11 French Electro Bands You Should Know

Tech │
Tech │ | © Christian Spies
Paul McQueen

France has a long history in the field of electronic music, dating back to the invention of the phonautograph, the first recording device, by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857 and of the Ondes Martenot, the first electronic musical instrument, by Maurice Martenot in 1928. In more recent times, the electro duos and groups this country has produced have gone on to rule the clubs and the charts of the world. The new releases of the following acts, which include some of the biggest bands in the business as well as those just finding their voices, make for essential listening for anyone interested in the genre and looking for a few names to drop in their next conversation with a DJ.

Birdy Nam Nam

Birdy Nam Nam is a DJ crew with experimental tastes – their name itself is a reference to a Peter Sellers’ sketch in the cult comedy classic The Party. The group released their self-titled debut album in 2006, the same year they played SXSW, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they gained the attention of Anglophone ears, largely due to the appreciation of Skrillex at the Festival des Artefacts in Strasbourg. The American producer went on to release a remix album of their work and the rest is history.

Daft Punk

General Elektriks

General Elektriks is the creation of Hervé Salters, a vintage keyboard player, composer, singer, producer and French-émigré in San Francisco. Once called the Ennio Morricone of the 21st century (even though the Italian composer is still alive and kicking), Salters is no stranger to experimentation. His 2011 album, Parker Street, combined avant-funk, old-school pop, raw jazz and hip-hop aesthetics to outstanding effect, and his latest release from this year, To Be a Stranger,follows suit.

Grand Blanc

Grand Blanc is an electro-pop-rock four piece from the east of France – a land, in their own words, of cathedrals and furnaces. Their music is dark and filled with tension, inspired by youthful readings of Albert Camus and the albums of Joy Division and The Cure. The band’s MO is to create music that is topographical – check out their track Evidence to find out what exactly they mean by that.

Hyphen Hyphen

Hailing from Nice in the south of France, Hyphen Hyphen was formed when its four members were studying at the city’s Conservatoire, though they have known each other since childhood and adolescence. The band’s look borrows significantly from tribal signs and they’ve used the term ‘wild union’ to describe their internal bond and that which they share with their growing fanbase. Their debut album, Times – which they wrote, composed, arranged and produced themselves – was released in September 2015 and they won Best New Live Act at the Victoires de la Musique awards in February 2016.

Justice

Another of the big hitters on this list, Justice has been at the top of the electronic music game since the release of its debut album, (that’s the emblematic crucifix they always perform beside) in June 2007. The album missed out on the Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album, but the band’s remix of MGMT’s Electric Feel won for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical in 2009. The band, which is known for its indie-rock influences, is back after a few quiet years with a new album entitled Woman, which will be released on November 18th, 2016. Safe and Sound is its lead single – have a listen and see what you think.

Mr. Oizo

Pronounced like the French for ‘bird’, Mr. Oizo is the pseudonym of musician and film director Quentin Dupieux. He is best known for his first EP, Flat Beat – despite it taking only two hours to produce – which was released in January 1999. The soundtrack of a Levi’s commercial featuring a sock puppet named Flat Eric (who makes an appearance in the video below, too), the song has sold over three million copies and even went to number one in the United Kingdom. Since then, Dupieux has directed feature films which have premiered at Sundance and Cannes. His latest album will be released at the end of this month.

Naive New Beaters

Formed in Paris in 2005, Naive New Beaters’ music fuses rap, rock and electro house. After finding success on YouTube, the band has spent the past few years touring and playing the festival circuit in Europe and North America. Their song Live Good was used in a Nokia commercial and gained them a more widespread following. Their latest album, À la folie, was released earlier this year.

Salut C’est Cool

Another Parisian group on this list, Salut C’est Cool is an electro-punk band set apart by its taste for kitsch and the ridiculous, as the video for Techno toujours pareil nicely illustrates. Known for their live performances, the band is a big hit at festivals in France and Belgium, and was one of the most booked for the summer 2014 season.

Synapson

Synapson, made up of the talented duo Alexandre Chiere and Paul Cucuron, has so far released two albums: Stendhal Syndrome in 2012 and Convergence in 2015. The latter, which combined world music, hip hop, house-funk and pop, was a hit in France and Belgium. Two of its tracks, Djon maya mai (a Victor Démé cover) and All in You featuring Anna Kova are their biggest successes to date.

Yuksek

Otherwise known as Pierre-Alexandre Busson, Yuksek (meaning ‘high’ in Turkish) is one of France’s most successful DJs of the past decade. His music has featured widely in French programming and advertising soundtracks. The native of Reims is also known for

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article