With the fresh release of his second studio album Still Waters, Ed Banger’s Breakbot has once again assumed his role as France’s veritable funk master, securing another title as the “Jesus of Disco”–a legend he happily owns up to in his recent Reddit Ask Me Anything.
Though Thibaut Berland (pictured left) refers to Breakbot as the plural “we” in his AMA, no doubt counting dedicated collaborator Irfane (pictured right) as part of the brand, Berland has long been the solo face of Breakbot. His signature brown locks and beard match the fan-given “Disco Jesus” title which complements his uniquely nostalgic style, marked by a stanch use of retro synths and basslines. Berland sites one of his biggest influencers as Michael Jackson and that ’80s pop appeal definitely saturates both his 2012 album By Your Side and Still Waters.
Already bursting with instant hits like Back For More and Get Lost, Still Waters is the culmination of Berland’s past work and a matured realization of a funk style that he has single-handedly commandeered for himself. As well, vocalist Irfane has been worked into eight of the thirteen tracks on the album to become less of a collaborator and more of an equal on Still Waters.
“Irfane and I became close friends over the years of our collaboration,” Berland says in the AMA. “We started some of the songs while touring. It seemed natural to make this album together. I still feel like I’m Breakbot. But this album was made by us two. I just felt it was stupid to change the name of the project between two records. Irfane was here since my first EP on Ed Banger.”
There is no doubt that Irfane’s autotuned croon, made famous by the quintessential hit Baby I’m Yours, is the backbone behind the Breakbot sound, and why the two artists continue to craft stellar productions together. The insatiable catchiness of Baby I’m Yours has since sparked debate among devoted Breakbot disciples that Bruno Mars’ popular hit Treasure is an eerily close imitation, some even calling out the song for blatant plagiarism. When asked how to respond to plagiarism Berland insightfully and humbly responded, “We’re pacifists, so the best way is usually to reach out and talk about it. Also, we come from a generation of sampling and stuff, so it would be a bit hypocritical to look down upon such practices. It’s always very flattering.
Nevertheless, Breakbot’s ability to create danceably catchy songs is a skill that many artists hope to match. He’s brought in a bevy of female vocalists on this album as well to add a feminine touch to tracks like Arrested and My Toy, which is perhaps the only thing that has been missing from his previous productions.
As fans delve into the funky disco intersections of Still Waters, both Irfane and Berland assure their core group that global tour dates are on the horizon for 2016, “We’ll be back in May for a full US live tour. Dates coming soon.” While you patiently await those dates, you can purchase your copy of Still Waters here.