Sébastien Léger begins 2010 in fine form. His label, Mistakes, has further strengthened his role as one of Europe’s leading proponents of contemporary underground techno. The antithesis of the showman that is fellow countryman, David Guetta, Léger mines a wholly different vein, updating the rich musical histories of Detroit and Chicago with a quiet determination and no-nonsense approach.
His much lauded musical ability stems from a classical background, but formal training is but one half of the story; having served his ‘apprenticeship’ in clubs around France in his teens.
The 1990’s saw the first explosion of French dance music culture, and as a young producer and DJ, he saw his heroes such as Laurent Garnier, Daft Punk, and Etienne De Crecy, begin to carve out a distinctive new wave of electronic music. He began producing at the end of that decade, and though surrounded with French filter house, he looked across the Atlantic for his own inspiration, with Underground Resistance, Derrick May, and Juan Atkins being a few prime examples.
Heritage techno might be an influence, but it’s a mere reference point for Sébastien’s productions and the output from his label, as he’s always made technology dance to his very own, distinct tune. Léger is thoroughly 21st century in his delivery and execution, packing a punch that has seen Mistakes become a best-seller on Beatport, and an imprint that is defining a new sound away from the soulless beats and clicks of minimal.
Tracks such as ‘Binola’, The White Island’, and ‘The Rhythm’, lie at the funkier end of the techno scale, throbbing and coursing with a proudly European sensibility; but regional influences aside, the reception to Léger’s recorded output ensures his popularity remains truly global.
Over 50 Eps for labels including Black Jack, Ovum, Intec, Pryda, and beyond, make for an enviable discography, but as the cliché goes, you’re as good as your last record, and Léger has always kept the bar high despite a prolific release schedule.
His latest remix, for Cirez D’s ‘On/Off’ on Mouseville, shows that he doesn’t just keep his best ideas for himself. Léger has consistently pushed his production boundaries and adapted himself to the sounds and technology around him. Despite his more cerebral sound of late, he brings to proceedings a dancefloor sensibility that is all about the ‘funk’, injected with a heart and soul attitude that means his music is never clinical.
In addition to his studio exploits, a busy DJ diary means gigs across the planet, from Germany to Japan, the UK to Ibiza, and the US to Asia. It’s a schedule that means Sébastien remains at the forefront of modern EDM, taking his music to wherever dance culture shines brightest.