Seuil: Freak & Violence
Freak n'Chic

Dan Ghenacia & Djebali: Eightball Deluxe
Freak n'Chic

On respective outings, Paris-based Seuil (Alexis Bernard) and Dan Ghenacia & Djebali deliver the deep house goods on their Freak n' Chic twelves, with the former's slightly more relaxed vibe a clear contrast to the latter's raving attack.

In some unclarified public setting, an entertainment executive (or equivalent cultural commentator) laconically pontificates in “Freak and Violence“ on violence strains in media, society, and sports while a lithe deep house groove stokes its understated swing in the background. Despite the energized rhythmic propulsion (hand drums, claps, and a female voice accent strengthen the driving drum pulse), there's a dark vibe to the tune, something the melted Rhodes and synths make clear in their drawling punctuations. Less bleak in spirit, the B-side's “Lost In the Soul Shower“ inhabits an equally deep space but does so with more uplift, especially when Bernard injects a bit of rambunction into its hip-shaking groove two minutes in. Soul (naturally), dub (in the echo production treatments), and jazz (in the tune's easy swing) work their way into the cut as the trip continues, with an owly keyboard solo draping itself over the bass-bumping pulse during the languorous, nine-minute run.

On Eightball Deluxe, tag-teamers Dan Ghenacia and relative newcomer Djebali unite for their own Freak n' Chic outing whose tracks are as ready for the club as any two could possibly be. The barn-burning title cut gets moving with a tight electro-house pulse powered by a pulsating bass line and the rapid ‘tick-tick-tick' of hi-hats that punctuates the racing groove with a babbling voice snippet and waves of swirling chords. During the track's svelte seven-minute duration, a brief Latin episode hijacks the track for a few moments halfway through before the frenzied house attack returns. Slightly less frenetic by comparison, “Now U Need” works its own particular brand of magic by wedding an infectiously grooving, shaker-enhanced bottom end to a throbbing bass undertow and see-sawing melodic fragments that ricochet off of one another like billiard balls. There's a lot of heat packed into fifteen minutes.

November 2009