Le Bain

Claap Claap Le Bain

We chat with Parisian duo Claap & Santana before they return to Le Bain on Friday, November 10th.
LE BAIN: Tell us about Cap Ferret in France. I read it inspired your latest EP, Dune.
CLAAP: Cap Ferret is one of those magic places in France, especially La Pointe, which is the very end of the peninsula where the bay meets the ocean. It’s a protected area, and still quite wild with no big buildings, only fishermen style houses, long beaches with old World War II bunkers sinking in the sand, pine forests, and an amazing view over the Dune du Pilat. Hence, the title of our latest EP. 

"The last few years have seen the birth of many French pop bands."

Is there something Balearic about Cap Ferret?
It’s like a reduced, French version of the Hamptons, but at the same time some of our dearest friends who live there follow this hippie lifestyle, enjoying life and nature, hanging out always barefoot and often naked, surfing, writing songs with their guitars on the beach... We have lots of artists amongst our friends there, and there’s always an impromptu concert in an oyster hut or a fun DJ set at the local club institution Six Club.

Would you say there is a new generation of French pop coming up recently?
Definitely. The last few years have seen the birth of many French pop bands, which is really exciting. Borders between genres are fading. Some bands such as The Pirouettes, for instance, use punchlines in their otherwise very pop-y songs, and hip-hop artists such as Myth Syzer release amazing pop songs, such as his song "Le Code." On the electronic side of things, there are, for instance, the cool duo Paradis, or Exotica (we love their cover of Françoise Hardy’s song), or our buddies Polo & Pan and their fantastic musical universe. Yuksek’s Partyfine label promotes this new generation of French pop, with artists such as Poom, Weekend Affair, Jean Tonique, and us.
Myth Syzer's "Le Code"

There is a darker side to your duo with your project High Ceilings. What’s up with that? 

We have a wide range of influences in music, coming from different genres, eras, and artists we like, from reggae to French '80s pop music to techno to hip-hop. When you have so many materials to work with, you need to make choices in order to have a clear message and deliver a digestible art. With Claap & Santana, we focus on the electro-pop song girl within us who likes to play with congas, homemade drums, and other exotic percussions. With High Ceilings, we let our creativity run wild and we experiment instrumentally and vocally.

How does that translate?
Santana, for instance, works more with her head voice than usual, so we blend different pitches of voices together to build harmonies and give a totally new texture to our sound just with the vocals. As for the instrumentals, we use lots of analog synths and raw sounds with uptempo beats, which are better suited for dark rooms and dance floor crowds. High Ceilings is kind of our M. Hyde. 
Santana, tell us about the city of Cotonou, which is also the name of your fashion line.
SANTANA: Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, a country of West Africa. It's on the south coast of the country, between Togo and Nigeria. It's the land of my parents and grandparents. My aunt who is more like a grandma to me is the matriarch of the family over there. She's a very active woman despite her age and is very coquettish, too, like all the women there. Cotonou is crowded, humid, hot, and delicious at the same time. It's a very busy city with the biggest international market in all of Africa (Dantokpa). People are very spiritual, whether its ancestral believes, Christianity, or Islam. It's a mixed and rich culture.

It must be inspiring. 
Very inspiring. We are currently making the first men's and women's collection. Matching shirts for men and women, costumes, and T-shirts mostly. It's pretty convenient for me to wear my own designs when I'm performing either at a live concert or DJ set! 

On Friday, November 10th, Le Bain presents That Work
feat. DJ sets by Claap & Santana, That Work,
and a live performance by Lewis OfMan
The Standard, High Line | 10PM

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