There is no doubt that Daft Punk has made one of the greatest impacts on dance music in the last 25 years, yet many Americans know little about the French dance movement. Daft Punk were in fact a part of a larger electronic movement in France that happened in the late 1990s to the 2000s. What came to be known as the 'French Touch' was a style of House music very much influenced by the funky disco tracks of the 1970s and the 1980s. Many other French artists were a result of this movement such as Justice and Kavinsky.
A few weeks ago New Yorkers had the rare opportunity to explore the history of this subgenre at the French Institute Alliance Française. The curated 2 month long series is titled, "EDM Anthems: French Touch on Film"
and kicked off with a very special screening of Daft Punk Unchained.
The rest of the week included other great events including a French Electronic Music Master Class led by French Waves
director Julian Starke
with a panel consisting of Pedro Winter (Busy P)
, Boston Bun
. This was unique space to learn how our favorite artists like Daft Punk have influenced the creative spirit of younger artists. Jacque(s) was particularly interesting due to his unorthodox method of creating sounds and mixing them live, his quirky haircut and stage presence caught my eye before he even started making sounds. He used everyday items like glass bottles, simple drums and delays and samples of his own voice to create a rhythm. Within minutes, this simple, funky rhythm had people wanting to get up and dance. Check out this video from a recent recording of Jacque(s)
, it's a must watch.
The events culminated with a rooftop performance at The Standard Hotel from all the artists we had heard from earlier on in the week. The event was free for anyone to attend, you just had to get there early. We were a little Disappointed that the robots were not in attendance, however there were a few celebrity sightings and whilst away from the warehouses of Brooklyn, the vibe was very much about the music and nothing else.
In a series of just one short week I was left feeling really excited to explore more of the 'French Touch' sound and also hopeful that one day our American culture will give as much credit to the greats of dance music as the French do.