Sometimes, a creative endeavor turns into a life-changingopportunity. Such was the case with Tetra, the first albumfrom C2C, a band of high-profile French DJs.A history built from ScratchT he four members of C2C, who first met in high schoolduring their teenage years, share a common musical culture,a subtle blend of electro, hip-hop and various otherinspirations, informed by the countless hours they spentscouring record shops in search of oftentimes obscurevintage LPs in a wide variety of styles, from jazz to hip-hopto soul music. Fascinated by the work of Q-Bert or DJShadow, the founding fathers of turntablism, a musicaldiscipline featuring turntables as a bona fide instrument,they set off to make a name for themselves at the turn of themillennium and soon started developing their own uniqueperforming style. T heir achievements in the competitioncircuit come second to none. T he quartet won the DMCWorld Competition four times in a row (2003-2006), thanksto their unique blend of breathtaking technical dexterity andinnate musical sensitivity. T he audiences and juries wereastonished by their highly playful yet remarkably skillful andspectacular routines, and the intoxicating jazzy tunes theymanaged to create by way of their surprisingly simplecontraptions. T heir performances and music videoscontinue to spread like wildfire, totaling more than 30 millionviews on YouTube alone.Individual questAside from their adventures within C2C, all four members lefttheir marks on the French musical scene. 20syl and Greemfounded Hocus Pocus, which is now widely recognized asone of the most sophisticated and accomplished hip-hopacts in Europe. T hey released a gold-certified album onMotown, earning two nominations at the French Grammies.T he Atom-Pfel duo morphed into Beat Torrent and rockedthe dance floors as one of the French electro scene’sedgiest formations. Together, they can boast more than athousand live performances. T hey never stoppedcollaborating, featuring on each other’s albums, and in theirminds C2C never ceased to exist. But 2010 was the yearwhen they finally reunited and locked themselves up in20syl’s studio to produce their first album as a single entity.Reunited
C2C’s true purpose had always been to produce music, orrather to devise a brand new way to create and performmusic. Now in their thirties, the quartet has matured withoutlosing any of its enthusiasm and energy. T he turntableremains their instrument of choice, but rather than relying onborrowed samples and scratches, C2C recorded anextensive palette of instruments including strings, brass,guitar, bass, keys, etc., often played and recorded with oldschoolequipment in order to capture the elusive “seventiessound” they so cherish. Harpsichord tunes meet funkybreakbeats without ever disrupting the harmony of the flow.A truly epileptic way of composing and arranging, a genuinecut-up frenzy turn their music into a living matter ready forany kind of experiment.Transcending boundariesSkill and technique are mere servants to the greater causeof music. T hanks to their uncanny way of manipulatingsounds and textures – which clearly sets C2C apart fromtraditional DJ acts – the four artists have injected thewarmth they’ve extracted from vintage instruments intomodern vehicles built out of rock, rap and electro, made allthe more moving and versatile by the ubiquitous presence ofscratch. F•U•Y•A and Down the Road, released in Januarys12, acted as triggers and introduced the C2C phenomenonto the Internet. A few months later, the album Tetraconfirmed all this potential and more. T he result is not asimple DJ album, it’s an acrobatic yet deeply melodic andatmospheric set of pieces, a uniquely electrifying blend ofelectro, soul and hip-hop moods. It gives a whole newmeaning to the term “French Touch.”Tetra-logicTetra opens Pandora’s box, a realm of infinite possibilities,a musical kaleidoscope merging overtones from a 1950’sNew York clubhouse and a futuristic London dance floor. Astunningly creative deluge of moods which has already beencertified doubleplatinum in France, earning the band 4 trophies out of 4nominations - by far the best performance for any artist -during the 2013 edition of the French Grammies, including"Best New Artist", "Best Music Video" and "Best Live Show".T he same goes for the vocal tracks, featuring a wide varietyof talented vocalists such as rappers Blitz the Ambassadoror Pigeon John, Scandinavian singer Jay-Jay Johanson(Give Up the Ghost), soul-man Oliver Daysoul (Who areyou?), French rock-band Gush, and a truly royal Banquetfeaturing famous DJs Tigerstyle, Netik, Rafik, Vajra andKentaro.Visual identityT he distinctive visual style C2C has cultivated since theystarted working on this album, using 20Syl’s designconcepts as a common thread, plays a central role in theclose relationship they established with their audience, asillustrated by the bold aesthetics of their music videos.Coherence in diversity is the rule, from Arcades’ fragmentedimagery to F•U•Y•A’s monastic austerity, shot inside ahistory-laden abbey, T he Beat’s intensely graphic tour deforce, Down the Road’s urban fairy tale featuring legendaryskater Richie Jackson, and director Wendy Jackson’sirresistibly groovy Happy, which will leave no one unmoved.
Live Deejaying… reinventedOn-stage visuals are an essential part of the show, and playa major role in setting C2C apart from most DJ acts whotend to stay stuck behind their turntables. T he band usestailor-made LED-display systems to provide a dynamicvisual representation of their performance, thusmaterializing their scratching acrobatics. During the summer2012, their electrifying live show with stunning visual effectson an elevated stage set ablaze Europe’s greatest musicfestivals, in front of an increasingly large audience. InOctober 2012, the band set out to conquer the foreignmarket and went to London, Berlin and Amsterdam toperform in sold out concerts. In early 2013, they receivedtwo European Border Breaker Awards, a distinction grantedto artists with a great international touring potential, one asthe laureate for France, the other being the Public choiceaward. T he band is touring the biggest and most prestigiousFrench venues in the first quarter of 2013, and is scheduledto perform in the biggest foreign festivals in 2013.T he new frontierFrom their first mixes crafted during the late 1990’s totoday’s public recognition, Pfel, Atom, 20syl and Greem havestrayed into uncharted territory and found themselves in atruly unique position, transcending styles and generations.Feeling pressed by the narrow codes of turntablism and theinflexible dictums of hip-hop, C2C has stepped out of theshadows and into the limelight, all the while opening a newbreach and inventing a new kind of art: that of the turntableapplied to genuine musical creation.