by Hobey Echlin
For a country where style and substance are wonderfully, hopelessly intertwined, it’s no surprise France never lost its taste for the flare-wearing fierceness of disco. While the rest of the world — okay, England — tweaks out on techno and rolls in drum ’n’ bass, Parisians, as the wealth of French neo-disco hitting our shores lately would suggest, would rather boogie oogie oogie till the breaka breaka dawn than buy into any dance floor manifestos that aren’t written on a cocktail napkin. And with mirrorball anthems this good to groove to, who can blame them?
Like the first installment of Paris is Sleeping, Respect is Burning — named for the famous Paris club night — PISRIB Vol. 2 feels more like a party tape than a city’s dance floor manifesto. Only now, the world seems to have caught on. Where Vol. 1 dropped names, Vol. 2 drops hits. The mood is one-nation-under-a-big-grin: from the decidedly un-French Deejay Punk Roc’s Fatboy Slim-for-beginners goof-off “My Beatbox” to Dimitri From Paris’ if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it remix of Stardust’s hands-down single of the year, “Music Sounds Better With You.” And when you think the whole thing’s headed for (ooh)-la-la-land, Detroit’s own discoball diva Norma Jean Bell comes hard with “I’m the Baddest Bitch,” here offered in an icy cool, Motorbass remix. Burn your WRIF D.R.E.A.D. cards and dig in. Très baddest.