Christmas came early this year for us nu disco fans. The UK’s Ben Thomas with alias “L’Etranger” released his EP “1997” via La Bombe Recordings last month – a musical production filled with a variety of funk, tranquility and some of the heavier stuff.
L’Etranger opens with “Skin” – a warm, psychedelic piece at the beginning that transitions into a groovier upbeat jam with wildly chewing bass. Already we have some musical versatility in the opening song… and I dig it.
“Binary” is a continuation of the heaviness at the end of Skin, in combination with the Daft Punk-esque French house sound and somewhat of a Soulwaxxy substance. It’s fresh, and quite different from L’etranger’s previous productions – but I’d be more than willing to groove my heart out to this song on some strange after party’s d-floor.
Next, we have “Laroche”… a beautiful collaboration of happy, heavy beats with a few chilled out sections comprised of relaxing piano chords – another Daft inspired tune, but very much originally de L’etranger.
“1997 [Prelude]” is an appropriate sample of the overall album, which introduces the hardcore bass feel while excluding the classic French disco sound.
Ben concludes the EP with “Mersey Mersey Me”, a harmonious and relaxed piece with soothing vocals that I can be best describe as a hybrid between Calvin Harris and Sebastien Tellier … a perfect song, with a perfect lyric to finish off the EP –
“But my heart it lies on the shore”.