Super Discount album cover
Super Discount

Etienne de Crécy

1997
Different

Even as time and the whims of fame have threatened to relegate this project to the status of one of those if you know you know scenesters-only semi-obscurities, it’s hard to overstate the impact of Étienne de Crécy’s Super Discount series on French house. That influence might sound a little scattershot at first, though it’s partially a natural side effect of the collaborative aspect to the project and how many different takes on the sound are on display under de Crécy’s guiding hand. The downtempo contingent is given more prominence than you might expect; de Crécy’s laconic  “Affaires A Faire” (pseudonymously credited to La Chatte Rouge) combines syrupy easy-listening strings with hard-hitting but otherwise restrained drum breaks, while his remix of Air’s pre-Moon Safari curio “Soldissimo” sounds like their early single “Casanova 70” versioned into a more apprehensive and sour version of itself. And for every excursion into immersive, phase-warped dubby bass-throbbing house like his orchestral Isaac Hayes-invoking “Le Patron est Devenu Fou” or Alex Gopher’s glimmering Euroboogie co-production “Super Disco,” there’s a cut like the rubbery “Liquidation Totale” or the tropical-lounge zone-out of “Les 10 Jours Fous” that suffuses the groove with a sense of louche, eyebrow-arching pseudosophistication that almost seems to take the piss out of velvet-rope refinement and the idea of long-term scenester posterity. After all, this is a comp where nearly every track title comes from the kind of slogans that retail stores use when they’re advertising Going Out of Business sales — a unifying theme based around de Crécy’s tongue-in-cheek idea to create cheap, “disposable” dance music that didn’t take a lot of effort or labor to crank out and wasn’t really meant to last. Given how good a lot of this stuff still sounds, it’s worth congratulating him on his failure.

Nate Patrin

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