Known primarily for its more well known members, namely Neana and Sheen (formerly Georgia Girls), sparse, rough and tumble take on club music, the Gang Fatale set/label has amassed a small cadre of stylistically coherent artists from the UK and beyond. Trap Door and Kieran Loftus both cleared out space for themselves via EP releases, Emerald Dove on B.YRSLF and All Black Outfit on Paradise Rhythm respectively, while Bleaker, Clara La San, Simon Divine, Basile (formerly Prince Jean) and co-label head Ra’s Al have all released tantalizing snippets, single drops and other ephemera. We’ve got the Paris-based Basile on for this week’s Astral Plane mix and the French producer, keyboard wizard and visual artist came through with a stomping, disarmingly referential volume of his own productions, edits, loops and favorites from others.
Having already released an album’s worth of keyboard jams, new age, jazz and more than a few vocoder-heavy tracks on Astro Nautico, there’s plenty of Basile material out in the world, but that doesn’t make it any easier to pinpoint his aesthetic. There’s a little Tangerine Dream and a little Strictly Rhythm, a little Zapp & Roger and a little Principe Discos. Like his Gang Fatale compatriots, the Frenchman’s sound is an amalgam of disparate eras and genres, a geographically implacable combination of influences and technological flourishes. Names like Ty Dolla $, Drake and Iamsu show up in the track list of his Astral Plane mix, but the mix is neither an out an out party tape, nor is it an abrasion-inducing club volume as the SD Laika (in edit form) inclusion might connote.
In his own words, the mix is an “inclusive” look at the club, intended to be consumed “with an open mind and a chaotic approach” and that’s exactly where any discussion of Basile should be begin. In a world where house and techno are the only true insider forms of dance music in the underground at large, the club music community has formulated itself as something of an outsider clan, banging at the doors of the establishment. And while that approach isn’t necessarily wrongheaded, it is alienating. Basile’s take on club music is as inclusive as any softball house or techno record, but he retains the jagged edge and re-inventive spirit so favored in the club music community. In a sense, this inclusive approach can be boiled down to semantics, whether or not an artist engages with a perceived establishment shouldn’t really matter, but Basile’s particular brand of populism and stylistic incorporation really does come into focus when you listen to Anumi Pause or the mix below. It’s effortless, or at least it seems that way.