This enthralling “20 Years Compilation” sees Sébastien Léger mark the conclusion of his year-long celebration of his past two decades in the music business. The retrospective on his own established Mistakes Music label is formed of a selection of Sébastien’s favourite tracks - ones that he thinks deserve to be known, discovered and revisited at this landmark point in his career. This isn’t about greatest hits, the selection reflects all his tastes over the years as a producer, providing a unique opportunity to hear his musicin the context of when it was originally released and join the dots through the years right up to his sounds of today.
The compilation’s opening track, the quirkily hypnotic “Popcorn”, appeared under the guise of Elesse on Goodtime Records back in 2001. “Octopussy” (2003) originally appeared on the “First Beats EP”, the debut release on Sébastien’s (now defunct) Bits Music label and gives a nod to the ''French Touch'' movement that was so prominent at the time, with its discofied filter-house roots. Bits Music was operational until the end of 2006, unleashing a total of 7 diverse releases. “Mooguno”(2005) is an inspired electro-techno track showing Sébastien’s funk-fuelled sound slowly edging towards a quirkier techno style.
A steady stream of quality releases through the noughties saw Sébastien also appear on ever more prominent international labels such as Ovum, Defected and Carl Cox’s respected Intec label, on which “Bad Clock 04” (2006) became a hugely popular techno monster with its distinctive, powerful, energetic qualities.
With Sébastien’s super-prolific work rate there are always going to betracks that never get to see the light of day, and so the inclusion of “Never Ever” (2005) is a special never-before-released treat. It’s timeless, slower tempo, Detroit inspired, funky melodic techno style could see it become a highlight in many DJ’s sets today, a decade after it was created.
Sébastien’s intense creativity and productivity in the mid-noughties saw his name break through into the upper echelons of electronic music, each week seemingly a stunning new track in a different style would appear. His remix talents were highly sought after and are represented at this point by a trio of works.
His monstrously funky acidic remix of Claude Von Stroke’s “Deep Throat” (2006) appeared on the French Electro/House/Tech-House label - Electrochoc Records (backed with a DJ Sneak interpretation), having been licensed from Dirtybird and was predictably huge. That same year Sébastien’s delightfully twisted melodic reworking of Fairmont’s “Gazebo” was the stunning ''A-side'' when Electrochoc licensed the original track from James Holden’s Border Community Recordings. Sébastien’s strong links within the French techno community have always been an important thread throughout his career and his interpretation of fellow French techno master Julian Jeweil’s “Air Conditionné”, released in2007, shows yet another side to Sébastien’s creative palette as it incorporates trance elements into the mix.
It is worth noting that while the Sébastien Léger techno style developed, he was continually experimenting and also released electro bangers, sensual vocal records, peak-time house romps and melody heavy epics that combined his rolling grooves with almost progressive/trance sensibilities. It genuinely would be hard to name another producer who could match him for versatility and consistency.
The inception of his Mistakes Music label in 2007 meant Sébastien could begin to refine and develop his signature sound further. He honed in on an infectious style of techno that took some of the intricacy and groove of the European minimal sound, fattened it up to big room proportions and blended it with his inimitable skill of crafting infectious riffs and hooks.
“Sun”, taken from his 2007 solar system themed artist album “Planets” on Mistakes Music is a beautiful example of an artist whose creativity is in full flow. When “Jaguar” appeared as a single-sided 12” vinyl release in March 2008, this respectfully creative take, on the Underground Resistance classic by Aztec Mystic aka DJ Rolando, made the musical world sit-up and take notice even more with itsexpanded melodic genius. The quirky percussive “Le Moustique” (2009) was the 12th release on Mistakes Music always brings a smile to people’s faces whenever they hear it, and “Majuro” (Mistakes Music) appeared on “Majestic”, the final release of 2008 and is one of those special secret tracks that all true music junkies love when they findone hidden away as the AA2 cut on 12” vinyl. “Sunset” was released the following year and is another classic funk-fuelled timeless techno track that stands the test of time and cries out to become a DJ’s secret weapon for today. The inclusion of “Polymog” (the 2011 30th release on Mistakes Music) is a reminder that the melodic beauty of the best music is somewhat timeless.
As a contrast to Eric Prydz' house productions, his Cirez D alter ego brings dark techno to the party, the Sébastien Léger remix of “On Off” came out on Sweden’s Mouseville label (2010) and was (and still is) absolutely huge. The Swedish connection started a few years earlier with Sébastien’s remix for Ida Engberg (who is married Adam Beyer). “Disco Volante”(2006) is yet another memorable example of how distinctively creative the French techno master can be. Another choice cut included here is his remix of Format B’s “Dog Tag”, which lit up 2010 on the Berlin-based Formatik label with its funked-up percussive masterclass.
Bringing things right up to date and to round off “20 Years” in style, Sébastien has selected to reveal three new creations here for the first time. “The Dark Forest”, “Silvery Sounds” and “Swinging Me Off” show that he remains one of the most exciting creative forces around today, preferring to carve his own niche rather than tap into the sound of the moment - and it is this resolute defiance and desire to be original that ensures his longevity. With his Mistakes Music label going strong and his newly launched Temple Of Lions label steadily becoming yet another huge success, 2015 marks the end of an amazing musical chapter in the creative life of Sébastien Léger, but maybe more importantly, marks the start of what is set to be a very exciting future.
20 Years Compilation
01. Elesse – Pop Corn (2001)
02. Sébastien Léger - Octopussy (2003)
03. Sébastien Léger - Mooguno (2005)
04. Sébastien Léger - Bad Clock 04 (2006)
05. Sébastien Léger - Never Ever (Unreleased) (2005)
06. Ida Engberg - Disco Volante (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2006)
07. Claude VonStroke - Deep Throat (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2006)
08. Fairmont - Gazebo (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2006)
09. Julian Jeweil - Air Conditionné (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2007)
10. Sébastien Léger - Sun (2007)
11. Sébastien Léger - Jaguar (2008)
12. Sébastien Léger - Majuro (2008)
13. Sébastien Léger - Le Moustique (2009)
14. Sébastien Léger - Sunset (2009)
15. Cirez D - On Off (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2010)
16. Format B - Dog Tag (Sébastien Léger Remix) (2010)
17. Sébastien Léger – Polymod (2011)
18. Sébastien Léger - The Dark Forest (2014)
19. Sébastien Léger - Silvery Sounds (2014)
20. Sébastien Léger – Swinging Me Off (2014)