Lazare Hoche is enjoying something of a breakout year. The twenty-five year old Parisian, whose real name is Charlie Naffah, has seen the vinyl-only label that he runs from his bedroom – Lazare Hoche Records – gradually become an underground sensation. Putting out raw and unfussy floor-orientated tracks from the likes of Mandar and Nimbus Quartet, the imprint’s ascent has proven that even in our digital age, word-of-mouth successes can still happen.
Coming on the back of the duo’s well-received reissue of their I Don’t Sync So Vol.1 EP back in July, comes two fresh cuts from Hoche and partner in crime, Malin Génie. Title track Formes works with a palette of classic techno tropes. There are chopping hi-hats, an unrelenting kickdrum and, to top it all off, a cascading synth that daubs the production with a muted melody. If on paper that appears derivative, in execution it is far from sounding so; in fact, as the melody gradually rises to prominence, the effect is near euphoric.
Similarly, B-side number Work That Booty would not sound out of place on a Trax 12” from the early ‘90s. An all-out house jam that pivots around a looped male sample that instructs the listener to ‘work that booty’, the playful 808 squelches and infectious groove make for a track that is surely destined to become a popular choice for DJs in need of a secret weapon.
Both tracks expound the pair’s ability to produce dance-music that oozes with physicality and presence. Perhaps, it’s because the duo’s records have a lo-fi and slightly rough-round-the-edges aesthetic that contrasts favourably with the overly quantised music coming from other quarters. Or perhaps, it’s because the tracks sound like they’ve been knocked out in a single afternoon rather than refined to the point of effacement. Whatever it is, there is something about the stuff coming out on Lazare Hoche Records, something ingrained in the very life-blood of the tracks, which singles them out as being something very special indeed.
Lazare Hoche & Malin Génie - Formes EP on Lazare Hoche Records
Our rating: 08/10