gullbuy music review

French Sounds


French Sounds



various artists CD

French Sounds CD coverCatalogue is at it again with another fine collection of French music. This time without the constraints of sticking strictly to the French girls, I think the end results is more well rounded and engaging. The odd but interesting trend of including remixes and songs with only choruses is still here (and the curious fact that a lot these songs are in English), but since this compilation wasn't centering it's attention on French girls, I was more ok with it.

I've been a big fan of Telepopmusik ever since hearing their 12 inch single (remixes too) - so I was happy to hear their song Love can damage your health (remixed here by Sascha Funke - in such a way to center on the chorus). It gets things going on a laid back electro mode. Bosco keep things in electro mode with the insistent sounding 5 Years. You prefer cocaine was a favorite of mine from the Vitalic 12 inch single - so I was glad to be able to hear it on cd finally. It's a slow building synth seether and would fit well into a DJ set. DAT Politics have always perked my interest, and they have the cyber pop of Tout bien which is playful with all of its many voices (some real and some computerized). Electronicat does the near impossible: creating a new electro version of Tainted Love - it's somewhere between the Coil version and the Soft Cell version - in a song called Amour sale where they actually sing in French. Sadly, the Chloe Bad Boy remix of Avril's The Date didn't do too much for me (Chloe is batting 0 for 3 in my book). William Traffic's People D Mansion is a throw everything into the mix kind of a track and it works. It's got a Pump Up The Volume sound to it but with the added bonus of some Arabian sounding vocals. The disc heads toward the mellow tip starting with Sporto Kantes' Mundo - the Troublemakers remix. A percolating rhythm and a dreamy Latin female vocal lends itself well on this track (the original version can be found on the Paris Lounge 2 cd set). Doctor L (Liam Farrell) delves into the broken sounds and sampled vocals which sound like a disembodied Tom Jones. Domotic sounds like Mum on a sunny day on Smith Kline. M83 includes a loping rhythm combined with a dreamy soundscape on Carresses for a wonderful build-up which sounds like the best download you never got around to. Avia ends things on a jazzy edge with the final track on the compilation Exil exit. it's interesting to note that these last two tracks include spoken word samples and both are in English.

In comparing French Sounds to the other Catalogue compilation French Girls, I thought that French Sounds landed on top because it included more of what it advertised. Fresh, well rounded French music from the last few years. Both compilations are worth investigating though if you are at all curious about modern French music.

---Patrick, April 8, 2003