Monday’s child is trying to recover,
Like Columbus poor directions leading to America, Like Brees bad shoulder falling to New Orleans, Like a dead rodent found in the back of a computer to Joel Zimmerman, there is such a thing as a happy accident, one which just works out so much better than anyone could imagine. If I was to add to that list Laurent Brancowitz leaving Darlin’ you might have to just nod and smile right? Darlin was a short lived French experimental electro pop group in the mid 90’s which fell to the wayside when Brancowitz joined his younger brothers band. The other two members of this fateful band; Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo became the little known gospel folk (I think) band, Daft Punk.
Sure you can say leaving Darlin’ might have been a bad move, but if you fast forward 14 years, you tell me which French band not only received gold album sales in the USA, UK & Australia, placed in Rolling Stone’s top 5 Album & Singles list, performed the holy trinity of American Festivals; Coachella, Bonnaroo & Lollapalooza. Oh and they won the Grammy for best Alternative album. Phoenix hit puberty in full stride with gusto never seen since the days of Jeremy Jackson (Hobie Buchannon) fucking through his teenage years with all the Baywatch actresses.
Phoenix, like Kings of Leon realized that singing in their native tongue was just bad business sense, they knew that performing in English was their ticket to world wide stardom. French, like whatever language they speak in the American deep south, might sound aurally pleasing, but then again so do the prayers of Tibetan Monks, and you don’t see too many teenyboppers ooooohhmmm’ing on the dance floors (they leave that for the bedroom, giggidy). Phoenix has never performed, at least for commercial release, any songs in French, and because of this they were initially rebuked in their home country. While Foreign critics were heaping praise on the fresh new sounds of the eclectic indie pop group, fans were slower to come around.
Philippe Zdar was to Phoenix what ‘Flax Seed Oil’ was to Barry Bonds. The man behind Cassius, produced and mixed Pheonix’s 4th album, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2009). The fairly arrogant title befits the strength and confidence of the entire album highlighted by the instant classics; 1901 & Liztomania.
Today we go back to a track that really ushered in the epoch of funky chords interspersed with beautiful falsetto vocals that race in and out of rhythm in a style recognizable to the french indie dance scene, but instantly recognizable only as Phoenix. If I Ever Feel Better from their first album United, would not be out of place if it were found 8 years later in Wolfgang, it is no coincidence then that it had Zdar’s steroidal influence on production and with guest keyboarder Thomas Bangalter, this track grew bigger than Bond’s head. Check out the video below for Phoenix performing live with a special guest appearance from Daft Punk, epicness ensues.
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Unlike Tony Danza in Who’s The Boss, there is no debating that these Italians are the boss of the Turbofunk scene, hell they practically created it, as I have found no one quite like them, and frankly I don’t want to. Whilst some DJ’s might throw on a classic Daft Punk track to rev up the energy of the crowd, I chuck on a Reset! Remix for a Rapturous! Reception. These boys should be sponsored by Red Bull with the amount of turbulence they create with their funked up tunes.
The wonderful thing about Reset! is how they take nothing away from the original track, much like a ‘surprise’ guest in a WWE title fight, they wait for the right moment before signaling their entrance, and like the hype machine that wrestling is, the suspense built up from subtle changes of key and tempo with effects to boot drops ever so smoothly into their touch on today’s remix. Having gone through a fairly stressful week, I wondered if I would ever feel better, but after listening to this track, I can honestly say, I do.
Check out their Soundcloud page for details on how to get a free download through their Facebook page. And while you are at it, do yourself a Mammary favour and check out their new uncensored video for Oh Yeah.
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