Pedro Winter’s career in the music industry is an iconic one. He was the longtime manager of mega-sensation Daft Punk before quitting to start his own label, Ed Banger Records. Home to celebrated artists like Justice, Sebastian, DJ Medhi, and Mr. Oizo, the four-year-old start-up has received international praise and has birthed and nurtured a distinctive French electro sound. But Winter’s production alias, Busy P–a tag that nods to the hustle that marks his career as a music businessman–isn’t a name that pops up too often on its own. That’s because Winter has only released a handful of original tracks and remixes so far. “I’ve been doing beats for 10 years, but my mission is all about Ed Banger Records,” he says. “I wake up for my artists first. My studio is in the basement–I [record] when I have time.”
His latest single, “Rainbow Man,” (on Ed Banger’s Ed Rec Vol 2. compilation) is a three-and-a-half-minute-long drilling repetition of a dark, circular synth sample with heavy compression. “Chop Suey,” from the first Ed Rec set, injects some particularly grinding, synthetics into a sample of 2 Live Crew’s Miami bass staple “I Wanna Rock”, preserving the original’s ass-popping tempo.
“I’m a kid of Kraftwerk,” says Winter. “Listening to the same loop for five minutes is not a problem for me. I discovered Run-DMC in 1989 during a trip to Canada. I went crazy–I bought all their albums. Then I discovered The Beastie Boys. My older brother taught me about Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Metallica. Being in love with two opposite genres makes me stronger, I guess. I can’t imagine a night without playing a hip-hop track or a track without guitar or a crazy drum solo. On my album, I’ll get MCs for sure.”
Splicing in a mix of cross-genre influences including heavy metal (Ed Banger takes its name from the MTV show Headbanger’s Ball), ghettotech, and industrial music, Ed Banger’s French electro style is harder and grimier than its predecessors’ house sound. “I like the little brother analogy,” Winter says of the new electro’s relationship to the French Touch scene. “Suddenly, people outside of France noticed something weird was happening here,” he continues. “At the same time, we were touring all around with our Ed Banger Records party. Kids came to it as they come to a rock show. I think we manage to bring the indie kids to clubs, and do raves in indie rock venues.”