It's good to see that the mainstream can still reward fearlessness and madness. Camille is a French singer cut from a different cloth. Le Fil,her 2005 album, was built upon one single droning note. Her last one, Music Hole, is a cappella pop. Choice bits of avant-garde are dropped into her peculiar brand of pop, and it works.
David Rubato approached this remix in the same way he always does: keeping the vocals, he wrote a whole new song, a glorious pop number, symphonic in scope and immediately affecting.
Look out for an incredible Steve Moore remix as well...
Victor is that Mexican kid from San Diego who pushes you to drink mad bottles of malt liquor when you're all jet lagged, and who's bouncing around like a jumping bean at absurd hours of the night and when the party's over and you just filled your stomach with the most awesome peanut butter chocolate milkshake ever he keeps cracking mad jokes and shouting "FA SHO! FA SHO!". And even once you're back in your hotel room all tired and checking your mail he's still on ichat learning how to say "kikoo" and tricking you every night into watching the same video of that car-stealing 5 year old kid from youtube. Then eventually you find out he makes music under the name HARVARD BASS and that it's the most banging mariachitech house music ever created by men so you ask him to remix The Sixpack Anthem and to put his next record out on Sound Pellegrino, it's as simple as that.
If you have ever owned an Institubes tee shirt, you know about SIXPACK. If not, allow me a moment to try to conceal my disappointment.
Sixpack (.fr) is a tee shirt label based in the south of France issuing two collections every year with designs by the world greatest illustrators including friends like Akroe, Gaspirator, Ill Studio, KRSN, So Me, personal favourites such as La Boca, Noah Butkus, Steven Harrington, Parra, Huskmitnavn and many others. The upcoming collection includes great surprises and artworks from bona fide legends whose illustrous names (I’m not bluffing, you have no idea how big this is) I can’t disclose right now. They also manufacture our official tee shirts (glow-in-the-dark logo, Surkin tee, Para One tee...) since day one.
Akroe (he did our logo and all the designs of Institubes’ early years, in case you haven’t read this) did a whole collection featuring tees, sweaters and jackets called THE FUTURE, and ORGASMIC did a beat, Teki wrote some lyrics about his clothing obsessions and BOOM! there you go: an anthem.
(this is Orgasmic wearing a sweater from the Future collection and some naked chick as shoulder padding)
You see, when labels such as Sixpack and Institubes are so close, them doing something together can’t be called a collaboration: it’s a child. And a spoiled one at that.
(Orgasmic again, with the naked chick acting this time as a safety belt)
The latter is the one we’re sharing with you today.
Edwin Mackey is a vibe singer, producer and clothing designer hailing from Tallahassee, FL. He describes his own Pop-Hop style as “some Pop music with Southern Rap drum patterns and Miami Bass”. We say long live Pop-Hop.
Please do not be offended by the controversial depiction of the female body in this video. Also, we apologize in advance for the so-called "cash-burning" scene. We had a lot of money to spend on this, lots went into ILM-level special effects and into cajoling one or two movie stars into doing funny, career-threatening cameos, but we still had a lot of euros laying around. It was before the market collapse. We're sorry.
Gaspirator, born Gaspard Augé, is responsible for all of Surkin’s artworks, giving the young boy his own retro gaming-inspired series of sleeves. He’s the tyrannical CEO of the one-Man-and-one-Mac studio AirBrush Counterfeit.
Gaspirator draws inspiration from the works of Doug Johnson, Hajime Sorayama, Heinz Edelmann, sound library record covers, heavy metal imagery, and 1960’s to early 1980’s pop culture.
His first collaboration with the label was the graphical rehaul for the re-release of the twin singles “GHETTO OBSESSION” and “RADIO FIREWORKS” in 2006. It was also our first departure from the Akroe template.
Then came the heavy metal logo for the Japan-only mini album “ACTION REPLAY” plus its cotton companion, and the “FIREWORKS REFIRED” remix ep.
As a token of his eternal gratitude, Surkin gives him some over-zealous tooth brushing lessons at any time of the day.
(the Def Leppard fan on the right of the picture is Surkin’s own beloved grandfather Vincent, also a true inspiration for female dental hygiene enthousiasts all over the globe)
More recently, Gaspirator has done several collaborations with tee shirt label SIXPACK.
He has also drawn the White Knight’s helmet against a dazzling kaleidoscopic backdrop of the World’s most complex chrome-plated Rubik’s Cube for Surkin’s “NEXT OF KIN”EP, first released on vinyl in a limited silver foil sleeve.
Gaspard is currently enjoying an awesome life as the (truly) mustachioed half of Justice.
Poney Poney started as a solo project. Antoine did a couple of shows with only a guitar and a borrowed iPod, which got promptly stolen. It was high time to draft friends Florent and Samuel on bass and drums.
"AM Music", "By The Numbers" and "Junior" were recorded pretty fast after that, with Xavier de Rosnay of Justice fame on production. The band started playing here and there, sharing the bill with 2 Many Djs, Justice, C.S.S., Sébastien Tellier, Midnight Juggernauts, These New Puritans, Ratatat, Das Pop, Simian Mobile Disco, Cut Copy, Poni Hoax, The Teenagers, The Presets, Kavinsky, PNAU, Scenario Rock and many other cool bands. Then, last Spring, Perspex Recordings put out Cross The Fader EP, with Xavier at the controls once again.
Now a duo, Poney Poney is putting together its sophomore EP. It's called WDYWSW? and was produced by Para One. I'll post some past material in the coming days, for the record.
"4WD" is a track from Wild At Heart, Jean Nipon's first Institubes 12", out now.
