by A.J. Duric
Frances answer to seminal UK dance labels MoWax and Metalheadz is grooving to a different drum these days. That Parisian label, Source which brought us Airs terrific Moon Safari LP and the acclaimed Source Lab series that unleashed the irresistible French flair of DJ Cam and Daft Punk has traded in the beat, beat, beat for more grooving bass line-influenced "Moogedelica." Left Bank Soul Train, anyone? Just leave your flares and platforms at home, slip into a bit of white Prada and a pair of those sleek modern moon boots all the better to move to these sleek electro-pop-rock grooves. The sound is clean and the aesthetic is freshly elegant.
In this collection of 13 original, unpublished numbers, quite a few of Source Materials composers sound like they were heavily influenced by Airs synthesizer pop: Synth swoops, mischievous melodies, comical asides and looping, popping beats. Either Mellows "Interlude" or Robs "Musique pour un Enfant-Jouet" could easily provide the sound track to "Dr. Who," while Oomiaqs "LUltime Atome" delivers a theme for the yet-unreleased, spaghetti western version of The Fifth Element.
Its not all pop and games, though. Sebastian Telliers "Fantino" is a cinematically beautiful ballad with bittersweet progressions reminiscent of early Slowdive. And Bertrand Burgalats "Kim" is a heady, hypnotizing, minimalist down-tempo meandering that demonstrates how far behind weve left the drum n bass scene.
As retro-futuristic and elegantly frolicky as the new Beetle, Source Material is a time capsule of sounds and ideas that will feel just as modern 10 years from now.