Para One is Jean-Baptiste de Laubier, a DJ, producer and filmmaker who has been working out of southern Paris since the city's mid-'90s heyday. Initially a doyen of the indie hip-hop scene, his sound has become more splintered and diffuse, taking in a raft of styles which he breaks up and repackages in his upbeat, nail bomb productions. After a rather grand opening fanfare, like a synth-borne liner proceeding slowly down the slipway, "Wake Me Up" and "Every Little Thing" set the tone of his new album Passion—brisk, silvery, synthetic soul coming at you in a shower of micro-beats that recall every production technique of the last two decades.
The Frenchman fuses a series of contemporary dance structures into an accessible whole. Mike Diver 2012 Jean-Baptiste de Laubier’s second album as Para One presents an array of ebullient electronica, superbly suited to those few days in the British summertime when the sun cracks cloud cover to scorch tan-lines into the ill-prepared. Passion frequently belies its maker’s hip hop background – he was a producer for Parisian rap crew TTC – but not before it sets its stall out in rather incongruous style.