It mixes repetitive-stress-injury drums with a funhouse-of-horrors mood, complete with atmospheric strings and spooky build-up. This is Nipon at his most straightforward, believe it or not. It's also, I think, the first track he produced on a contemporary computer, moving away from his trusty, albeit antiquated ATARI 1040. Remember those? The set-up also involved guitar pedals.
I don’t expect you to know who Jean Nipon is because, frankly, neither do we. And yet, he’s one of the Institubes originals, he was behind our third record ever, under the name Teamtendo. And yet, he is a fixture of the Paris club scene, building bridges between all the various, dysfunctional crews. He’s even roommates with one of us, but let me tell you: snoring patterns, however entertaining and quirky, say very little of the heart of a man. Nipon is a fractious, peculiar creature. He agrees to no rules and no higher power, and under the veil of unassailable coolness, remains an enigma for us all.
Jean Nipon started out as a drummer in Hardcore bands and started to play out as a DJ circa 97. At first it was a cheap ploy to get more in touch with his fellow humans (read: get girls). Then it became something of an art form, and many a reveler remembers his seven-hour sets at Paris Paris where, as a resident, he would play the latest bangers in custom-edited form, plus Prince, Minor Threat, Aphex Twin and the Beastie Boys, Dinosaur Jr and Lio, Pink Floyd and Shellac, My Bloody Valentine and KRS One. We’ve also seen him funcrush a couple of yuppie parties that didn’t deserve to dance: he’s a man of principles. Let’s go back: hardcore drummer, DJ, designer, lives in Japan for a year, designs a Coca Cola bottle, sells records for two years in Paris at Katapult where he meets DJ Wet with whom he starts I.Y.M. (a 12” released by Wwwilco) and Teamtendo. Teamtendo was a duo of giant plushies who played 8-bit-gabber-electro on tricked-out Gameboys (a 12” through Institubes and one via Deco). Did some remixes for TTC, Ark, Micronauts, Cosmo Vitelli, Lesbians On Ecstasy, Adam Kesher, David Rubato. Directed three volumes of the DJ-oriented “Eurogirls” vinyl project for Arcade Mode.
Now Jean Nipon is stepping up on his own as a member of the Institubes family, with full privileges. He brings with him a precious knowledge of the obscure and the mainstream, of the rare and the common, and that’s what makes him so definitely necessary. We have a video for you today, directed by JeanMi & Tony. And check back in a few, we'll have a track for you to download.
I don't think I should wax personal here, considering this is a corporate blog, dedicated to all things Institubes and all, but I also know that most of the readers of this here blog are Americans and, as it happens, two of the most harrowing events of those last months for me have been American, beamed from across the Atlantic, so to speak. And they've been constantly sloshing around in my head, and most of my brain is poured in this label, for better or for worse, so in a weird roundabout way, they concern our musical endeavors anyway. So I just want to acknowledge them here, for the record. Then we will resume our programming.
1. David Foster Wallace's suicide. He was great, arguably the greatest. A couple of years ago, I translated two of his books into French. The world is much darker and dumber without him. I'm still grieving.
2. The Election. I've never been so obsessed about a political event in my life, and I suspect I'm not the only one. And it has (almost) nothing to do with being Black myself. At this point, you've heard it all, and I certainly don't claim to have any special insight or whatever to impart. I just want to say that we have a horrible president in France and it's nobody's fault but ours. I'm really envious of you being able to cast that vote. We're thinking of you.
No more than once or twice a year, something makes you realize how much you love this job.
My last five were: Para One getting a shot at remixing Daft Punk (and BOY what a remix), taking the train all the way to Belgium with half of the Institubes family to see Daft Punk play live two years ago (no names, but some of us were literally crying by the end of the show), Thomas Bangalter playing at Institubes & Ed Banger’s 2006 Xmas party (although his set was somehow ruined by us acting crazy stupid / drunked out of our minds / operating no less that 4 bullhorns - you get the picture, if not check it on YouTube), Surkin’s set at his own release party (playing at least 4 songs simultaneously at every point of it, with ALL our french comrades shaking the booth like it was some kind of car-sized maraca), and finally Cuizinier & Orgasmic opening for Clipse in Paris this summer.
You can tell things are pretty busy schedule-wise when you reach the point where you’re promoting songs you haven’t heard in their entirety.
So: last Tuesday I’m uploading Das Glow’s new single on Institubes.com and halfway thru “LITE BRITE”it’s getting obvious that not only this version of the track is totally new to my ears, but it’s one of THESE moments, a new entry in the pattern that only reveals itself once a year. All planets aligned, the office reaches perfect temperature, the sound of birds and traffic in the streets fades out, caffeine+taurine abuse and sleep deprivation hug each other in harmony. The bass line enters and everything since the apparition of the very first microbe on Earth to this very second has an evident purpose, the entire History of Evolution plays before your eyes as a Ghibli-animated short, Charles Darwin ressucitates so he gets a chance to bitchslap Sarah Palin for a minute of two, and your imagination draws a picture of an immense crowd made of all your friends and co-workers standing ready for war like one of these cool posters with every Marvel Comics hero and villain on it.
The other track on this single is “SUNBURNT”. It’s been around for a while, most notably on Boys Noize’s “Bugged Out” mixed compilation. This one is a club thing, with its own Das Glow touches (some of them involving the engineer of the first mastering session throbbing every knob with disbelief for 15 minutes until he realized it was entirely produced and mixed in mono).
“LITE BRITE” is definitely not a dance cut, and even Das Glow doesn’t know how to label it. So let’s file this one under SENSE-MAKING if you will.