This Picard Brothers Playlist is a Masterclass on French House
Nov 4, 2021
5 min read
The Picard Brothers are a Parisian duo that initially got their start in the music industry composing beats for French rappers. Their command of hip-hop artistry eventually led to a debut on the Pelican Fly record label in 2014. The pair went on to produce and write songs for artists like Beyonce, Kehlani, and recently, for rising star Yebba on her album Dawn, produced in collaboration with Mark Ronson.
They won a GRAMMY in 2019 for their contributions to “Electricity” by Dua Lipa and Silk City. These days, their production is a complete modern-day revival of classic French dance music. Their unique contemporary French house production style can be heard on energetic remixes of songs by Disclosure, Flume, and fellow French artist, Myd.
The purveyors of this modern French house resurgence are aiming to repopularize the subgenre this year. In the 1990s, house music and European disco-inspired the short-lived but heavily-adored subgenre of electronic dance music called French house. The subgenre is characterized by disco, funk, and house music elements like funky basslines, filtered and phased effects on vocals, and songs often feature samples of disco hits from the 70s and 80s.
The French house sound dominated the UK electronic music scene in the late 1990s and then, as the subgenre emerged at raves and clubs, it peaked on global dance music charts. Though French house’s popularity tapered off in the early 2000s, Italian and French DJs remain loyal to the iconic subgenre.
The Picard Brothers made a playlist of their top 9 favorite French house tunes of all time to share with you. In it, you’ll find classic cuts from the 90s and early 2000s, by iconic artists like Daft Punk and Cassius—these French house tracks will have you getting up, getting down, and vibing out! Listen to the Spotify playlist here, and check out their cheeky video for their latest modern French house single Best Of Me, directed by Jay Christiansen.
Demon - You Are My High
This hit song by Demon was released in 1999 and has seen a resurgence among younger audiences lately, thanks to the song’s burgeoning popularity on the TikTok app. The tune is timeless and an earworm—you’ll be singing the bridge long after the song is over.
The Paradise - In Love with You
Produced by Alan Braxe and Romauld and released on the Vulture label in 2003, this gorgeous track features an ethereal soundscape and beautiful resounding vocals by Romauld. This French house song is essential listening.
Daft Punk - Face to Face
This tune was co-produced by American house producer Todd Edwards and is one of Daft Punk’s most memorable cuts off the electronic duo’s 2001 Discovery album. The song is a moody tale that touches upon themes of miscommunication, love, and connection. Face to Face features a plucky chopped riff, a driving bassline, and undeniably Daft Punkesque vocoded lyrics.
Bob Sinclair - Gym Tonic
This simplistic disco-heavy gym jam was produced by French DJ Christophe Le Friant, who built his career under the name Bob Sinclair. It’s groovy, delightful, sexy, and fun—two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and Back! Back! Back!
Cassius - 1999
Cassius 1999 is the title track off of the ‘1999’ album released the same year, by venerated French electronic producers, Phillipe Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francart (aka Boombass. Upon its release in the 90s, the song became an instant hit in the UK. The song is an amalgamation of jazzy-hip hop sounds blended with filtered-down disco house.
Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
Stardust—the trio composed of Alan Braxe, Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter, and vocalist Benjamin Cohen—released this irresistible dance single in 1998 and immediately disbanded after the single was met with wide acclaim, so the single could retain its magic and mysteriousness, reportedly. After almost two decades, the song still feels as nostalgic and magical as ever.
Cheek - Venus (Sunshine People)[DJ Gregory Remix]
This danceable French deep-house tune is, at 126 bpm, a happy little track that features intensely energetic kicks and distorted synth riffs. "Venus" starts hot, but descends into a slow burner of a house cut, with a quick tempo and fetching percs.
DJ Mehdi - Signatune (Thomas Bangalter Edit)
This track was produced by fellow French remixer and hip hop producer, DJ Mehdi. Inspired by legendary hip hop group Public Enemy, DJ Mehdi’s production style on the original "Signatune" track featured resounding kicks, scratching, and reverberating bass patterns often heard in both electronic music and hip hop. This edit by half of the Daft Punk duo, Thomas Bangalter, is an elevated, pumped-up take on the original yet still stays true to Mehdi’s unique melding of the two genres.
Alan Braxe, Fred Falke - Chrystal City
Another French house staple by Alan Braxe with co-production efforts by Fred Falke, this funky tune features heavy synth and electronic sounds, paired with samples of the city. The sirens, wind sounds, and answering machine vocals paired with the groovy bass and synth, will make you feel nostalgic.