At the pinnacle of 1995 and Daft Punk’s new album on the horizon, Thomas Bangalter decided to change things up a bit. He and Gildas Loaëc, would go on to create Roulé, a label that would captivate an audience for the rest of time. It only lasted 7 years, so why does it still continue to enthrall an audience bigger than expected?
Tracks on the rocks
Roulé’s first EP would be “Trax On Da Rocks” by one half of Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter. Tracks like “Outrun” and “Ventura” would both make it onto the soundtrack of the 2002 French art film, “Irréversible” along with many other original compositions from the artist himself. Strangely enough, the movie’s soundtrack was created on purpose to make the viewer ‘uneasy’.
Boys Noize has credited Thomas Bangalter’s “Trax On Da Rocks” EP as ‘one of the most influential club records, as a DJ and a producer’.
Bangalter, Diamond and Braxe
Pretty much a year after the release of Trax On Da Rocks, Bangalter releases the “Spinal Scratch” single, again to great acclaim. It was time to get a few fresh faces on the label though. Alongside Alan Braxe’s “Vertigo“, the label released quite possibly one of the most well known house songs ever created – Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You”.
Alan Braxe, Benjamin Diamond and the man himself, Thomas Bangalter all played a part in “Music Sounds Better With You” and it still continues to be a big deal to this day. Highly sought-after and played religiously, the single inspired a future generation of musicians and DJs alike. It single-handedly changed the musical forefront forever.
After the arousing success of Stardust, attention turned to the likes of Roy Davis Jr and DJ Falcon’s releases. However, the standout release in this era of Roulé had to be Romanthony and his single “Hold On”.
The track “Hold On” would become a timely and nostalgic centerpiece in the house industry, spearheading Romanthony’s career to new heights than ever before. Even so, in 2001, Romanthony would lend his voice in two of the tracks on Daft Punk’s second album, “Discovery”.
Sadly though, Romanthony would pass away in 2013. He has left a legacy behind himself for many people to follow in his footsteps.
An unlikely combination of both Thomas Bangalter and DJ Falcon would arise as ‘Together’ in the beginning of the millenium. The self-titled track was in essence, a banger and still continues to be played out at clubs across the world.
Two years later, “So Much Love To Give” would cement their legendary status as a house couplet, with the likes of Fedde Le Grande and many other musicians covering the notoriously well-known house track.
Interestingly enough, Together would produce a version of “Call On Me“, a long time before Eric Prydz would release his version. No one exactly knows the reason why the two tracks are extremely related with one another, but both have their key strengths and weaknesses.
What Did Roulé Leave Behind?
Roulé was a prized label in the electronic music industry and unlike most outlets, still continues to stand the test of time compared the newest genres of music like Trap and Dubstep.
If you own any of the releases on the label, then consider yourself lucky. You own a piece of musical history. The trademark roulette wheel and dingy yellow background set themselves apart from anything else. You can really understand now why Bangalter ‘rolled’ the dice on this one.