Carte Blanche - Black Billionaires EP (Ed Banger)
Elliott Lewis-George | Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Musical collaborations can often be a dodgy road to tread down, assisting only in speeding up the rate at which an artist's career plummets into the obscurity of your record store's bargain bucket. However, the latest entente between DJ Mehdi and Riton defines House music's zeitgeist, striding past those that are worth nothing more than a half price sticker.
Working under the French guise Carte Blanche, meaning to act and do with complete freedom, as one chooses, Parisian marvel DJ Mehdi and Newcastle native Henry 'Riton' Smithson, fulfil this definition comfortably. Their Black Billionaires EP, released on the seminal Parisian 'Ed Banger' label, deconstructs the snobbery often associated with house music to declare a clear objective: You. Must. Dance. Now!
From the EP's get-go, the pair's expansive musical influence launches a relentless attack on the ears. Opener, 'Gare Du Nord' forges a bond between the breaks of Hip-Hop and that instantly recognisable, repetitive grind of Parisian house (a sound Mehdi helped create with his Lucky Boy LP). Whilst 'Do! Do! Do!' is audibly drenched with a unique disco sound associated with Riton since his days signed to melodic, Mancunian, indie-label Grand Central.
The pumping techno track 'Black Billionaires' would fit comfortably into the high-energy sets of fellow forward-thinkers Boys Noize and Busy P, with whom Mehdi oversees the 'Ed Banger' brand. It is a relentless stomper built for incinerating dance floors the world over. Similarly, there's no doubt that 'In The Mix' is a staple that will receive copious rewinds by the Carte Blanche couple on their current World tour.
Amongst this multi-genre melting pot of the EP, Black Billionaires makes one thing clear, house music isn't all about relishing in twelve-minute saxophone and synth ensembles. As the magical collaboration between Carte Blanche's contemporaries A-Trak and Armand Van Helden proved, under their Duck Sauce pseudonym, it's about audibly assisting the grand task of creating the ultimate party.
Some would argue the Black Billionaires EP is a flash in the pan banger, that will seem dated the minute a new style of dance music emerges. Nevertheless, it's hard to fault the talent and passion that Riton and Mehdi drench this short but sweet EP in. It lives up to its purpose; it defines the moment.