08 July 2009

French House Arrest Episode I: Motorbass

I've been meaning to do this for a while, so I've just decided to go ahead and do it. I will be beginning a series of posts on the history of French House, or the period in which Electronic Dance Music became cool again. The posts will be in chronological order and feature a bunch of different artists all affiliated with the French House sound. Some posts (like this one) will have a lot of stuff, some will not. This was very much inspired by Solid Goldberger, the mother of all French House blogs, and I highly recommend that everyone interested in French House dig through its archives in order to get yourself discographies of some of the great French House labels like Crydamoure, Roulé, and Vertigo.

House music. After it was invented by gay black dudes in Chicago and New York during the 80s, it soon lost its innovation or any real interesting driving force. This all changed when some French dudes took hold of the genre and completely revamped the sound, adding in much cooler elements of funk, disco, and just plain awesome samples. House music was suddenly cool again.

So then who started this movement? I'm pretty sure the answer is the collaboration of Etienne De Crecy and Philippe Zdar, called Motorbass. Etienne De Crecy is widely considered the originator of the French House sound, and he will be discussed more in depth in Episode V. Philippe Zdar is another incredibly important person in the history of French House, being a member of Cassius, and has even gone on to produce for other French Touch bands such as Phoenix. The work of Motorbass in the early 1990's would lay the foundation for the new emerging sounds that would become the French Touch.


1st was released in 1993 and its by no means a French House album. In fact, the best genre to place this album would be Techno. However, you can hear the influence of Deep House and the only word that accurately describes their sound is 'cool.'

Transphunk is where you can really start to hear the French House sound coming to life. This was also released in '93, predating the work of Thomas Bangalter and Daft Punk. Once again, all I can say is that their sound is so fucking cool, and what makes it even cooler is that no other electronic music at the time really sounded like this. But once again, still not truly French House, as there's even a Breakbeat track.

Pansoul - Motorbass

Pansoul was the debut LP for Motorbass released in 1996, and definitely their most essential release. The tracks are cooler and housier, developing the French House sound further along its path. Highly Recommended. Although this came after the early works of Thomas Bangalter, I call this the first French House album.

Around the World (Motorbass Vice Mix) - Daft Punk
Very strange, you can barely recognize the original in it. Once again, very cool.


  1. yo, awesome post, but transphunk isn't working for me can't tell if its me or the link though.

  2. i realized that you like minimal
    i let you this EP of two songs of Aldo Cadiz, a DJ from mexico, i really liked, i hope you like too, theres the link: