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Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France | INDIE

Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France | INDIE
Band Pop EDM


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GOOD CITY FOR DREAMERS (2008) Quannum Projects / Discograph
PARKER STREET (2011) Discograph



Before sitting back to listen to the new General Elektriks album, there are a few facts it might prove useful to know about the man behind the band, RV Salters:
1/ Getting him to discuss Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone or Bowie might not be a good idea if youre in a hurry.

2/ Clavinet is not the name of a seaside resort.

3/ He is the one person at the helm of General Elektriks, the sole writer and singer of a project imbued with his spirit.

4/ You should also avoid calling him the keyboard sorcerer. Its already been done and everyone agrees, starting with his former companions: M, Femi Kuti and Vercoquin. Having left for San Francisco in 1999 as a voluntary exile, Salters used his time wisely to fine-tune his art under the Californian sun and learn his craft alongside a team of exceptionally gifted musicians: the Quannum collective (which included the likes of the Blackalicious rappers, Lyrics Born and Pigeon John)

5/ A relentless worker on textures and a console-perfectionist, he produces all of his own records.

6/ Its important to bear in mind that his previous album, Good City for Dreamers, released in 2009, was a genuine revelation. To his (sweating) audiences of course, but also to himself. In 2003, his first record, Cliquety Cliqk, was a humble signature piece, made behind the scenes, featuring some groovy rhythmic tweaking and an abundance of pocket-sized melodies. Good City For Dreamers was more accomplished. As he took the tracks to the stage and performed them live, setting ablaze the highly memorable Helicopter and Raid The Radio, his outlook changed: the keyboard sorcerer (oops, sorry!) discovered the full potential of his upbeat cocktail of euphoric pop and vintage grooves.

7/ You are advised to warm up a little before going to see the band live, as the Frenchman and his friends have a bad habit of getting heads nodding to the beat as soon as they step on stage.

As he performed major concert after major concert (over 200 according to official estimates), the young man developed a strong taste for playing his own compositions live.
This Good City For Dreamers experience quite logically and naturally lead to General Elektriks recording a rather more organic new album. Parker Street is augmented reality, the shortest distance between performing live and recording, and an even more intense form of lab work in line with American hip hop productions to produce a musicians record.

In fact this was the first time Salters didnt confine himself to programming. He chose to work with a real drummer, Michael Urbano, a sly old fox from the Bay Area and long seasoned funkster, rocker and soul man. RV managed to capture the magic of the rhythmic driving force and harness its full might in his production, delivering its incredible accelerations and vitality on record. The two had first worked together in 2010 to a pretty tight deadline on a soundtrack for TV series Les Beaux Mecs (broadcast on National French channel France 2), which RV had composed. A project blending in perfectly with the Elektriks Collection, a record series managed by Salters and featuring General Elektriks side projects: MC Pigeon John, Antonionian (General Elektriks live drummer) and Honeycut, a garage soul trio also featuring this passionate musician.

Through an odd combination of circumstances, Michael Urbano is also the owner of RV Salters family home on Parker Street, where the new album was recorded. The word homemade could hardly be more relevant. After the city of Good City For Dreamers, RV zooms straight in and were right on Parker Street. Listening to the album is like diving into RVs musical soul, combining hip hop, funk gimmicks, pop melodies and even some uncharacteristic yet vastly successful forays into the 80s (Holding Down the Fort). Its like browsing through Salters hectic record collection, with Curtis Mayfield and Thelonious Monk lovingly holding court among the Zombies, the Beatles and Motown music. Fittingly, the opening track and single Summer is Here is an explosion of pure happiness and sunny 60s pop where, as on the other tracks, Salters asserts himself as a singer with his fully confident and agile soul vocals. Very much at ease on his street, he dares to expose his distinctive and delicate take on poetry, with lyrics about love and death, family and friends, and a slightly more bitter and cynical hue than before (Im Ready).

Parker Street is actually the photo-album of an era, set against the music of his life.
One final fact about RV Salters: he has just moved house. Another fine illustration of his propensity to constantly move forward... He just cant help it.