Wednesday, 27 December 2017

🔮 IN PARTICULAR ORDER: TEKI LATEX'S TOP 10 TRACKS OF 2017

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Paris resident and human person Teki Latex has done a lot. From associating with production company and artist collective Kourtrajmé, appearing in videos and shorts alongside people like Vincent Cassel, as well as rapping with seminal French rap group TTC, to heading up A&R on pioneering underground label Sound Pellegrino which he co-founded with fellow TTC member Orgasmic, as well as his own online "DJ-centric" show Overdrive Infinity, Teki has been spearheading a new style of sound this year: Bérite.

Earlier this year Teki posted a mix on SoundCloud called 'Bérite Club Music'. He accompanied this with a description which outlines the birth of the new genre, originating from a group of online acquaintances who would come to Overdrive Infinity every week. "They were all lovers of Grime, US Club styles, Ballroom, Kuduro, Global club music, you name it, just like me," recalls Teki. "As I befriended them, we got the idea to try and think of a new identity for a french club sound that didn’t exist anywhere else and that would be a confluence of some of the various electronic music styles which had an impact on the French audience."

However, as this "embryo of a new genre was slowly being born" a gas explosion in the building next door made the studio unusable and later forced the parent company Dailymotion to shut down all the projects attached to it, including Overdrive Infinity. "We no longer had a place to meet regularly," Teki tells us, "but that idea of a new french sound kept flourishing, becoming more and more concrete as we all kept getting together at club nights and whatnot."

Towards the of 2016, and named after Rue de Bérite in honour of the street where the studio was situated, the first Bérite tracks appeared online and at small club nights.

"And just like that a movement was born."

And as 2017 lays itself to rest, we ask Teki for his top tracks of the year. Arriving from musicmakers 50% French, 50% other European, these morsels are indicative of newness, Bérite, experiments in merging forms and styles, and though dance-ready very suitable for home listening. Plus a surprise at the #1 slot. Read on

10) Lorenzo Senni – XAllegroX

I've praised Lorenzo Senni's music so often in the last few years it has almost become ridiculous but what can I say, his latest one is yet another beautiful slice of drum-less trance. With 'XAllegroX' it's almost as if he has reached a point where the difference between his music and the music of Swedish House Mafia has gotten virtually non-existent, which is obviously a fantastic thing.

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9) Finn – Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough

I am amazed by Finn's skills and cleverness of selection behind the decks, as I am obsessed with his ability to create music which applies a grimey way of chopping up samples to classic soul-sampling house music. This big end of year banger is a perfect example of that. Even better when played at 150 bpm in the middle of a juke/ghettotech set.

8) Clubkelly – Need U

A French Bérite Club Music-sympathising member exiled in London and signed to Crazylegs, Clubkelly is a musical prodigy, a lovable troll, a troublemaker but also an amazing person to hang out with. With 'Need U' he explores a sound at the crossroad of weird broken club music, vintage Roulé/bangalter house, and Bérite. Filtered house, but distorted and raw with no fucks given.

7) Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence

This one is already in everyone's end of year list, what can I say that hasn't been said already? It's a dope track with a definitive "Detroit by way of Glasgow" feel. I missed electro as a genre and even though it never went away, it's great to have it back in the spotlight through a new generation of producers like Lanark Artefax.

6) Images – Les Démons de Minuit (Le Dom Edit)

A Bérite Club Music anthem and a favorite of my year-long residency at Nuits Fauves in Paris. To foreigners it's a dope Bérite edit of a catchy French boogie song but to French people it carries a whole different sort of weight. 'Les Démons de Minuit' is the song that was playing at my mother's wedding. Since the '80s it has been a bit synonymous with low-brow mainstream French pop in the mind of a lot of so-called purists. So remixing it and tapping into that sort of weird French popular music heritage to create something new and avant-garde is almost a political act in itself. On French dancefloors, it gives that track a kind of "Oh no did he really go there?" dimension which I absolutely live for. Le Dom's Castle Owner EP dropping in 2018 will confirm that he is an absolute genius and a master at creating a new form of electro-tinged Bérite sure to become a landmark.

