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Cosmic Boys give the lowdown on Techno in France

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Cosmic Boys are a French duo who have put their stamp on the global techno scene in 2020 with numerous tracks hitting the top of sales charts including a collaboration with UMEK.

Currently inside Beatport’s Top 10 Techno Chart with a remix of Mark Reeve, the guys show no signs of slowing down and their new release is a two track EP on their own label Legend.

Sebastien Bevil and Gaby Meynadier are the pair that make up the Cosmic Boys and although they are now major players on the global scene, we asked them to get a little closer to home, and through their own eyes give us the lowdown on the French techno scene.

How did you first discover techno, and do you think this is the same for most others living in France?

(Seb) – For me, it was with my older cousin Patrick, who listened to electro/techno CD’s when we would go driving in his car. That is how I listened to techno for the first time at the age of 8 years old, and I remember loving it straight away!

(Gaby) – Electronic music has always attracted me. It was the ‘90s when I first heard dance music on the radio. Synthesisers and drum machines always appealed to me, but it was when I went to a club where the DJ was playing techno, that I realised this was to be my favourite style.

In France, techno music arrived quite quickly. Paris and Montpellier were the two “capitals” of techno at the start of the movement. What put those cities on the map were the events of Laurent Garnier at Rex Club in Paris, and the in the South it was the events of Pinguins and Manu le Malin at Borealis in Montpellier.

Which French artist has had the biggest influence on the countries club scene?

Without a doubt, Daft Punk are the French electronic music artists who had the most influence… not just in the French club scene, but also the rest of the world! For us, they are the No.1 reference as France’s most accomplished artists.

Do you think the French club scene reflect that of other countries in Europe or elsewhere in the world?

For us, today the French club scene unfortunately does not reflect that of other countries. We play all over the world and feel that techno is much more popular in other countries in comparison to France. Unfortunately, many clubs institutions are no longer in France, like the Villa Rouge, La Nitro, Zig Zag and more …..

It is increasingly complicated for clubs to be able to do 100% techno all the time. They must diversify and cover a wide spread of electronic styles, because today the French like techno, but trance, EDM, electro pop, nu disco, indie dance, rap and others are more popular.

It is not at all like in Germany for example, where the underground scene is still going strong, and is preserved by a constant stream of young people excited for techno.

In your opinion, which are the countries best event promoters, festivals, and venues?

In the South of France, we historically have a great electronic music culture/scene thanks to legendary clubs like Bar Live and Villa Rouge, but sadly those have now closed down. But there is an event organiser that continues to keep the techno scene alive with their “Family Piknik” festival where we have played before. This festival continues to grow, and last year the was headlined by Carl Cox.

We also have the “I Love Techno Europe” event in Montpellier at the Exhibition Centre which happens every year.

The region of Brittany in the North West of France is an area we nicknamed “land” of festivals, as the electronic music scene there is flourishing with good clubs like the Warehouse, and big festivals like “Transmusicales de Rennes”. Transmusicales de Rennes is a “discovery” festival which has existed since 1979 and revealed to the public acts like Daft Punk or Birdy Nam Nam when they were still early in their careers. The organisers get a lot of support from people living in the local cities, city halls and prefectures and that helps them keep the line-ups current without having to rely on the same old crowd pleasers.

Is there a specific style or subgenre of techno that has its origins in France?

In France we have a lot of successful artists like David Guetta, Daft Punk, Laurent Garnier, Vitalic, Jean-Michel Jarre, Air and Bob Sinclar. Personally, we feel that the French sound is primarily an electro style of synth pop rather than techno, but we have a little bit of everything.

If someone wanted to find out more about the French scene, are there any good radio shows or streaming channels to listed to?

Yes, we have FG radio which has a good electronic music section and Clubbing TV channel.

Then, each region has its radio show specialised in electronic music or has smaller stations dedicated just to electronic music, but those are very localised.

In our region we have “Radio Aviva” which has its program “Electrovision” created and presented by Killian Bartok which is a great showcase of the Montpellier electronic scene.

In only five words, how would you summarise the French club scene?

Eclectic, Powerful, Past, Present, Future.

Cosmic Boys release their ‘Digital Love’ EP on their Legend label, you can grab a copy now!

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