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Sonic Router

Sonic Router 010: Turning The Spotlight On Florent Aupetit
Oli Marlow , March 1st, 2010 09:52

As we near the end of February but Winter is still in full force Oli Marlow looks to French dubstep producer Florent Aupetit and our free download mix to warm the cockles of his heart

Standing as much for his country of origin as for his first name French producer, F (aka Florent Aupetit), has, alongside label mates Helixir and Likhan, unleashed a tirade of properly enveloping dubstep releases on the 7even Recordings imprint. Tracks like ‘Epilogue’ and ‘Phase One’ lit up the hallowed Boomkat (an online music retailer famed for its constantly enthusiastic and ever optimistic reviews) home page at the time of their release, receiving a whole heap of praise for their deep and varied technoid experimentations.

Appearing without much fuss and in the playlists of many of the scene's leading lights, F’s tracks roll (and roll) with a passion, making the most of their simple ingredients and offering a shrewd sense of space for the thick, enriching sub bass to breed that essential sound system ready warmth. Coming from a rural village in his native France, Aupetit garnered a love of drum & bass from an early age, his ear no doubt caught by the freshness excreted within the layers of drum breaks, but it was dubstep that really seemed to catch his attention.

“I was into drum & bass when dubstep started to break through with Burial and Skream’s first albums,” he reveals, “this period was also when I found that drum & bass had started to become generic, uninspired, driven by a dancefloor-oriented and less experimental mentality. Whilst it wasn’t necessarily those producers whose sound caught me in the first place - actually Burial's first album did - they were, and still are, the indispensable producers for those wishing to take more interest in dubstep. The scene has emerged as a breath of fresh air because it opened the door to further experimentations; much like drum & bass did ten years ago.”

As Untold - probably dubstep’s breakout producer of 2009 – touched on when speaking to Resident Advisor recently it’s this rebel spirit of production anarchy, the mess of chaos that keeps on splintering into more and more micro genres with the shards of rich experimentation embedding themselves deeper and further that Aupetit finds one of the most attractive things about producing music at around 140bpm.

"For me the dubstep tempo, gives a particular perception of space and time to a tune. It's as if there’s a double tempo running at both 70 and 140 bpm at the same time. You can dance to each. The snare on the 3rd beat - that halfstep - is as important for this music as the skank is in reggae or the 4x4 beats are in techno,” he muses, “To my mind it’s how we identify dubstep, in addition to the powerful sub basses, naturally. It’s like a code; a process that helps distinguish this type of music from others.”

With his debut artist album entitled, Energy Distortion set for release in mid-March it’s interesting to note F’s passion for that original groove that captured the attention of so many producers. His music harnesses a little of that template, riding the the 3rd beat of his bars with the snare accents and using the low end frequencies to drive his drum arrangements home, but it’s his embracing of the dub techno sound that people like 2562 and Pinch pushed with their debut albums that has seemingly shaped an aspect of his output.

“I would say that my music is… most of the time… deep, percussive and techno-tinged - over which I like to add some techniques used in dub music; the delays and the echoes… I use a lot of chords and these are often the dominant elements in my tracks. I like the idea of being able to make a track from a few simple items. Playing with the automation of filters, EQs and other FXs can maintain the interest of the tune for the listener.”

What really is evident on his forthcoming long player though, besides his apparent mastering of tape delay, is his talent from programming drums. His stuttering percussion and flammed hi hats at all times drive the tracks, careering around underneath the key framing kick drums, twisting, as Aupetit says, through numerous filters and stages of reverb. A dub wise sensibility, something F shares most notably with Punch Drunk Records boss Peverelist, allows his somewhat minimal tools - those sparse drums beats - numerous shades of expression. There’s something about the way his snare drums tail off into the shadow of the echo that seems to list up, much like a voice would when asking a question, that adds a certain pertinence to what could be just another rolling dub techno drum break.

Maybe it’s being based away from the turmoil “at least 100km from the first good record shop” that has allowed F to retreat into himself and define a deeply percussive sound that’s completely his own…

“To be honest, I don’t really feel like I’m part of a French ‘scene’. This may be more due to the fact that I live in an area where nothing really exciting occurs when it comes to dubstep and parties,” he chuckles. “The scene in France is a reflection of different cultural events that take place here in general. There is Paris, and then there is the rest of the province. Outside of Paris there are only few cities where dubstep parties take place on a more or less regular basis; places like Strasbourg, Marseille, Lille… but Paris is naturally the most active place in the French dubstep scene. From what I see now though, there are mostly parties with wobble/banger DJs.”

A field that F’s intriguing and hypnotizing take on deep and emotive tech-flecked dubstep would no doubt be completely lost on.

“Nowadays I have the feeling that people tend to listen to music for what it socially represents, more than for what it is: sounds...” he concedes. “Dubstep has yet to make a name here. I can't tell if it will break but the music’s propensity to mutate with other genres will perhaps help it to get more recognition in France.”

::

DOWNLOAD:

F – SRQ010 Mix

Tracklist:

Untold & LV - Beacon - Hemlock Dub
Helixir - Untitled - 7even Recordings Dub
Instra:Mental - Vicodine - Naked Lunch Dub
Jus Wan - Untitled - ?
Headhunter - Evolver - ?
F - Chillin' - 7even Recordings
J. Sparrow - The Fullest - Tectonic
Ruckspin & Quantum Soul - Venus Project - Transistor Recordings Dub
James Fox - Put It Back (Ramadanman Refix) - Take Records
F - Hologram - 7even Recordings
J.Sparrow - Untitled - ?
DJG - Avoid The Noid - Pushing Red Dub
DJG - Avoid The Noid (Headhunter Remix) - Pushing Red Dub
F - Funk Injection - 7even Recordings

Words: Oli Marlow for http://sonicrouter.blogspot.com

F’s album, Energy Distortion is out 15th March on 7even Recordings.
The eponymous album sampler featuring an Untold Remix is out now on 12”.

Most of the releases mentioned will be available physically as well as digitally. Check your local record shops or online stores for more details. We buy all of our records and suggest you do too.

Information on all these artists and more can be found at dubstepforum.com

Check F live at Fabric on April 2.

The full line-up:

ROOM ONE:

NUMBERS...

Martyn, Rustie (LIVE), Jackmaster, Redinho (LIVE), Brackles, Goodhand, Nelson,

Visuals by Retina Glitch

ROOM TWO:

Scuba, Peverelist, Youngsta, Komonazmuk, Blu Mar Ten, F, Sigha

ROOM THREE:

AUTONOMIC...

dBridge, Instra:mental, More TBC

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