What the France Nights
Created in 2017, What the France is a recommendation brand by Le Bureau Export. It provides music lovers around the world with the finest music made in France, through playlists and – for the first time at Reeperbahn Festival – through shows.
What the France Nights, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 will take place on Thursday 20 September and on Saturday 22 September at Molotow SkyBar.
The shows are in partnership with
What the France Night, Vol. 1
Thursday 20 September / Molotow SkyBar
Foé (Indie Pop) | 20.00 – 20.40
The shortest album title of the year probably comes from young artist Foé: “Il” (Embassy of Music GmbH). As one of the few he is actually singing in French on the record – at least predominantly. His angry-fragile chant reminds of great role models like Benjamin Biolay or Stromae. The 20-year-old producer Nicolas from Toulouse in southern France has recorded the songs in his bedroom in a good old lo-fi technique.
He has a lot to say, whether it is about his mother in “Mommy” or about “La machine”. He has always been bathing in music, says Foé, first with classical piano playing at the age of eight, later in freer forms. Among other things with a guitar, which he had acquired at a discount store. But who needs great equipment, if one has so much talent. Even the former president Francois Hollande appreciates the young musician after they had met on a TV show.
Kimberose (R’n’B/Soul) | 21.10 – 21.50
Kimberose Kitson-Mills, who simply calls her band Kimberose, cannot hide the roots of her seductive soul pop. Why bother? References like Billie Holiday, Etta James or Nina Simone speak for themselves. Together with their band, she gives their sound a new, fresh, personal touch. The just 26-year-old musician and singer, British father, Ghanaian mother, grew up in London, but has lived in Chantilly near Paris for twelve years.
Chances are good. Her first album “Chapter One” (Freedonia Entertainment, 6 & 7) has sold 40,000 copies right from the start. Sweet circus sounds like in “Needed You” get dissolved into strong, emotional ballads like “I’m Sorry”. Flanked by wonderfully casual r’n’b, as in the finger-clicking song “Reason”. And that is only the first chapter as everyone knows. One can really look forward to the live performance with her band.
L’Impératrice (Electro-Pop) | 22.20 – 23.00
The laid-back synthie sounds give you a flash back to former times. L’Impératrice from France carry you back to a long lost era of those high times from heavy smoking, slim and soft voiced diseuses like Francoise Hardy or Jane Birkin. But also back to those leggy 70ies disco times completed by a pinch of Daft Punk.
The center belongs to singer Flore Benguigui, who joined in 2015 three years after the founding of the band. It’s around her melodious vocals that the band enthralls with wistful or playfully dreamy electro sounds. Apart from that the overall sound of their current opus “Mata Hari“ (Microqlima), released after almost a full dozen of EP’s or remixes, turned out pretty sultry. Sexy like a James Bond film. Exclusive like a summer’s day in St. Tropez. Their first award came calling already: the Prix du Public du Prix Dezer Adami in 2016.
Label & Management: Microqlima | Antoine BIGOT| email@example.com
Publishing: Universal Publishing | Tom LE BOURHIS| firstname.lastname@example.org
Booking: The Talent Boutique | Pierre BLANC| email@example.com
Kazy Lambist (Electro-Pop) | 23.20 – 00.00
Gently flow the synthesizer chords, joined together with elegant bass and drums to a floating light footed pop. Kazy Lambist’s music sounds just like the southern French area around Montpellier, where he is from. His sunny disco sounds are always interspersed with delicate threads of melancholy. They provide them with a beautiful, poetic touch, perfectly blending with his vocals that swing somewhere between Whitest Boy Alive and Air.
Lambist’s talent was soon recognized by the notorious head magazine Inrocks, which won him over to their lab. With “33 000 FT” (Cing 7 / Wagram Music) the promising debut of Kazy Lembist is now available. The record includes beautiful, rhythmic and danceable tracks like “Orion” and soulful songs like “The Essential”. After listening to this amazing young man, one also wants to see him perform his magical sounds up on stage.
calling already: the Prix du Public du Prix Dezer Adami in 2016.
Thylacine (Electro) | 00.30 – 01.10
The name Thylacine, complicated at first glance, is a scientific description of the Tasmanian wolf, a legendary species extinct for 70 years. The sounds produced by William Rezé are somehow from another world. Progressive electronica infiltrated by minimalists Steve Reich and Philip Glass as well as John Zorn’s jazz fantasies.
