Inspired by Mia Hansen-Løve’s new film, the homage to house music Eden, I’ve been working through a series of French and New Jersey garage classics from the film’s outstanding, 4.5 hour soundtrack. It plays like a primer to two decades of “euphoria mixed with melancholia”, as DJ Paul Vallée, the film’s main protagonist describes the sound he seeks.
At the time all this began, my fingernails were clutching at the final tattered threads of Britpop as it scruffily re-tailored itself into pre-millenial guitar angst. As a gauche British teenager, I was just starting to become aware of electronica but French house remained largely enigmatic.
And why didn’t I see Byron Stingily’s Get Up (Everybody) was a classic the very first time I heard it?
So what a treat it is for a completely new stream of music to be revealed to you. One that exists in its entirety, fully formed, having already grown up alongside you.
It’s like discovering Northern Soul for the first time and realising that Motown didn’t have the monopoly on all the greatest 60s soul tunes. (I submit Felice Taylor’s I Can Feel Your Love as the case for the defence, your honour).
This is why music is such a perpetual joy. You only hear a tiny fraction of everything ever made and then, every now and then, you unearth an enormous body of other amazing work that you’d never even noticed.
RESEARCH QUESTION 1: Any French house classics to recommend?
RESEARCH QUESTION 2: What other music scenes, past or present, are we missing out on?