French producer The Toxic Avenger has released his fourth studio album Midnight Resistance on Enchanté Records. The new album has the bite you expect from Toxic Avenger with some dark, hard and slow electro, but also some soaring French touch and disco. It comes loaded with features that span musical and video creatives like Look Mum No Computer, Ornette and Diamond Deuklo. It is a fun blend of hard French electro, indie pop and touches of indie rock that all come together over 13 songs.
To get a better idea of how the album was made and the collaborations were collated onto the album, we asked The Toxic Avenger for more details in a Director’s Cut feature. Dive into the full album and read on to see how the it all was put together.
Get your copy of Midnight Resistance here.
This was the first song I finished while making this album. It's kind of like a door to escape the everyday world and to enter this album's world. At least I see it like that!
I like intros, they really act as entry lock for albums, and it’s here to warn you "here's where you are going to go, I hope you'll like it." On this one, I like the lead synths. There are three of them; if you listen carefully when there are the three together, you'll never really hear the same chords really.
2. Lies feat. Look Mum No Computer
I have really liked Look Mum No Computer’s work for a long time! As a video maker, he really has all this crazy ideas, I wish I could be such a talented synth maker, but I also love him as a musician, I really like all his melodies. “Lies” is a pop song for sure, but he brings this almost punk / nasty vibe that I think the song needed when it was all instrumental, and at the same time he's also very responsible for this MGMT kind of vibe that “Lies” has.
3. Midnight Resistance
A Toxic album without some powerful dark and slow electro jams isn't a Toxic album right? This is one of them. Believe it or not, I had break-dancers in mind when I was working on this track!
I wanted it to be dark and aggressive but at the same time I wanted to give it an early hip-hop vibe as well. This is also the first time I use this snare sound that I’m obsessed with, I call it "coquille d'oeuf" (egg shell snare) don't even ask my why as I really don't know. This is the snare you can find for example in Fine Young Cannibal's “You Drive Me Crazy.”
4. I Need You
This is my first ever introduction in the world of drum and bass and I can see why it's soooo satisfying. There's this reeeeeallly laidback drum beat on the first part of the song where I use a DX7 and a Juno 106 for this song. There's this thing I love about the Juno 106 that makes it my favorite synth to work with: you can delay the LFO a bit and by making this on a very low LFO setting, you can give off this small seasick vibe that I really love (you can hear this for example at the end of "Short Circuit" by Daft Punk). I work with the voice similar to early Burial stuff. Untrue has been my favorite electronic album for a long time.
5. Rent Boy feat. Jay Jay Johanson
I’ve been listening to Jay Jay's music since 1996, I’ve always loved him, so when Christophe, my label partner had the idea of asking him to sing on one of my track, I felt like I wasn't good enough for him, but hey, we had to try, and he said yes pretty quick.
I love this song because I feel our two particular universes really met. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, despite how much as you love each other's work, but this time round it worked out really well. I usually always search for melodies with a Rhodes and then use a Juno instead, but this time I felt like leaving out the Rhodes.
This is exactly the type of song that Jay Jay is best for! Nostalgic dancefloor moments! I remember this song from his 2nd album called "Friday at Rex!"
6. ЧЕРНОЕ ЛЕТО
If you were wondering what could “ЧЕРНОЕ ЛЕТО” meant, well, it means "Black Summer" (pronounced it SHOOR-NEY LEEAY-TO).
When it comes to electronic music nowadays I listen a lot to artists like Kölsch or Dusty kid. I like those long progressive epic tracks and this is my take on it!
I also had “Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles in mind while making this track.
7. L'Avenir D'avant feat. Diamond Deuklo
I’ve been working with Deuklo for a long time now, he is a friend of Orelsan, a French rapper who became my tour manager. And I produced his album. He's kind of like a trashy Sebastien Tellier. This is a highly nostalgic song; the final song I produced on the album and everything was made with my Juno 106 except for the drums. I really love the name of this track, which translates to “Yesterday's Future.”
8. Mandala with Ornette
This is probably the popiest song on the album. I love Ornette's music! I really wanted to do a Chromatics / Kate Bush inspired song with her!
We don't really touch on the same type of music but we found something we both really love, and it's Patrizia Pellegrino - Musica Spaziale! It has really been a pleasure to work with Ornette, and I really hope we get to work with each other again.
9. On Sight
I bought a tape recorder right before starting the making of this album so I thought I had to use it on a track! There are tons of influences and shout outs on this track!
I think the early Burial influence is obvious here, again but I also had this track in mind. It's “Playa” by La Cliqua, a nooooot sooo good commercial hip-hop band from the mid 90's, but I really like those small leads.
10. Falling Apart feat. Simone
On all my LP's, my wife features in a song and this is no exception. I really hope I can produce an LP with Simone sometime soon. See this “Effondrement Imminent" line on the track? This might by my favorite 2 seconds of the whole LP! There's definitively more French on this record as I’ve been listening to way more French songs the past 5 years.
11. Long Hair, Black Leather jacket!
This is my take on a classic Early 90's house. I wish I were the one that created Inner City! I obviously use a Korg M1 for this song, the king of all house keyboards from the 90's!
12. On My Own feat. Maxence Cyrin
Maxence is an internationally respected pianist, so I was very honored to have him on board! I’m obsessed with Chopin and Satie, with the amount of melancholy that is dripping from their masterpieces. I asked Maxence to write a couple of chords that is super infused with melancholia and then I wrote all around his chords, it was an amazing experience. Similar to Ornette, I wish to someday write a full LP together.
13. Les Heures
In French, again. This is the first time I’m singing in French, without too much Fx. I listen to a lot of Alain Chamfort songs, especially the ones from this album called Amour Année Zero. He really is an inspiring artist, even nowadays. I wrote this song a long time ago while on tour missing my wife. The lyrics are super naive but that's what I really like about them as there’s no need to change how I talk about how I missed my wife when I was touring.