Some years ago, Rezé traveled to Russia via the famous Trans-Siberian railway, transforming his experiences into beautiful ambient sounds, which were used by documentaries on television. This year he has also provided the soundtrack of the film “Gaspard va au mariage” (Budde Music France) by Antony Cordier with his dream-sounding melodies. The current single “War Dance” is the Frenchman’s latest work. Disquieting, instrumental electronica that subtly blends with jazz intonation. The live shows of the young musician promise to be true celebrations of the experiment.
Management: Clarisse ARNOU | firstname.lastname@example.org
Label: Intuitive Records | Ruben ELBASE | email@example.com
Publishing: Budde Music France | Jessica IBGUI | firstname.lastname@example.org
Booking: Uni-T| Tommy ADDINGTON | email@example.com
What the France Night, Vol. 2
Friday 21 September / Molotow SkyBar
Mariama (Chanson) / 19.30 – 20.15
Her music is light and lively. On her current record “Love, Sweat and Tears” (Rising Bird Music/Bendo Music) the Parisian songwriter Mariama combines shimmering folk, filled with jazz rhythms and her soulful vocals. The single “Raindrops” already delivers a great overture. The 14 tracks are all about invitations to dance and declarations of love for West Africa, the land of her ancestors. Mariama was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and came to Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, when she was only one year old.
In her musical career she has already worked with Adé Bantu, Patrice or Max Herre. In a Volkswagen competition she prevailed as one of nine young talents against 300 contenders. It is also beyond question that the Frenchwoman is a very charismatic performer with her slightly jazzy vocals.
Mélissa Laveaux (World) / 20.45 – 21.30
Beautiful melodious songs, from which, if one is listening carefully, one can also guess some voodoo hymns. Haiti’s art feeds the music of Canadian-born songwriter Mélissa Laveaux, now living in France. In April 2016, she traveled to the island looking for her roots. She processed her experiences and emotions in the terrific album “Radyo siwèl” (No Formati). It tells the turbulent history of Haiti, especially from the time of the American occupation between 1915 and 1934. Laveaux musically succeeded in creating an unusually multi-layered work, with rhythmic variety, as in “Nibo” or vocal playfulness as in “Angeli-ko”. Her delicate, fragile voice, which reminds slightly of Morcheeba, is simply intoxicating. An opus that works on several levels and recounts the complexity of modern identity.
Tample (Indie Pop) / 22.00 – 22.45
Music like an endless day in July. Tample invokes “Summer Light” (Yotanka Records) on their latest short album. It is brimming with crunchy indie pop rhythms and captivating melodies that instantly get any hip in motion. In songs like “Chimera” and “Keep Your Distance”, the singer of the French quartet from Bordeaux raises his gentle voice and one could listen to his charming French accent forever. As well as to the deft guitars and the soft synth-pop sounds which mingle with drumpads and trendy hooks.
The music ranks somewhere between Daft Punk and Abba. With good reason Tample was discovered by the prestigious Les Inrocks Magazine, which enabled the group to perform at the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes. An experience for those who love indie-style melodies and who don’t stay away from electronica.
Part-Time Friends / 23.15 – 00.00
For them being called Part-Time Friends, the cooperation of the indie folk duo works quite well. At least one gets that impression when listening to their current album “Born to Try” (Un Plan Simple). For instance, “We Are Not a Band Anymore” is a wonderfully melancholic dreampop song about a platonic relationship.
Although Pauline and Florent are French, they prefer to sing in English. However, the rich French music tradition can still be heard in their floating indie pop and shoegaze sounds. The two met already at school in Southern French town Aix-en-Provence. But it was not until seven years later that the musical cooperation of the autodidacts was formed. Both admit being obsessed with duets. They add a new, happy, melancholic, gripping, dreamy side to the pop duo genre that simply captivates the listener in an instant.
Royaume (Electro-Pop) / 00.30 – 01.15
This innovative Electropop Duo comes from Paris, consisting of the Franco-Japanese singer Yumi and the producer Moon Boy. With “Again” (Le Label, Pias) they have just released a great debut EP with five strong tracks after a long maturing process. The themes and texts of the duo are quite controversial. In “If We” for example, Yumi critically examines the bondage tradition popular in Japan.
Three years ago, they both met at a party and discovered similar musical tastes. Moon Boy does not deny his roots in hip hop of the 1980s and 1990s, and also in the cinemascope guitar rock from the late 1960s. Yumi confesses that she values Italo Disco as much as Ambient or House. Both also love film music. In any case, this gives the collaboration a rather seductive blend of easygoing melodies and catchy arrangements. Indie electro at its best.