5) Sunareht – Hyul

Like Le Dom, Sunareht is a member of the Paradoxe Club label/crew and like Le Dom he makes Bérite Club Music except his approach to the genre is completely different. His way of paying homage to the French club genealogy is to apply a sort of experimental approach to the art of sampling filtered loops as heard in the classic "French touch" era. He takes French touch music and turns it on its head, mutating it into a drum-less, post-everything, permanent-build-up-with-no-drop state. The result is a beautiful home listening experience which remains playable (or at least mixable – superimposable in clubs – akin to Lorenzo Senni's work). With this first EP he established his signature sound and the demos I heard from the 2nd one confirm that he has now fully mastered this incredible unique style.

4) Kekra – 9 Milli

This was a big hit in France in 2017. Basically a dope French rapper dropping super catchy bars on top of an old school 2-step garage beat. So fresh and alien and made with style and different from everything in the French rap world these days. This song really made a difference and it's a pleasure to hear French kids singing it by heart whenever I played it this year.

3) Errorsmith – My Party

I have been a fan of Errorsmith and all the projects he's been involved in since the early 2000s and his album Superlative Fatigue is the album I've always dreamt he would make. Techno in spirit but rhythmically closer to African and Caribbean dance music rhythms mutated through the filter of the synth he created: Razor. This track is just his voice gone through weird effects + a hand clap. It's a simple as fuck techno-organic crazy weirdo party starter and you wish it would never end. I have never heard anything like this.

2) De Grandi – 94120 Groove

The one original Bérite Club Music hit we needed in 2017 by De Grandi the most active producer in the genre, another member of Paradoxe Club label. This Afrotrap-influenced banger goes so well with everything and bangs so hard as a standalone track as well. I'm so proud of that whole crew for creating a genre and a scene in Paris in 2017. We needed that so much.

1) The Super Mario Players feat. Kate Davis – Jump Up Superstar

So this one has a story. It started when I first watched the trailer for Super Mario Odyssey early in the year. I was scared to commit to buying a Switch, I was still living in my old TV-less apartment with vague dreams of moving in the near future. Zelda looked great but felt like too much of an emotional investment (I remember getting nightmares through Ocarina of Time when I was younger, same with the one where you turn into a wolf – way too stressful – and I never managed to finish any of them) but Mario is the kind of stuff that appeals to an old casual gamer uninterested in first person shooters and fascinated by colorful Japanese graphics like me. So the trailer blew me away and I thought the music was perfect. I moved into a new apartment later in the year and got myself a giant-ass television and I thought, you know what let me treat myself to the maxxx and get a Switch with Mario. I enjoyed the shit out of that game but halfway through it i remember thinking "when the hell are they going to play the fucking awesome song from the trailer already??? Probably at the very end..." Spoiler Alert: it comes right in the middle, in an unforgettable sequence taking place in the fake-New-York-equivalent-level in the Mario Odyssey world "New Donk City" (actually the city where the ancestral game Donkey Kong took place). It's the level that made everyone go "oh that new Mario game looks like GTA Mario!"

So Basically Pauline the girl you saved in Donkey Kong back in the '80s is now the mayor of the city and she asks you to help her putting together a festival. Once that is done, the reward comes in the form of a truly beautiful sequence; It's night time in New Donk City and the whole population is outside celebrating, there are lights, beautiful visuals, business men and women in fedoras (as they should) and fireworks. While the mayor and her band are singing the incredible 'Jump Up Superstar' song, you are required to play a rendition of the old school 8-bit Super Mario Bros. game (actually a cross between that and Donkey Kong) on big transparent panels held in between the skyscrapers of the city, and each segment of the song corresponds roughly to a segment of the game, so it creates some sort of semi-synchronized rhythmic build-up between the action and the music... all the while this crazy, insane, catchy, perfectly-executed Broadway showtune is really resonating with someone like me who grew up with those cliché images and sounds of classic New York with its yellow cabs and pastrami sandwiches and who is fascinated by nocturnal views of big cities with skyscrapers. Add to that the nostalgia effect of playing 8-bit Mario... It was an incredible moment, I was playing alone with the lights off and wondering "what the hell is happening to me, am I, for the first time in my life, ACTUALLY crying while playing a video game?" Simply put it is the most beautiful sequence in a video game EVER and you can quote me on that.

  • 🔔 Keep up to date with the latest Sound Pellegrino releases on SoundCloud.


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