By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
On the cover of this month's DJ magazine, the influential British dance publication, Christophe Le Friant's pure white visage stares out against a bright red and blue backdrop. And it's not the Stars and Stripes.
The headline blares, "The French Revolution," while the name Bob Sinclar, a pseudonym for Le Friant, shares space with Justice, I:Cube, Sebastian, and Joakim. Of those French house producers, however, Sinclar is by far the most popular. In 2000, at the height of the French house craze (remember Paris Is Burning?), he issued the creamy and alluring "I Feel for You." It pumped out of nightclubs worldwide while a full-length, Champs Elysées, earned Sinclar plaudits as a glamorous alternative to Daft Punk's equally disco-fied Discovery.
Most Americans didn't hear from Sinclar again until last year, when he released "Love Generation." "After Champs Elysées, I did another album called III," writes Sinclar in an e-mail from Ibiza, where he is on vacation. His English is slightly broken as he discusses what he has been doing for the past five years. Champs Elysées was released here on Subliminal Records, but 2003's III was not, nor were most of the projects he created on his record label, Yellow Productions. The massive "Love Generation" track, which hit number one on the Billboard dance charts, became his reintroduction to the U.S. dance community.
"I was looking for a fresh new sound to play in clubs, because the DJing is my passion and all my records have to be played by all the DJs around the globe," writes Sinclar. Unlike his past triumphs, which adhered to the filtered house blueprint his city is famous for, "Love Generation" is woven around an acoustic guitar, a hummed ditty ("doo-doo-da-da"), and even a whistle. It's goofily happy Euro-pop with a sharp dance beat. Roots-reggae singer Gary "Nesta" Pine chants the chorus: "Feel the love generation/Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!" "I tested this track in Miami during the WMC, and the reaction was huge," writes Sinclar.
This past July, shortly before Zinedine Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final, "Love Generation" rang throughout Berlin's Olympic Stadium before the beginning of the game's second half. Chosen by FIFA as a theme song for its mascot, a lion named Goleo VI, "Love Generation" hit the Top 10 in several European countries. Sinclar estimates the single sold 1.2 million copies around the world. "I was crazy when I was thinking of all the people in the stadium and in the world listening to my song," he writes. "I am very proud because it's a real beautiful song full of good vibrations."
Sinclar recently issued his fourth album, Western Dream. Released here by Tommy Boy Silver Label, it has already yielded a second number one dance hit, the yearning "World, Hold On." Sinclar describes the album as unabashedly feel-good music. "All the songs talk about love, children, happyness [sic], and sharing," he writes. "It's Western Dream. Live your life to be free."