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TTC - 3615

TTC, 1615

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FRENCH hip hop has emerged as a credible alternative to the more mainstream sound of Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent thanks to the success of MC Solaar and NTM.

TTC may not be as widely known but their third album 3615 certainly shows why the idea of French singers strutting their hip-hop credentials isn’t as humourous as it initially sounds.

Certainly, there’s an initiation period to get over. French lyrics and accents don’t automatically sit comfortably alongside grinding beats without sounding kitsch. And there’s the suspicion that they’re best suited to French action films such as District 13, when the insistent rhythms work perfectly in tandem with the athleticism of the free-running actors.

But once you’ve got used to the Euro feel, there is the odd surprise. Certainly, TTC’s decision to merge their hip-hop flow with a more electronic synth sound more in keeping with their European roots keeps things viable.

While other traces of house and techno seem perfectly in keeping with the dance scene, that will undoubtedly help a couple of the tracks to crossover to become banging crowdpleasers.

Highlights include Travailler, which contains a smart electronic vibe and some finger-clicking beats, and the cheeky Strip Pour Moi, which could well provide a fitting soundtrack for a saucy night in (or the backdrop to a movie scene in a strip club). Ambition is also a smart performer that contains a cinematic sweep worthy of Jean-Michelle Jarre.

Obviously, there’s no real way of apreacting how clever the wordplay is unless you have a strong command of French, but there is something chic about some of the tracks that makes it impossible to dismiss the album completely. It provides a diverting alternative to some of the harder hip hop sounds that underlines the fact that the genre still has plenty of life in it for the more discerning.

Production comes from DJ Orgasmic, Para One, Tacteel, Modeselektor and Tido Berman himself and has plenty to take notice of for the more ambitious listener without necessarily converting you completely.

Track listing:

  1. Quand Je Claque Des Doigts
  2. Paris Paris
  3. Turbo
  4. (Pas La Peine D’appeler Je Ne Reponds Pas Au) Telephone
  5. Travailler
  6. Ce Pou Vou
  7. Antenne 2
  8. J’ai Le Son
  9. Frotte Ton Cul Par Terre
  10. Strip Pour Moi
  11. Ambition
  12. Une Bande De Mec Sympa