It all started with Daft Punk’s galactic, robotic synth-pop. Since then, artists such as David Guetta, Martin Solveig and Madeon have warped the French house scene. So, with that in mind, what’s next for this genre of music, and how has it evolved over the years?
First of all, we have to start with Daft Punk. At the moment, they have been relatively quiet with their music since the release of Random Access Memories in 2013 and the success of their track Get Lucky with Pharrell Williams. However, despite them lying low nowadays, the majority of French and international DJs admire their work (including Madeon – more on that later).
Aside from their choice of wearing masks when performing causing them to stand out, it was the duo’s (consisting of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) fusion of electro and funk which was one of the setting stones for the French electronic genre.
Since then, other DJs have added to the industry. David Guetta’s album Nothing But the Beat (and subsequently the 2.0 version) was, in my opinion, the album which brought the French DJ to the spotlight. For example, his track Titanium not only brought Sia fame, but was also a successful electronic ballad (almost) which a lot of people still remember today. As well as that, their other single together, Falling to Pieces branches out more into dubstep, and his latest tracks including Hey Mama drift more into the hip-hop genre.
Finally, we have Madeon, who – admittedly – is my favourite DJ at the moment. Last year, he released his debut album, Adventure, which saw the musician (real name Hugo Leclercq) collaborate with the likes of Kyan, Dan Smith (from Bastille), Passion Pit and Mark Foster (from Foster the People).
In terms of his style, Hugo still gives a nod to one of the original artists from the French house scene. In tracks such as Cut the Kid, Ok and Pay No Mind, Madeon uses imaginative and flourishing melodies in an off-beat fashion which develops upon Daft Punk’s original style.
But, at the same time, Leclercq brings something fresh and exciting to the French dance music industry. If anything, as well as making links to other music styles within his music, his ability to creatively tell a story through his songs is impressive. In his track, Imperium, Hugo tries something different and almost branches out into dubstep. Meanwhile, in his collaboration with Bastille frontman Dan Smith, Leclercq almost mimics their alternative style of music and in You’re On, the track is an electronic take on the euphoric pop songs of today.
So, as we enter another year of music, perhaps French DJs are about to make their mark? In terms of the genre of music, could it see a merge between pop, alternative and dubstep? Comment your thoughts below!