Some recordings I worked on as a producer
In the spring of 2021 following the successful release of “Indocile Heureux”, the question of the obligatory deluxe Christmas edition of the record came about. The entire team from the record were off the road due to the sanitary craziness, and we asked ourselves “What if we made an entirely new record instead of just some bonus tracks?”. We were all excited by this idea and went to work! And I think the result came out beautifully, at the same time a continuation of the previous one, and in some ways a radically different record..
Benabar’s 2021 record “Indocile Heureux” was a joy to work on. We spent days and days working through the songs in a piano/voice setting before recording with the band, making sure that everything was fine-tuned from the lyrics to grooves, keys, forms, tempos… Bruno was open, inspired and fun through the whole process. To everyone’s surprise the album went straight to number one!.
This unplugged record with Christophe Maé was recorded over a 10 days in the studio La Fabrique in St Remy en Provence in the summer of 2020, shortly after the first lockdown. Being with this incredible team of talent in those beautiful surroundings is one of my most precious studio experiences, and the joy of being together and reconnecting with playing music comes through on every track.
Alain Chamfort’s 2018 record “Le Désordre des Choses” is one that I think we really got right from a production stand point. The songs were great and our initial idea of having a primarily electronic record driven by acoustic guitars that respected the harmonic complexity of Alain’s compositions took us into new territory compared to the very piano/keyboard driven records of his rich back catalogue. Check out songs like “Exister”, “Le Désordre des Choses” and “En Attendant”.
Tété’s 2019 record “Fauthentique” was meant as a commentary on how hard it has become to distinguish real from fake in these days of fake news and manipulation. The theme is explored lyrically throughout the record and the production choices reflected this as well – using only “fake” instruments and manipulated sounds to complement Tété’s soulful singing and acoustic guitar playing. There are some great songs on it, like “Tout doit disparaitre”.
Faada Freddy’s debut record as a solo artist was very conceptual, using only voice and body percussion, and dogmatically steering away from using any instruments. I helped launch this one doing the initial recordings and arrangements over several week-long sessions in Dakar, Senegal with a great team of international vocalists. Check out “We Sing In Time” or “Little Black Sandals”, the Sia cover that earned us a tweet from her saying this was her favorite version!
It’s has been a great chance and immense privilege in my life to become a friend and collaborator of one of my musical heroes, Aske Jacoby from Copenhagen, Denmark. This is a live record we did in 2016 in the amazing and sadly defunct club O Gib in Montreuil. Check out songs like “To Turn The Last Page” and “Fundamentalist”.
“Gallery”, the solo record by talented MC/singer Sir Samuel from Saïan Supa Crew fame. It’s an eclectic record, with some really great tracks on it, Mental Offishal in duo with his old band mate Féfé amongst them.
On this one we only used a piano – all the percussion and noises were made exclusively with the piano using techniques from contemporary classical music. The idea of prepared piano has become quite normal in French pop since we made the record in 2008-09, but it was pretty unusual at the time. Lise is a super talented and very original writer, singer and pianist. Check out “Paris”.
Very experimental record I did with fellow Paris-based expatriates, the Danish guitarist Hasse Poulsen and the British saxophonist Peter Corser. We decided to not have any drums at all, and the compositions are based around the idea of minimalist, repetitive phrases. There are some incredible guests on it, including Abdullah Miniawy and André Minvielle. Check out “Greenwash” featuring Tunesian singer Mounir Troudi.
A record from 2007-08 based around live sessions and jams between a team of instrumentalists and some of the best MC’s in France at the time. There are some great performances and tracks on it, like Casey’s “Vais-Je Grandir Un Jour”
Fun blues/pop record based around wind instruments, most central amongst them Greg Zlap’s virtuosic harmonica.
Smooth soul/blues record with my old friend Bruce “Mississippi” Johnson featuring some amazing playing from this group of dear friends from the US/UK/FR blues scene. Check out “I Can’t Shake The Blues”