We are currently entering an era in music where electronic dance music is king. It seems that everyone is collaborating with DJs such as David Guetta, Skrillex, and countless others. However there are those that stood their ground when the genre wasn’t as popular. Frenchman Vitalic (neé Pascal Arbez) is one of them. Releasing his first single in 1996, Arbez was part of the underground electronica scene in Europe for the years leading up to the release of his first album Ok Cowboy in 2005. Four years later Vitalic released Flashmob (2009) which again, while underrated, was a great display of Vitalic’s fresh French electro sound. Vitalic’s third album is no exception to the rule. Appropriately-titled Rave Age, veteran French DJ Vitalic’s 3rd album offers an eclectic mix of French electro sounds for everyone whether you are a veteran fan of electronica or a newbie.
The album starts off with Rave Kids Go with vocals from Michael Karkousse of Goose attempts to take a stab at the sound that made Justice famous, but then adds an 80’s dance theme twist. Under Your Sun, perhaps the most pop influenced track on the album with vocals from Owelle, tries to appeal to the mainstream pop listener, yet may disappoint fans that are not used to listening to a softer side of Vitalic. Stamina, No More Sleep, and Nexus serve as a beautiful reminder to Vitalic followers of the Ok Cowboy and Flashmob days. Vitalic ends Rave Age with a bang with the harder house sounds of La Mort Sur le Dancefloor (with vocals from Rebeka Warrior) and Next I’m Ready.
Rave Age is refreshing due to its similarities with music from Justice and Digitalism. However, it seems as though Vitalic toned down his production from his previous work to appeal to the masses. Fans may find this disturbing. However, Rave Age reinforces, or rather, updates Vitalic’s version the signature French electro sound that made him gain a following in the first place.