During Winter Music Conference 2012 we were lucky enough to catch up with Louis La Roche during one of his rare North American visits. Amidst his Modernized EP, which was released last month, an album in the works and the success of his ‘Untrue‘ single, La Roche discusses the landscape of French house, the shortcomings of the progressive world and his dubstep alter-ego. If you aren’t familiar with his music, fall in love below.
Louis La Roche – Gimmie Gimmie
Geyster – A Change For The Better (Louis La Roche Innovation)
Louis La Roche – Malfuntion
Give us some history on Louis La Roche. Talk about your production roots and how you came up. Also, where did the name come from?
Louis is, and has always been, my way of showing my passion for house music. The ‘French Touch’ house-sound being my biggest influence.
It’s not something I’ve ever forced. By growing up in the 90’s, people like Daft Punk, Cassius, Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, they were all my heroes. They still are today. So, when i first started producing (i must of been 14, i bought my first pair of turntables at 12) it was the natural sound that came out of me. To me, it was just house music. When people told me it sounded like Daft Punk thats when i came up with the name Louis La Roche. I still hate my first EP, The Peach EP. I guess because i was only 17 at the time, i was still learning. Production isn’t something that you just pick up in a year. It takes many, many years to master. I’m still learning today.
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Talk about the state of French house music right now. The following is small, but loyal. Nowhere near the popularity of mainstream progressive house–but far more pure. No gimmicks. Who are the listeners and will the music grow?
It’s difficult to say. There’s a lot of different styles this time ’round. Some producers go for a disco sound, some use 80’s synthesized sounds and most of all the ‘French’-sound this time ’round is a mixture of house, nu disco and electro.
It seems to be a young crowd, a young following. I guess like myself, they all grew up with the Daft Punk/Cassius-sound during the 90’s. I think it’s too early to say if the sound will grow. Saying that though, Bobby Tank seems to have mixed dubstep with the French sound, it works and it’s interesting. Maybe we’ll see other genres mix into our sound.
Talk about the French house scene. Who are the players. Outside of Vanguard and Fred Falke a casual fan might not be in touch with that community. Tell us about it.
The Italians are His Majesty Andre & Phonat. The French are Madeon & Fred Falke. Americans are J Paul Getto and Nightriders and the British guys are myself and Vanguard. I’m not saying that’s all there is, but they are all key players i think.
Is French house a regional music? It seems, depending on where you go, the music is taken differently. Personally, I don’t think Americans appreciate the music as it should. Is it better received in the UK or other places?
There definitely isn’t a scene for it in the UK. I think when people are forced to listen to it they do like it, but it’s just getting them to hear it in the first place. The French Touch scene doesn’t have any big (in the commercial sense) producers out there. Duck Sauce are the closest thing we have i guess.
Is America a little behind the curve when it comes to dance music?
I think it’s got better in the last few years. My main problem with American dance music would be that it’s very different to the rest of the world. For example, Skrillex doesn’t sound like any dubstep in Europe.
Another example would be the Garage scene. The UK seem to be bringing back the UK Garage scene under the Future Garage genre. I don’t think America has any Future Garage artists.
During WMC a video surfaced of yourself and Amtrac going over the Beatport top 10. What are your feelings about other, more popular genres of dance music.
I think in music as a whole, especially dance and pop music, there’s too much ‘over-produced’ music. It’s all about how well it’s produced and not about the quality of the song. A lot of the main commercial dance acts all sound the same to me.
Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii etc. They all use the same plug-ins, the same sounds, the same techniques. Lots of trance pads and white noise. It’s all about the ‘drop’ in dance music now. A huge build up with white noise telling the people on the dance floor when to dance. It drives me crazy (as you can tell!)
Talk about your dub step alter-ego. Why dub step!?
I make a lot of music, different genres. Louis La Roche has always been and always will be the funky house stuff but I’m sitting on so much more music that isn’t the Louis La Roche sound at all. The first EWE EP was dubstep. It’s something i just had to get out of my system. The EWE album I’m working on isn’t dubstep at all. It’s definitely got a feel to it, it all works together. It’s just easy listening, experimenting with instruments for a change instead of samples. I can’t wait to finish it.
Favorite track of 2012 thus far? (any genre)
Favorite gig of 2012 thus far?
Being in Miami was amazing. Just being there gave me a huge buzz. I’m about to play my second tour of Australia so that will be a lot of fun also!
Last song played in your iPod.
Where is French house music going, going forward?
I think it’s just changing constantly. Peoples idea of the ‘French Touch’-sound is changing. It’s gone from house to electro, now it’s more disco and, very recently, at a much slower BPM. It’s almost like it’s not even House music anymore. It’s evolving, changing, becoming a new genre.
What are your plans for the rest of 2012?
I’m doing some tours, lots and lots of remixes at the moment and just working on writing new material. My debut album will be out this year, so it’s a busy time for me right now.