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Like two sides of the same coin, Paris and Los Angeles share a certain savoir faire - an enthusiasm for creativity and the arts plus an innate sense of hedonistic fun. To that list you can now add another, as currently both cities are home to some of the most exciting young labels, parties and musical talent in dance music. Collectives that are defining the future sound of underground music, not just in their respective cities, but across the globe.

Culprit’s Lee Foss exemplifies the sex, funk and groove of Los Angeles. When Culprit approached their Gallic brethren – Shonky, Dyed Soundorom, Anthony Collins and Seul who while with Freak’n’Chic were the flag bearers for a deeper Parisian party sound – for a remix package of Culprit artists, they all requested to re-mix Lee Foss. The results show their affinity for the source material.

The distinct sound Lee Foss has created for Culprit, perhaps best described as ‘ominous warm funk’, has been apparent from his first work for the label (‘Things Fall Apart’ – remixed by Seul), to his most recent (‘Your Turn Girl’ remixed by Dyed and Shonky). Foss’ tracks have an uncanny ability to appeal to our nostalgic, soulful sides, while at the same time having unabashed primal-dancefloor power.

For this remix package, Culprit’s second, the French family were the perfect foils to Lee Foss. Culprit goes back a long way with many of these former Freak’n’Chicers, with Dyed, Shonky and Anthony Collins all having played for Culprit in Los Angeles and Miami, Seul having made an extended stay at Droog’s LA studio and Shonky about to release his own original EP on Culprit. Uniting all four for the first time on one release (remarkably), and handing them all debuts for Culprit, seemed like an organic outgrowth of the long-standing transatlantic camaraderie.

Though this may be a remix package, it clearly falls under the Culprit mantra of exploring new ground. Shonky and Dyed, though best friends in real life, are paired for only their second ever joint production. Anthony Collins not content with remixing one track, in fact created a true mélange, “Pyramid Girl”, by remixing both “Your Turn Girl” and “Pyramid Scheme” into something wonderfully new and different.  Seul perhaps best know for his skittish, intricate rhythms akin to Ricardo Villalobos, explores new territory with his remix of “Things Fall Apart”, showcasing an unexpected deep retro, New-Wave inspired sonic side of his palette.

Shonky and Dyed’s remix is the most driving of the package, but also the most overtly euphoric. A track that will light up the best summer parties on the deeper end of the spectrum with a patented ultra groovy bassline, crisp percussion and a simple but incredibly effective use of the original vocal.

Anthony Collins builds on "Your Turn Girl" with a gently modulating loop and tight but playful drums. The subtle programming tricks Anthony is known for build to a gorgeous piano-driven crescendo and he brings it home with choice bits from "Pyramid Scheme" while sneaking in Foss’ "Warriors" vocal bit for good measure.

Seuil does an impeccable 80's analogue drum machine-inspired groove, with a deeply melodic bassline and more than a passing nod to the best French retro house of the 90's. Seul takes no prisoners with stunning synth stabs half-way through, surely his most dramatic part yet.

Published: April 14, 2011