- "Freak N Chic: inspired by the night on second Saturday per month at Batofar, Paris." So goes the inscription on the spine of the early singles on Dan Ghenacia's trend-setting tech house imprint. The Batofar parties have long since faded into memory but the music remains. In just about four years since it started, Freak N' Chic hasn't been a prolific label, but with this first compilation it's finally starting to gather some momentum. The future looks bright.
First let me say that while I like this compilation a lot I don't think that it's particularly remarkable. It's groove-laden and heavy on mood and it won't satisfy anyone looking for variety, but this is becoming a highly specialised label, one focussed on providing thick doses of after-hours funk for those who know. So what the music, to the uninitiated at least, may lack in variety it more than makes up in pedigree. The opening track 'A Flauta Encantada' by Chris Carrier, built on a tribal Latin rhythm, pretty much sets the tone. There isn't a track on here that I dislike, but some of course grab more than others: Monoblock's 'Hermano', Jamie Jones' 'I Like You', David K's 'Acid Morning' and Davide Squillace & Alfa Romero's 'We Schick' all provide highlights on a very consistent first CD, which is composed of entirely new tracks.
The second CD is a compilation of some of the labels best previous moments mixed by two Freak N Chic up and comers, Shonky and Dyed Soundorom. I've never been a fan of single label mixes and although the tunes are good, it's the first CD I've been playing chez moi.
Freak N' Chic are, on the strength of this collection, up with Poker Flat at the moment where releasing quality tech house is concerned. Quality and not quantity has served them well so far. I'm not being fair to the artists I don't mention, as every track plays its part in a compilation that brims with assurance and poise. Bring on the next four years!
1. Chris Carrier - A Flauta Encantada
2. Monoblock - Hermano
3. Jamie Jones - I Like You
4. Sebastien Bouchet - I Need Sometimes
5. :Terry: - Trafalgar
6. Dan Ghenacia & David K present U&I - Tika Massala
7. David K - Acid Morning
8. Ito - On the Hill
9. David Mariscal - Beeper
10. Marc Antona - Pilly Pilly
11. Davide Squillace & Alfa Romero - We Scick
12. Shonky - Babel
1. Andrea Ferlin - Iron Man (Deep and Cleep rmx by David K)
2. Dan Ghenacia and David K present U&I - Poisson Bocal
3. Sweet Light - Mécaniques Remontées (Butane Sunshine remix by Butane)
4. :Terry: - Papreek 121
5. David K - Boul de Nerf
6. Shonky - Phantomas
7. Bibi's Ghost - Let Them Go
8. Jamie Jones – Amazon
9. Marc Antona - Happy Martians
10. Sebastien Bouchet - Manivelle
11. Shonky - Olympia
12. Tom King and Jay Massive “Our First Time” (Terry's last time remix)
13. Jamie Jones - Are you Sedated