Those of you who have seen 'The Science of Sleep' (or any other Michel Gondry film for that matter) will know that deep inside so-called French self-involvement lies a true heart. But let's be honest about it: If the French have written the greatest love songs of all time, it’s not entirely because of their romantic souls, it’s more due to their sincere, passionate, and erotic love of, well, the notion of love itself. Is France a nation which treasures love as a myth more than love as a beautiful human emotion?
Etienne Daho and Sweetlight, along with Gondry, go against this grain. 'Le Grand Sommeil' is a splendidly true, heart-warming dance record. It’s been played everywhere for over a year now, including by Tiga himself at the end of his Essential Mix months ago, and Tiga now has finally seen fit to release it via his own Turbo Recordings.
Sweetlight are known for inflicting French-rave hysteria, chiefly via their huge, glittering (and infamous) techno hit 'Abusator', and 'Le Grand Sommeil' exploits this trance know-how while also paying homage to a great French pop song. Sweetlight gently touch Etienne Daho's 'Le Grand Sommeil' by sampling the main, juicy chunk of it and looping it through the entire song to turn it into an anthem rather than the tender ballad that it was. The bass is just about right, maintaining an important presence but not sounding too abrasive, while sparse synth overtones of understated euphoria and diminutive techno strokes set the tone for Daho's rich voice. The B-side, 'Mellowdrame in a Mellow World', is celestially Stereolab-esque, involving a gloomy dramatic narrative which would function as a fantastic after-hours closer. So really, who says the French are all about bloated intellectualism a la Michel Foucault?
Tracklist: Sweetlight - Le Grand SommeilA Le Grand Sommeil [feat. Etienne Daho - vocals]
B Mellowdrame In A Mellow World