway and Elliot Eastwick DJed all over the city.

But if the Paper Records duo were Manchester’s Deep Dish – that’s to say, smooth, deep and successful – then Rainy City Music was perhaps its KDJ, bringing a rougher, live edge to underground house, which looked to the US, Brazil and Africa for inspiration and proved very different to other electronic music being made in Manchester at the time.

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RomanthonyFor the vocalist on one of dance music’s biggest ever hits, Romanthony remained a very elusive character. Daft Punk collaborations One More Time and Too Long aside, he was probably best known for Hold On, re-released on Roulé (Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk’s label) in 1999 or R.Hide In Plain Site, a 2000 compilation of some of his better known songs on Glasgow Underground, which briefly promised to take him into the mainstream.

Nevertheless, as 5 Magazine (a title that specialises in Chicago house music) puts it in an excellent memorial piece, there remained a “strange isolation” around Romanthony. “Many of the people that knew him before – the ones you would, from afar, identify as his ‘peers’ and colleagues and collaborators – don’t seem to know him now. No one I spoke to knew he was in Austin. They’ve lost touch,” the magazine continues. Indeed, so far under the radar was Romanthony that news of his death on May 7 didn’t appear until Saturday May 18.

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