French electro/turntablism foursome Birdy Nam Nam‘s third LP, Defiant Order, produced by Para One, dropped September 19 on Jive Epic. As a first time listener of the group, I’m sort of surprised that the name isn’t more widespread. It certainly seems like they have a reputation within their particular circles, because, well, they’re pretty freaking good.
Defiant Order is a difficult album to classify. The first thing I picked up on was a particular breed of clean, clear production that I usually associate with more mainstream house music. Here, it’s applied to something a bit different — something that’s a bastard child of dirty french electro, hip hop, and perhaps even some recent dubstep (some of the tracks, like “Defiant Order,” have a wobbly undertone and employ certain effects that are reminiscent of acts like Feed Me. I don’t know why).
I definitely wouldn’t confuse Birdy Nam Nam with these acts, but suffice to say that they blend a lot of different genres. “Cadillac Dreams” brings in dark rapping that’s reminiscent of both Tyler, the Creator and Salem (“Goin’ In” also brings in deep, hip-hoppy vocals blended with sounds that are clearly techno). “Big City Knights” is infused with a more deep, minimal sound that makes me think of Gui Boratto or Claude VonStroke. This is one of those albums that one could draw endless comparisons with. I could spend an entire day typing out a massive list of unrelated artists who, for some reason, I want to compare Defiant Order‘s tracks to.
I’d say that’s a good thing — let’s be honest, we don’t necessarily want something 100% new most of the time. We want to see things that we already love and depend on twisted around in new ways so that familiarity is blended with novelty. Defiant Order is a solid dance LP with something for everyone.
Purchase: Birdy Nam Nam – Defiant Order