by / February 26th, 2009 /

Interview: TEPR

French dance producer TEPR inhibits a realm of music that us Irish simply do not have the ability to produce or put our finger on. You know what I’m talking about, the Europop sound that Justice et Daft Punk do so well- electro mixed with cheesy house beats that usually you can only imagine yourself raving to only after the 10th tequila in a dodgy city centre club. Except French producers manage to pull it off. It doesn’t sound cheesy, it just makes us want to, shake our asses. Maybe it’s the laid back European attitudes, warm climates and fondness for club culture’¦ we just can’t figure out the secret formula. TEPR sheds some light on the matter.

-Since Daft Punk all French electronic acts today are kinda linked to them, want it or not. Maybe that’s what makes us Frenchies have that common Electro/club/Pop feel,’ explains TEPR, real name Tanguy Destable, -But you have to remember that the UK was and is still influencing the world with the pop music and then with their 80/90’s club culture. Daft Punk’s success have made it easier for French electronic acts to have a world exposure.’

TEPR first discovered some (as we suspected) very cheesy music through his sister’s record collection at an early age. He drops names like Bananarama, Wet Wet Wet and Michael Jackson before graduating to bands like Beastie Boys, Wu Tang Clan and Dr. Dre as a young skateboarder. He cites Daft Punk’s Homework and Les Rythmes Digitales’s Dark Dancer as two monumentally important albums to him and the labels Warp and Ninja Tune that eventually drew him towards producing.

While TEPR knows what he likes, he is a little harder to pin down who influences him. -I’m kind of versatile and can do some fidget house one day and then some Swedish big room house or just some piano works. I’m influenced by so many things that I can’t really tell which. Sometimes a Steve Reich piece makes me wanna produce some deep techno, a Zapp song makes me wanna go hard funk or some Dancehall makes me wanna go old school ravey, there is no particular recipe.’

Of course one of the biggest successes of TEPR’s career has been playing keyboards for Yelle, the French electro pop queen currently set for world domination. The opportunity arose out of a meeting with GrandMarnier (Yelle’s drummer and producer) in the unusual setting of in a car park of a fast food restaurant in Brest, France. Since then TEPR has found himself living out his teenage dream of world tours.

-Performing with Yelle is a blessing! We’re having the time of our life touring around the world for the last 2 years. We did 25 gigs on the US tour with Yelle in October 08 and all venues were sold out. When I see 1500 crazy fans coming to the LA or NY gig, or crowded venues in the Middle West, I can’t believe it’s real. With Yelle, my teenage dream of world tours became real and I will never thank them enough for that.’

However it’s good to hear TEPR still has time for DJing and gets as much of a kick playing his remixes in small venues as playing sold out gigs with Yelle in New York.

-I also have a great time when I DJ, its different, I travel alone, I don’t have to do rehearsals. I like going back to some clubs I had a good feeling with. The crowd, the staff, the soundsystem. It’s a lot of pleasure every time.’

Out of the large list of artists TEPR has helped with his innovative remixes, like Calvin Harris, Infadels, The Teenagers and Yelle, he has a particular fondness for his squealing remix of Santogold’s -Say Aha’.

-Each artist has their own personal little thing that I like. But I really enjoyed remixing Santogold. She told me it was the best remix ever done for this track, I was so proud,’ and there are plenty of forthcoming TEPR remixes to look forward to, -I just did a new remix for a band called Chew Lips, on Kitsuné, I tried something new, deep and minimal but also really emo. I’m really pleased with this new way of producing.’

As with most dance producers, it’s at the live shows where things really kick off. TEPR, by his own admission just wants to -make people dance, go absolutely crazy shaking everything they’ve got. I want to make people come out of the dark corners of clubs and dance’¦ I want to make the girls cry and the boys be more sensitive.’ And if his description of what to expect from his Dublin date is anything to go by -expect a melting pot of fidget house and big room house with a lot of my new unreleased tracks,’ Dublin’s in for one hellava night.

TEPR plays Transmission at Button Factory this Saturday, 28th February.

  • Julie Bienvenu

    To be honest, that “Tektonik” dance is the worst fashion movement I’ve ever seen in France! haha