Chloé: A French Folkie Retreats
- Words: Janet Tzou
“French people complain all the time, but I find it energizing,” observes DJ/producer Chloé–first name only, please–affectionately. After 12 years in the underground club scene–where this 31-year old native Parisian has evolved into a well-known figure in French clubland–Chloé debuts her first album, The Waiting Room, this month; an introspective peek into quiet acoustic melody, moody strings, and spare, breathy vocals, it interprets electronic music from a place far from the dancefloor.
“My live sets are more downtempo than my DJ sets,” Chloé explains dryly, “as my DJ sets are played in a location where people come to dance.” Still, for a girl who first kicked out folk songs on her four-track at the age of 15, and who continues to play guitar, it’s hardly surprising that folks remains a strong influence in her production work. Like many electronic artists, Chloé names iconic songwriter Serge Gainsbourg as an influence
Chloé’s 2006 release, The Dysfunctional Family, with Radio Nova personality and former Black Strobe member Ivan Smagghe (whom Chloé says is “like my husband or my brother”) further explored her love of genre- (and gender-) bending. Released on their Kill the DJ imprint, Dysfunctional was critically hailed for its zig-zag departure from the dancefloor. “The idea was to assemble all kinds of music that we liked, not necessarily club music,” she explains. “We wanted to disturb the traditional value of genders.”
Her upcoming tour schedule (which includes DJing across Japan, Israel, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and England) will be a fierce one, where Chloé intends to start work on her sophomore album and explore collaborations with other artists, including French filmmaker Lidia Terki.
More than anything, Chloé’s travels have felt very personal. “Music has taught me that when you work hard on something you want, you can have it,” muses Chloé. “It’s brought me freedom to play all over the world with my own style, even if I have to miss café crème and French food.”
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