Jean-Baptiste de Laubier, aka Para One has long crossed the borders between house, techno, electro, R&B and hip-hop. From his Parisian base he's made a rich and influential career (alongside peers such as Justice, Sebastian and DJ Medhi) out of music suffused with a hyperactive intensity. This restlessness and ambition is writ large on his new opus 'Passion' - from the melancholic Tangerine Dream-esque ambience of opener 'Ice Cold' to the frenetic spastik of 'Wake Me Up' calling to mind Rustie with a gallic twist, to the driving futuristic bleep techno of 'Sigmund' coming on like prime period LFO.
Vocal contributions come from Irfane, Jaw and the incomparable Teki Latex, who on 'Lean On Me' (the first single from the album) croons a sweet tale of tender desire, the track is a futuristic 2-step ballad sprinkled with skittering percussion, strutting top lines and slurping sine wave chords - broken up with a stunning centrepiece of stammering amen breaks and hiccuping drums that would make Squarepusher or AFX proud.
Elsewhere can be found hints of 2-step, deep house, IDM and boogie - it’s a singular, idiosyncratic record, somehow made with a cohesive approach, as de Laubier explains: "I'm trying to bring emotionally honest music to people. My songs always start from a sound, that is the symptom of an emotion - you choose a major chord and then you realise you've had a pretty good day so far, it embodies the invisible. The beautiful thing is that it can also give you emotions in return, it can change you."
Para One got his start as no-nonsense hip-hop producer in the mid-nineties, making beats for underground rap artists. His studio apartment in Southern Paris served as his studio, MCs coming on a daily basis, crammed around a mic and an MPC. Producing his own instrumental tracks and led him to the highly influential TTC collective, then at the core of the burgeoning French indie rap scene. This was the beginning of a new exploration in sound for him: from traditional rap, Para One switched to IDM and fizzing techno-infused beats. Production for a slew of influential hip-hop albums from followed, an his debut album 'Epiphanie' for the influential Institubes imprint.
Intense touring years followed, both as a DJ and live act, all over the world, alongside other Institubes artists such as Surkin and Bobmo. He also became a hot remixer (Daft Punk, Bloc Party, Justice, Boys Noize, etc.) and producer (Birdy Nam Nam, Slice & Soda and now Mickey Green). In 2007, he composed the soundtrack for his Femis friend Céline Sciamma’s movie Water Lilies, and directed his own film in 2010, It Was On Earth That I Knew Joy. With 'Passion' Para One has written the next unforgettable chapter in what can only be described as a stunning career.
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