French Disco’s New Wave: BVO & L’Impératrice


Perhaps taking their cue from Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories, or at least guided by a similar spirit, two French groups or collectives – L’Impératrice and Bon Voyage Organisation – are reviving the spirit late 70s and early 80s disco, jazz-funk, fusion and film soundtracks, filtered through modern production techniques (so far, so French Touch) but also restoring the magic of super-tight live performance in the studio or on stage. Along with the ideal of ‘authentic’ musicianship and real human toil, however, what is also being rediscovered is the potential for a frictionless exploration of fantasies, through the adoption of glamorous new personae and the evocation of impossibly exotic locations.

Both groups share the fact that their overarching vision overrides individual ego, even though both have de facto leaders (Adrien Durand  – Amadou & Mariam, Papooz – for BVO, Charles de Bosseguin for L’Imperatrice), and singers are only part of an ensemble rather than the stars of the show. On the new EP from L’Impératrice, Dreaming Of You, singer Flore Benguigui comes and goes, with Loïc Fleury – the singer with Microqlima label-mates Isaac Delusion – taking the lead on the title track. BVO’s sumptuous global smorgasbord of an album Jungle? Quelle Jungle?, meanwhile, features a cast of guests including Halo Maud and actress Agathe Bonitzer.