Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Dance, Neo-Disco
The debut album from Parisian producer Breakbot (aka Thibaut Berland) is so unabashedly sweet that it's no surprise the album cover features him lovingly rendered in milk and white chocolate. However, a can of soda might have been a more accurate choice: By Your Side is full of fizzy, catchy fusions of disco, soft rock, and dance that are pop through and through. The album's two-part title track, which features guest vocals by Pacific!, defines and encompasses the winsome pop and celebratory disco Breakbot does so well as it moves from the first part's sugary harmonies to the sidling basslines and laser synths of part two.
Even the more cynical detractors can't deny that Ed Banger's "imperial phase"—that stretch of time during which the label's very ethos was encapsulated by, and distilled through, a series of fully formed and federative releases—was impressive. From Theme from Vicarious Bliss in 2005 to A.D.D. S.U.V. in 2010 (without even mentioning Justice's first rounds of distinctive cuts) the Parisian stable had a firm hold on the mid-'00s so-called French electro trend.
An unashamedly upbeat, hopeful and happy debut from the French DJ/producer. Ian Roullier 2012 Having built his name in recent years by turning in sterling electronic funk-led remixes for the likes of Justice, Röyksopp, Metronomy and Air, Thibaut Berland now releases his debut album under his Breakbot guise. Berland wears his influences on his sleeve from the off, with the jaunty keys, funky guitar and 70s-style orchestral string stabs of Break of Dawn providing an effervescently joyful opening.
When you’re born Thibaut Berland it seems foolishness to take a nom de plume but this confounding of expectations is nothing compared with the moment you unreel the Ed Banger label to uncover a treasure trove of retro-indebted funk and disco grooves. At times it’s hard to believe you’re listening to a debut record, such is the level of consistency and seamlessness with which the tracks flow in and out of each other. His small but carefully chosen list of collaborators gratefully stay clear of the usual big name suspects, helping to maintain an even keel.