Super Discount 2
It has been a long wait since 1996 when the first edition of Super Discount appeared. It was a welcome and innovative addition to the French dance music scene, in the form of a compilation with various shining lights that those loveable Frenchies had to offer. The formula culminated into a great concept album under the leadership of Etienne de Crecy, with as result utterly funky up-tempo tunes and slower melodic tracks all in that particular way that we all call ‘French’.
This installment comes with a very similar game-plan, again de Crecy leads the pack but with a slightly different cast, gone are Air, DJ Tall and La Chatte Rouge. It still reads as a Who’s Who in the French music scene with additions of Boombass, Julien and Philippe Zdar, collaborating again with de Crecy as like in the old Motorbass days. Super Discount has managed to stay true to the form of the first but as always they have to go and do things differently. The warm and fuzzy analogue beats and sounds have been replaced by something quite different on this one which made me think long and hard about the album. What you now get are clinical incisions with more high voltage cuts and breaks than you can wave a French stick at. At first hand it sounds like that the electronic Zeitgeist has intruded into this album. However, if you listen again one finds lashings of ‘olde worlde’ sounds laced into the brew, and eventually it worked for me.
The opening track comes with an electronic barrage of acid swirling around being punched about with ferocious beats which could get anyone swinging their engine. ‘Fast Track’ hits with a guitar driven thumping piece sounding as if it could be made by !!!. It is not all derriere wobbling tracks, the full on ‘let’s go loony’ tracks make way for more subdued servings of nice warm cosy slippers moments, ‘Gifted’ to name one. All these tracks have one thing in common, (and something that they do well); they all have a menacing build-up which lets you there may be some slathering beast around the next corner, or not as the case may be. These tunes should be used to great effects in clubs around the world by DJ’s but I don’t think that it stacks up to the first volume in the way that that album was also fabulous for home-listening.
There will probably be a lot of ambivalence between the listening public, but remember the French have always had to do things in their own way with that particular flair. It is not inferior, just different, et vive la difference.
Words; James Staveley