Bangers and Mash
France and Germany, allies in the dance dance revolution
Once bitter enemies with very different views of love, France and Germany have put aside their historical differences and now share a common goal: dance.
When the "new rave" (or "nu-rave") genre popped up sometime around 2006, it was hard not to get scared. Overseas, the Brits radiated DayGlo, and a rave wave seemed ready to crash the chill-out tent. As much as the NME fluffed and fondled the newfangled genre as the second coming, Brit rave culture isn't remembered so fondly here in the States.
Instead, it was Parisian duo Justice that became the face of dance rebirth in 2007, and electronic label Ed Banger (say it with a French accent) was the midwife. Suddenly, everyone was talking about their favorite French remix DJ, and Paris was an epicenter, yes, très cool.
Veteran French DJs Daft Punk teaming up with Kanye West last year, as well as playing with him on the Grammys on a set approaching Tron, was one spark of life from the old guard. Justice playing parties in Brooklyn that left hipsters without tickets frothing on the sidewalk is a sign from the new. People aren't just dancing at Justice shows; they're stage-diving.
While neither of those duos is performing at South by Southwest this year, France's electro contingent yields diverse sounds. Some of the more intriguing acts include the experimental Parisian trio Cheveu, which sounds like a screwed and chopped Mark E. Smith fronting Metal Urbain; animated club DJ the Toxic Avenger; electro-twiddler Adam Kesher; and mysterious youth party collective Fluokids.
Never a country that likes to be outdone, Germany has its own electro-renaissance going down in its epicenter, Berlin. By Deutschland's inherent nature, it's a bit more grimy and dark than France's party-all-the-time anthemism. Avant-garde singer/multimedia artist Janine Rostron, aka Planningtorock, trots the same path as Chicks on Speed but with more theatrics and performance-art creepiness. Hip-hop/electro remix duo Sick Girls and pogo-friendly Hamburg duo Digitalism, the only non-Berliners, splay gutter-grooves from Berlin's club scene, where DJs like Cock Rock Disco proprietor Jason Forrest continue to work the breaks.
Now, can we finally forget about that whole Franco-Prussian War thing?
Rock & Roll
Berlin Is for DJs
DJ Donna Summer
17 Hippies: German gypsy folk
Two Dollar Bash: German "scrunge-grass"
Devastations: German ambient rock
Chris de Luca vs. Phon.o: German hip-hop
Brooklyn, Paris, www.myspace.com/aboutbrooklyn, Thursday, 11pm, Maggie Mae's
Cheveu, Paris, www.myspace.com/cheveu, Friday, TBA, Spiros
Herman Dune, Paris, www.hermandune.com, Friday, 9:30pm, Stephen F's Bar
Fluokids, Paris, www.fluokids.blogspot.com, Wednesday, 9pm, Beauty Bar
Adam Kesher, Bordeaux, www.adamkesher.com, Saturday, 12mid, the Rio
Neimo, Paris, www.neimo.com, Saturday, 9pm, Lamberts
The Parisians, Paris, www.myspace.com/parisians, Friday, 8pm, Maggie Mae's
Rock & Roll, Paris, www.myspace.com/thenameofthebandisrockandroll, Thursday, 11pm, Bourbon Rocks
The Rodeo, Paris, www.myspace.com/iamtherodeo, Wednesday, 10pm, Stephen F's Bar
Thieves Like Us, Paris, www.myspace.com/thieveslikeusplaymusic, Thursday, 8:45pm, Beauty Bar
The Toxic Avenger, Paris, www.myspace.com/toxavanger, Thursday, 11pm, Beauty Bar
Yael Naim, Paris, www.yaelweb.com, Friday, 11:30pm, Driskill Victorian Room
Boys Noize, Berlin, www.myspace.com/boysnoizemusic, Thursday, 1am, Beauty Bar
Chris de Luca vs. Phon.o, Berlin, www.chrisdelucavsphono.com, Saturday, 10:30pm, Karma Lounge
Digitalism, Hamburg, www.thedigitalism.com, Saturday, 1am, Pangaea
DJ Donna Summer, Berlin, www.cockrockdisco.com, TBA
Jason Forrest, Berlin, www.cockrockdisco.com, Saturday, 1am, Scoot Inn
Khan, Berlin, www.myspace.com/khanoffinland, Saturday, 9:40pm, Karma Lounge
Lily Electric, Berlin, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=110292, Wednesday, 8pm, Bourbon Rocks
Planningtorock, Berlin, www.planningtorock.com, Saturday, 9pm, Pangaea
17 Hippies, Berlin, www.17hippies.com, Thursday, 10pm, Momo's
Shir Khan, Berlin, www.myspace.com/djshirkhan, Saturday, 8:50pm, Karma Lounge
Sick Girls, Berlin, www.myspace.com/sickgirlsplayit, Saturday, 11:20pm, Karma Lounge
Two Dollar Bash, Berlin, www.twodollarbash.net, Wednesday, 1am, the Ale House