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INTERVIEW: Basile de Suresnes & Ten Fingerz presents French Kiff (Frappé)

French label Frappé is making a strong comeback with a fourth release: a pure EP by Various Artists steeped in House Music titled French Kiff. Each of the 5 tracks explores a different aspect of what makes House music sound today and yesterday, without losing the French essence, and bringing together artists from different backgrounds, putting Lo-fi, Jazzy, Garage and French Touch influences in. the same disc.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing some of the architects of the project such as Basile de Suresnes & Ten Fingerz. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?

We (Basile de Suresnes and Ten Fingerz, Frappé’s co-fonders) come from Paris’ suburb and that’s where we met about 6 years ago. Basile worked in a bar and I (Ten Fingerz) was sitting there reading Trax magazine, he poured me a pint and we started talking about music. It happened that he wanted to learn how to DJ on vinyl and I thought it’d be nice to show him the ropes, that’s how we started DJing together. We set up parties in bars and clubs and played around for about 3-4 years before we decided to start the label. How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?

We get great feedbacks from people on our socials, which is always really nice for us, especially as clubs are still closed in France. The situation makes it harder for us to gauge how well we’re succeeding in trying to make music for the dancefloor, as our music really aims at rocking people in a club or a festival. But we know people are listening to our stuff, playing our vinyls and having a good time, from what we see in their stories : that’s as good as it gets given the situation ! How was the compilation born?

This fourth compilation comes after « JTEKKEN3 », a record on which we went for a rougher, more electronic sort of House, edging towards breakbeat and Techno, even. Because these are also the genres we love and we play in our DJ sets, we had the desire to go there with a Frappé release. So we tought it’d be nice for the one coming right after this to get to plain, straight to the point house music in its various genres. We were thinking about working with the artists on the record for a while (Naux, Groove Boys Project and Mark Blair) and it happens that they accepted ! We thank them for that, the richness and versatility of there production makes the sound you hear on the record. We like the energy and freshness of the whole thing, that is also perfect for this time of the year.

What do you appreciate or admire the most about each producer on this compilation?

They all have their qualities, something that makes their music unique. In this aspect they all fit what we’re trying to do at Frappé, in producing artists with a rare sense of groove and a signature sound. Mark Blair has made a name for himself over the last years with this raw sounding yet groovy kind of house, sometimes going into much more electronic territories (just like we did on the previous record we were talking about earlier on). It really made sense for us to ask him to collaborate on one of our releases ! The Groove Boys Projects we’ve been following for a few years now and their music has this slickness, this unique quality that sounds very French with a clear NY House influence. Naux we first noticed as a DJ, as we booked him for a party a few years back and he really blew us with his energy and technique at the decks. Then we discovered the music he makes is very much inlfuenced by the gloden era ofFrench Touch, in the way he works with samples and filters which brings a lot of enery into his productions, we’re very happy to have him on French Kiff !

How was your creative process? What do you want to convey with this album?

The VA tries to convey what house music is about, in its different forms and influences : a made for dancing, no bullshit, feel-good music. We hope that these 5 tracks manage to get this message across. Where do you want to go with your sound?

We have some more music coming out soon and there will be some nice surprises (we can’t say more than this at the moment). We want to try and go into electronic music territories we have not explored yet, while keeping our dancefloor DNA intact.

Can you tell us something about your future projects?

We have another EP coming out on vinyl and digital formats for the summer, with some great artists we have never worked with yet. We’re super excited about it. And we have some more plans for the end of 2021, work in progress.

What makes you happy?

Working with great artists who also are good people, try and share our vision of music with them and also get inspired by them. Our releases are always a bit more than just records for us, they are also encounters with the people who make this music. We feel very lucky that we’ve had the chance to work with so many nice and creative folks so far.

Music-making can be incredibly frustrating at time, but it also makes us very happy when we come up with a decent track once in a while haha. And going out and play music for people has to be one of our favorite thing on earth. We’re simple dudes really : good people, good music, a nice sound system, that can keep us going for decades, ahah.

Do you have any final words of wisdom?

«Vole le jour, frivole la nuit » is Basile’s favorite quote, your French speaking readers will like that one (but we’re not translating it as it’s not particularly wise).


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