L’Equipe Du Son is the alias of Dutch disco producer Rutger Van Der Kraats, and to be honest it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that his L’Equipe Du Son alias isn’t exactly on many people’s radars, he certainly wasn’t on ours until we posted the Dubka remix of his last single, and we can’t for life of us work out why.
The Dutch producer has just released his second full-length which the producer concedes is a lot more “ballsy” than his last, and we’d have to agree. The album is a hodgepodge of disco, synth pop, French bangers, acid and other odds-and-sods. It’s brimming with skits and sampled intros to try and give the album some narrative.
The album starts on a steady footing with the first standout track ‘Transmission 1 Le Rocker’, which is an ode to all things French and Touch, but there’s also a significant rock influence giving a decent sense of purpose. It doesn’t take long for Rutger’s retro side to rear its head with ‘Supermarchie’ which ends up sounding somewhere between the playfulness of Lindstrom and Grum’s gleaming disco leads, though, we’d concede it doesn’t quite have the same production quality.
‘C’est L’Equipe’ reverts back to type and is an upbeat French touch track straight out of pages of history, we especially love the infectious country lead. As the album progresses Rutger does his best to try and hit as many bases as possible with varying levels of success: ‘Beauty Is The Light’ falls someway short of what has come before it, although the breakdown is worth the entry fee alone.
‘Lesson 2’ is probably the weirdest track we’ve come across in a while; it’s kinda like Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’ crossed with Mylo’s ‘Destroy Rock And Roll’ – but Rutger’s sample isn’t as profound and is all about the female vagina.
The album steps up a gear with the churning funk basslines of ‘Little Maniac’ and ‘The Wolfman’ which both show-off Rutger’s ability to create broad strokes of emotion and excitement. The final couple tracks don’t sit quite as well as his earlier efforts – you’ve got the over-bearing acid rave of ‘Transmission 2 Blinding’ and ‘Falling Down’ where the vocal doesn’t quite have the impact you’d hope for.
Overall the album is good, though the skits and intros sometimes impact upon the flow and narrative of the album, but it does show some serious production talent, and while there a few missteps it is an entertaining listen from start to finish, which can’t be said of most albums. Ultimately it’s a satisfying endeavour.
Competition: To celebrate the release of the album, Rutger is offering you the chance to win a limited edition CD of the album, leave a comment below and we’ll choose a winner at the end of the week – there are 5 CDs to be won.
HBF Rating 3.5/5
We got the chance to speak to Rutger about his influences, his new album, living in the Netherlands and what he’d be doing in an alternative universe if he wasn’t making music.
HBF: For those of us who don’t know you: tell us your name and where you’re from?
Hi, my name is L’Equipe du Son which is something like ‘sound team’ in French. I am not French, though, I live in the beautiful city of Amsterjam.
HBF: You’re obviously from the Netherlands, a place rich in electronic music history, has it been a big influence on you musically?
Yeah The Netherlands definitely have some good DJ/Producers but I’m more influenced by French types of house (filtered, sampled, cut-up) and Disco, of course. That’s how I would see myself, did the name gave it away? haha. But I also love techno, too, by the likes of Derrick May, Jeff Mills and such.
HBF: What was the main concept behind your new album? Did you do anything different this time around compared to last time?
I can’t really commit to one style, it’s more a state of mind that I’m in at that moment when I am making the track. I think this album is a bit more ‘ballsy’ then my previous album ‘Supersonic’.
HBF: It’s clearly influenced by a lot things, from modern day club music to 80s synth music – who do you credit as big influences on your sound?
It’s not so much who but more 80’s pop culture in general. Maybe I’m stuck in that period…makes ya wonder.
HBF: How long did it take to make it from start to finish – do you use a lot of analogue gear or soft synths?
It took me quite a while, I think I started a year ago with the first ideas. And I abso-freakin-lutely love analogue gear which doesn’t make the process much faster. I have a small home studio and in the beginning I was able to sit here with friends but now I bearly fit in it myself. At this moment my favourite piece of kit is the Korg MS 10 but only because I sold my Moog LP, I’m getting the Voyager soon too. That will probably be my new favourite.
HBF: There are lots of skits and intermissions between tracks giving the album a hip hop style narrative in places – what was the intention behind this?
I like skits, people should make more skits. I also love sampling which is also very hip hop like. I imagined this album is like flippin’ thru channels on your television. Some parts more literally then others but that’s the general idea behind the intro and skits.
HBF: If you weren’t making music what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Hmmm… being miserable.
HBF: Tell us a secret about yourself that no one knows.
I wept during E.T.
HBF: If your studio was one fire and you could go in and save one thing, what would it be and why?
Difficult one; the back-up would probably be wise but maybe my Voltron robots..Ow and Megatron, there limited editions – I mean come on I can get the gear again. Although, my 707 is quite small, so I could fit that in one hand too..this is just a pure evil question.www.soundcloud.com/lequipe-du-