Para One Epiphanie

Jean-Baptiste de Laubier has taken a long and sundry road to get to his debut album under the moniker of Para One. Starting a hip-hop group at the age of 14, experimenting with filmmaking, working with Big Dada’s crunk crew TTC on all three of their albums and releasing various EPs over the past couple years all contributed in delaying this long-awaited Epiphanie. As they say, good things come to those who wait and this dead-cool fusion of French hip-hop, electro, house and acid is one of awe-inspiring proportions. A total mixed bag that throws the notion of regularity out the window, Epiphanie’s unpredictability is its best-selling point. Para One is visibly torn by his tastes, and yet he plays all of his cards like a master — even if he’s bluffing, there’s little evidence to tell. There’s nary a moment where two songs share the same DNA, and this is best evidenced in the combo of "Def Tea Machine” and "Les Soleils Artificiels,” where a Ritalin prescription’s biggest nightmare leads into a Boards of Canada-like interlude without flinching. Further proof this hodgepodge works is when TTC drop by to return the favour on the grime-influenced "Musclor,” while "Dudun-Dun” starts a dance floor fire that’s as true to the Vitalic sound as any of Pascal Arbez’s work. Epiphanie is a frighteningly tremendous example of digital diversity that happens only once in a blue moon. (Roadside Cinema, LLC)