Ben Thomas aka L’Étranger, is a French House musician hailing from Merseyside in the UK. Running his own label, Thomorrow, as well as creating and remixing tracks, L’ Étranger is one of those intricate musicians in the genre. Falling For You is a great example of this, check it!
FS: Hello all! Today we’ve managed to get L’Étranger here to have a chat with us. Let’s jump straight in shall we? So what is it about the French House genre that fascinates you the most?
L: I think it was because that was the soundtrack to my childhood. I grew up in the 90s and the tail end of the 90s and early 2000s French House is what dominated radio stations. So whenever I listen to Music Sounds Better With You or One More Time it takes me back to being a kid.
FS: We spoke to The Phantom’s Revenge about sampling in the genre too, do you think that it’s quite easy to sample tracks?
L: Shouts to Phantom, his stuff is dope!
The great thing about sampling is anyone can do it. I think some of the best examples of sampling are from the golden era of hip hop. These guys used their turntables as instruments and created some outstanding music, whilst breathing new life into the artists they sampled, leading to a whole new generation discovering jazz, soul and R&B.
Sampling is a great compositional tool, but only when it’s done well. When it’s done well, it can hark back to an era gone by and create a really vivid sense of nostalgia with the listener. Always clear samples though. It can be drawn out and it’s an expensive process, but it’s a must.
FS: What are your top 3 disco records?
FS: Those are some nice choices! Now your label Thomorrow, explain how that came around?
L: I started Thomorrow in May 2013 as a place to release my b-sides and demos, but now it’s a fully fledged label. I’m involved in someway with every release, whether it be exec production or mixing/mastering. Thomorrow has been a great way to work with a plethora of different artists from around the globe. From House to Hip-Hop, from Jersey Club to Jazz, as long as the artist is doing something different I’ll sign them. I’ve been working with some great artists and have some dope material in the pipeline for next year.
In the meantime, our next release is a track I worked on with Vallès early this year entitled “Sorrow“. It features him on Rhodes and then me replaying some guitar parts on my Fender Mustang, it was a lot of fun. The full release will be out late November.
FS: Interesting stuff there, we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for your new content! Stink Floyds’ EP is pretty neat too, how’d he get round to producing for your label?
L: He’s a mate of mine that wishes to remain totally anonymous.
But not as the same reason as Trippy Turtle, Yolo Bear or the 10k other anon Jersey Club producers on Soundcloud. I got into Jersey Club a couple of years back thanks to Sam Tiba’s tapes and it was around that time Stink sent over a demo of New Odour. I acted as exec producer on Stank Side and kept mixing/mastering to a minimum to preserve his raw sound. The last EP Fish You Were Here I was barely involved with, just some rough mastering in the final stages.
I know Stink was moved by Nadus’ Broke City where Nadus gave back to his community by donating all sales of the record to the Newark Boys Chorus. So Stink wanted to do something similar by encouraging people to donate to the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, which is something I know hits close to home with him.
FS: Anyone you’d love to produce for you on Thomorrow?
L: I’ve been in talks with Egyptian producer Allen Walker who is a legend, so we should be putting out some of his material next year.
I’m fascinated by Welsh producer dJJ, I’d LOVE to put out some material from him.
FS: Ok last question now: A super group of electronic music’s 4 best artists is formed to save the Earth from an impending apocalypse. Who would be in it and why?
L: Okay so if there’s an apocalypse there’s a good chance we’re gonna have to evacuate the Earth and find another planet so my answers are based on that premise.
Eiffel 65 – As I believe they’ve had previous experience with aliens.
Brian Eno – He’d be perfect for creating long soundscapes for the long journey to the other planet.
Kraftwerk – They know stuff about electronics ‘n’ that, so they could probably step in to repair the ship.
SebastiAn – We’d need someone to keep up morale.
FS: Well that’s definitely one way of putting it! Thanks to L’Étranger for taking the time to talk to us, and check out his tracks and social media links below!