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Brodinski On Working With Kanye And Challenging The Parameters Of Techno

29 April 2015 | 3:38 pm | Cyclone Wehner

“I wanted to make an album that was a bit surprising, too – just moving the walls, breaking them and opening the spectrum.”

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Brava is a collision of techno and hip hop that French DJ/producer Brodinski, AKA Louis Rogé, hopes will “surprise”. The techno rebel from Reims commands a hardcore fanbase in Oz, last touring with 2014’s Future Music Festival. And, as it happens, on his first ‘artist’ album, Brava, he’s collaborated with an Australian – Georgi Kay. The Perth indie chick, who sang on the Ivan Gough/Feenixpawl club hit, In My Mind, features incongruously on Follow Me, Pt. 1 with Atlanta rapper Bloody Jay. Rogé and Kay had a label connection – and he and his manager, Bromance Records co-founder Manu Barron, caught her performing. Rogé then decided to “try something” with her. “I think she’s coming from a different world, but that’s what I tried to do with the album – it was to bring people together,” he says with a heavy accent.

Rogé’s bio claims he’d “flunk university”, but he took out a diploma to please his “Mama”, working in communications. His studio debut was 2007’s buzz 12”, Bad Runner. Later, Rogé conceived Bromance, now home to his creative partner Gesaffelstein, Club Cheval and, proving it’s no boys club, Louisahhh!!!. He and Gesaffelstein found themselves producing beats alongside Daft Punk for Yeezus – they’re credited on Black Skinhead. Rogé has since contributed to Theophilus London’s slept-on Vibes!.

Today the producer speaks glowingly of West. “I learned a lot from this experience – and it’s one of those experiences that makes me wanna spend some more time in the studio with people I respect.” He was impressed by West’s curiosity. “I feel like he’s not just a rapper – he’s a proper artist and he has a vision. If he asks you a question, it’s because he wants to understand more and know more.” Still, Rogé laughs at the suggestion he played a part in persuading West to possibly permanently relocate to Paris. “I don’t know if it’s because of me – I don’t think so! But, yeah, he put France back on the map in terms of rap and production and music and open-mindedness.”

Brava has a post-Yeezus orientation – a bit techno, a bit hip hop and a lot futuristic punk. Rogé has been influenced by US hip hop offshoots such as drill – cue: the lead single, Can’t Help Myself, featuring Chicago rapper SD – and, from the South, chopped & screwed and trap. Nonetheless, together with Gesaffelstein and Arca, Rogé is also reinventing techno. In 2013 the DJ described his “vision” for the album to Red Bull – he intended to show how “rap music would sound if techno people were doing it.” That holds true. Says Rogé, “I wanted to make an album that was a bit surprising, too – just moving the walls, breaking them and opening the spectrum.” And the Paris-based don wants to just continue challenging himself – “making music that doesn’t sound like anything [else].”

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