Various French Girls

Showcasing Franco-fem electronica, French Girls is an eclectic compilation of synth-driven metronomic French techno and solemn vocal-laden downbeat. The first half sports a driving techno funk, which flows cleanly through Scratch Massive's "La Face Cache" into the twisted but bubbly "Frank Sinatra 2001," by Miss Kitten, and then nestles into the awkward sliding electro-funk of Chloe's "I Hate Dancing." Things are upbeat enough to almost skim the surface of well-intentioned electro fluff. However, both the mood and beats per minute drop considerably, starting with the heavy thump of Autor's De Luce's "Jereviens - The Money Penny Project Remix." With the exception of the funk and fluff of Ana Rago's "You're Good - I:Cube Remix" and the jazzy hi-hat and light guitar interludes of "Aujourd'hui Meme," the second half shifts into a darker but more dreamy and lyrical aural space, found in the minimally fused epic electro rock of Sporto Kantes' "XXLive by Smith Lane," and Klima's weary lullaby "Bain de Minuit." The oppressive thump of Sextoy and Chloe's "In and Out" brings it all to a close, and it leaves you wondering if that was all one album. I take that as a good sign. For one reason, the moody downbeat and electro frolic mix suggests an honest commitment to showcasing the diversity of talent to be found in French electronica. The album's polarised moods and shifting rhythms makes French Girls "pause for thought" audio. Not for those who just want to stick in a CD and dance, but worth a listen for lovers of quirky electronica. (Catalogue)