Cerrone, the French disco legend and dance music pioneer, has today unveiled a new album: DNA, the 31st studio LP of his illustrious career. The album marks a return to Cerrone’s roots: unbridled dance music with a heavy focus on percussion – essentially his musical DNA.
DNA was largely inspired by Cerrone’s newfound appreciation for DJing, a craft he has perfected over recent years. Having performed as a drummer for the vast majority of his career, Cerrone was encouraged by his label (Because Music) to enter the DJ circuit several years ago. Initially he spurned the idea, considering himself a musician and drummer first and foremost, preferring to make music himself behind the drumkit. But he soon acquiesced and after dabbling in the art of record selection and mixing, Cerrone became hooked and soon began producing new records to play in his sets amongst some of his older hits like Supernature and Love In C Minor.
“I got caught up in this whole reinvention game. I started putting together snippets of music to feature in my sets. These sections then started to take shape, building into four-and-a-half even six-minute-long songs. Over the space of a few months, I quickly began to totally immerse myself in these sounds, little by little. They sounded vintage yet frighteningly current, with the kind of spirit I had at the beginning of my career, which is to create musical atmospheres rather than pop songs.” – remarks Cerrone
DNA is largely a progressive house album with sonic elements of disco: flush with old-school synthesizers, syncopated basslines and dynamic drum fills. Cerrone creates a sense of nostalgia that never risks sounding stale, offset by the polished production and driving percussion. Cerrone continues to play live drums on all of his productions, never once employing a drum machine across the album’s nine tracks. There’s even a nod to an earlier era by means of the track names; interpolating his classic track “Rocket In My Pocket” from 1978 on “I’ve Got A Rocket”.
DNA was prefaced by the single The Impact – released in September 2019 – a progressive house track that includes a sample of a speech by Jane Goodall, the heralded animal scientist: “Every single day we make some impact on the planet. We haven\\\\\\\’t inherited this planet from our parents If we get together Then we can start to heal some of the scars that we\\\\\\\’ve inflicted”.
Cerrone has been concerned with human’s impact on the planet for as long as he can remember. In fact Supernature, considered his magnum opus, also serves as a prescient warning of human’s reckless abuse of the planet with clear implications of the dark future ahead. Cerrone recruited Lene Levich for vocals on Supernature way back in 1977, who’s eerily prescient warnings have sadly been all but realized:“Maybe nature has a plan to control the ways of man, He must start from scratch again many battles he must win, Till he earns his place on earth like the other creatures do, Will there be a happy end, now that all depends on you”.
Cerrone likens DNA to his earlier work from disco’s heydey of the 70s, embracing an era that influenced much of the electronic music that is prevalent today. DNA marks Cerrone’s first entirely instrumental album sans vocals, allowing him to fully focus on grooves and production.
“With this album, I reconnected with a musical period that I’d pushed somewhat to the wayside. This was basically my whole electronic period at the end of the 70s for example, Supernature and the series of soundtracks for Gérard de Villiers’ and Brigade Mondaine’s erotic films.”