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(These are certainly not all new but they are definite must-have freebies)
I’m a big Douster fan. Consistently striking the perfect balance of tribal house beats, booming kicks and euro-pop synth stabs, his is a distinct sound; one that always stands out over a loud club sound-system.
Cédric Canblaster is one of dance music’s most talented 22 year olds. Hailing from France, he’s a founding member of Club Cheval, a collective of musical talent based in Paris. Having made significant waves with a recent string of incredible remixes, he’s one to look out for in 2011, with plenty of exciting things coming up.
Mr Cheval himself was kind enough to lend us some words.
Firstly congratulations on the Drop The Lime remix, it’s amazing. How did you arrive at the idea of creating ‘horsestep’?
Thanks man! Actually “Club Cheval” means Horse Club, so I’ve had this Ballroom-inspired horse pattern in my head for a long time. At the very beginning of Club Cheval, about a year ago, we started a track like that with Myd, using horse sounds, but never finished it. When I heard the Drop the Lime original, with harmonica and rockabilly club stuff, I knew it was the right moment to bring back this idea.
Club Cheval involves yourself, Panteros666, Myd and Sam Tiba, how did you four producers meet?
I met Myd towards the end of school. We started DJing together in little clubs in Lille, in the North of France. Not much happened there, so when we met Sam and Panteros through Jean Gasnier, our former manager, we decided to do something together.
At first it was just 3 of us, with Panteros just doing the drums in our dance-punk indie band, “Sexual Earthquake in Kobe”. Then he came up with these cool videos and tracks and started DJing, and in the end he became a full member of Club Cheval as well. Then we all moved to Paris.
When did you decide to start up Club Cheval, whose motto is ‘a continental tornado of fatness’?And why horses?
Horses are noble, horses are beautiful, horses are a symbol of nature. Isn’t your DJ name ‘Shooting Horses’? Then we are enemies right? Haha! Club Cheval’s first breakthrough was Myd’s “Train to Bamako”. Since then people kept labeling us as a “Tropical label”, but that’s only a small part of our music, we are continental.
Not all of us together yet. Myd just came back from an Australian tour and they mentioned getting me involved next time. I’ve got a few gigs in Berlin and Holland until the end of the year. We’re DJing more and more together, and are really into the back to back stuff. Our last Club Cheval night in Paris was “Back 2 Back all night long”. Each one of us had a secret guest to DJ with (Panteros666 Vs Teki Latex, Myd Vs Douster, Sam Tiba Vs Brodinski and Me Vs Mumdance).
I’ve read that you have a love of vintage synthesizers. Do you use a lot of analogue studio gear? Do you have a favourite synthesizer?
Yeah I mainly use 3 synths now. The Korg Triton: for strings, and more acoustic elements (like pianos). My Yamaha from the SY/TG series: for more Detroit sounds, it’s got really good choirs as well. And the Roland Juno 106: for the famous French pads à la Cassius/Daft Punk. It also sounds a lot like James Blake too when properly used. I’ve also been waiting for the right moment to bring back my Talkbox, having used it recently on a remix for T&K.
How much of an influence would you say underground English dance genres such as garage and UK funky have had on your sound?
It’s one of my biggest influences, as well as old Detroit stuff, Japanese pop/Video game OSTs, old house or 90s RnB. I listen to a lot of old school music, but when it comes to current music, the UK stuff is on top of the world right now. I listened to a lot of Big Beat stuff when I was younger too, from the Fatboy Slim / Chemical Brothers generation.
A year ago, here in France it was all about the percussive rhythms, tropical, then Dutch house. By then, there were no more melodies in clubs. I became really uncomfortable about this. Then the UK guys came with their big synths: James Blake, Joy Orbison, the Nightslugs crew, Ikonika etc. They all showed me how to make music based on synths without losing the complex side of the drums.
Who from dance history would you say has had the biggest impact on your output?
Basement Jaxx. I’m amazed by the way they managed to overproduce their tracks, and by the craziness in their tunes. Now music is so rushed. Nobody takes the time to work on the details of their tracks like they used to do. I remember the time when I listened to Fatboy Slim, ‘Praise You’, for about the 50th time and discovered that there was a little acid line creeping up in my left ear, that I had never heard before! Every time you listened to it you discovered new stuff, hidden samples etc. Nobody does this anymore.
Which one of your productions are you most proud of so far?
I don’t know to be honest. Maybe the remix of Mustang I just finished with Sam Tiba, because I feel like it’s the beginning of something new for us. Lowclub (112 bpm), has just arrived in Paris so that means the potential for more collaborations, and finally getting some credit from the local scene. I’ve felt like my tracks were better appreciated in the UK and the rest of Europe, outside of France, until recently.
What does the future hold for Canblaster and for Club Cheval?
I’ve got a forthcoming EP on Nightshifters, called “Master of Complication”. It’s an EP about time, with 4 tracks at different speeds (from 132 to 180bpm), and 4 remixes including one by Teki Latex and Para One. And I’ve got remixes for Drop the Lime, Rusko, Monsieur Monsieur, French Fries and a few other ones coming up next.
I’m starting to do more and more collaborations too. I’ve started one with Mumdance, which we’re about to finish. Then one with Nick Hook from Cubic Zirconia, and French Fries (we’re remixing Pelican Fly together!). There’s so much more to come, including a side project with Sam Tiba, more Ghetto/Love/Downtempo oriented. I’m tired of working alone after all these remixes, it’s time for collabs now!
As Club Cheval, we just finished a track together, called Horreo, where we did one minute each (some kind of posse cut, producer version), which will be released on Sound Pellegrino’s next EP. And maybe a Club Cheval - the Band too, but I can’t tell you much about it right now.
Is there anything else you wish to add?
Yes. I’m so jealous of the Trocadero in Picadilly Circus. Arcades in France suck badly.
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