Birdy Nam Nam

Birdy Nam Nam

BandEDMHip Hop

French turntablism has its heroes and they’re convincing and seductive both on CD and on stage. As their exceptional live performance proves, it will blow your mind.


Birdy Nam Nam is a group of French DJs: Little Mike, DJ Pone, DJ Need and Crazy B. And while those names have been around in the French underground for ages, on the posters for the biggest soirées or behind illustrious rap groups (particularly DJ Pone, who officiated in the shadow of Triptik and now accompanies Svinkels, or Crazy B, formerly hidden behind Alliance Ethnik), they also shine on the podiums of the international deejaying championships. So during the 1990's, the Americans DJ Q-Bert, Craze or A-Trak, used to appearing in the rankings, had to compromise with the young guard of French deejaying, led by such crews as Scratch Aktion Hiro, who won the world title in the year 2000. That is the gigantic mutant crew that gave rise to Birdy Nam Nam, a group of 4 scratcher brothers trained for the 2002 World Championship, which they won right in stride.

But afterwards? After the competitions, the titles, after the honors and the podium tops? Fortified by solo or team awards, a product of the most frantic kind of "turntablism", these unconquered characters do not stop halfway through. And even if they don't have to prove anything else in competition, having left the circuit in 2002, they continue walking up and down over the grooves of thousands of records. In the spirit of the American turntable experts (D-Styles, Excess, ...), raping obscure jazz records, appropriating the sole music of the 1970's and a few good breakbeats, they select just the right loop, the right rhythm, the perfect texture, which they expertly assemble. Like a six-minute free style number as a mandatory part of the World Championships, they are now giving birth to an initial album with no identifiable format. No compulsory figures here, and no time limitation. The symphony becomes the raw material, and Birdy Nam Nam's fingers develop a sound that is its alone.

Birdy Nam Nam is the fruit of a logical development, the one that led Q-Bert from the World Championships to the Wave Twister album, the one that leads all instrumentalists from technique to music. That is the interest of their work. In going beyond technique, the abandonment of the hyper-technical scratch sections, which they can also handle. Instead of this, these turntables devils concoct some disturbing recipes, some stable, controlled and coherent compositions.

Alternately gloomy or funky, shot through with electronic acids and methodical cuts, the Birdy Nam Nam sound doesn't give a dam about plucking a guitar or belting a cord on a Rhodes. It's able to decapitate the trumpets and slash the pianos, and its records contain the entire history of music. Pushing back the limits of that raw material, these merciless crate-diggers deliver temperate music, a jewel of vinyl composition that owes as much to DJ Shadow as to Sun Ra, as much to the electronic experts of the 1990's as to the 1980's rap producers. Those four no longer play records, they play music.

Even if listening to the album doesn't tell much about the composition techniques, the DVD part enlightens us about the work of the DJ filmed in situ, in the studio or on the stage. Live versions of the album titles or recent unpublished numbers perfectly adapted to the stage, these visual complements give us a close-up of the secret weapons of the 4 sound producers. Increased by comments about the members' careers and interviews, this DVD offers a necessary and detailed look into the universe of this extraordinary crew.


Birdy Nam Nam - 2006
Birdy Nam Nam Live - 2007
Trans Boulogne Express - 2007