Widely regarded as the adopted home of house music, the French dance scene has produced wave after wave of superstar DJs since the late 90s. But the likes of Daft Punk, Cassius and Justice are mere amateurs compared to C2C, a turntablist crew who won the Disco Mix Club World Team Championships four years in a row between 2003 and 2006, and who are being hailed as the natural successors to DJ Shadow’s cut-and-paste throne.
Formerly of hip-hop jazz collective Hocus Pocus, Greem (Guillaume Jaulen) and 20 Syl (Sylvain Richard) joined forces with future Beat Torrent members Atom (Thomas Le Vexier) and Pfel (Pierre Forestier) at high school way back in 1998. But astonishingly, the group only got round to releasing their debut album last year with Tetra, a hyperactive but strangely cohesive affair which entered at No.1 in their homeland.
Named after the French word for a cross fader, C2C are no ordinary DJs. Famed for their visually-stunning live shows, their eclectic sound may sound like it’s collated from hundreds of different samples, but instead of burrowing their heads in a never-ending stream of vintage vinyls, the quartet instead record everything from scratch using a traditional guitar-bass-drums set-up before manipulating the results into the weird and wonderful soundscapes they’ve become renowned for.
With guest appearances from Swedish singer-songwriter Jay-Jay Johanson on the languid synth-funk of “Give Up The Ghost,” Californian rapper Pigeon John on the indie-pop hip-hop of “Because Of You” and Japanese avant-garde act Vajra on the scratch-laden breakbeat of “Le Banquet,” Tetra suggests the band certainly have an eye on the international market, and indeed, several dates are scheduled for the UK and Canada later this year.
Elsewhere, hit single “F.U.Y.A.” is a hypnotic fusion of lush oriental strings, shimmering synths and military beats, the title track from their Down The Road E.P. sounds like a spliced-up remix of one of Moby’s classic blues anthems, while “Happy” is possibly the finest attempt to revive the Charleston since Doop.
Whether C2C’s organic take on DJing breaks through to a wider audience in 2013 or not, at least they’re perhaps the only act that Deadmau5 can’t accuse of just pressing play.
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