La Femme:Superchic psych-pop with AstroLab

La Femme:Superchic psych-pop with AstroLab

French band La Femme has captivated audiences worldwide with their unique style and fresh yet throwback sound that blends influences from across musical eras, from 60’s surf music to 80’s synthwave, italo disco, rockabilly and beyond.

We recently caught up with La Femme’s founders Marlon Magnée and Sacha Got in the studio to learn more about their passion for modern and vintage sounds and hear them take it away with a synth pop duet utilizing the classic synth array available on AstroLab.

The La Femme sound

La Femme's journey began in the coastal town of Biarritz, France where Marlon and Sacha met at school. Influenced by a lack of live music and the constraining anti-punk attitude in their hometown, they moved to Paris as soon as possible to start a band aged 19. This eventually led to the establishment of La Femme, with the aim of marrying an effortlessly cool look with a sound steeped in musical heritage - defined by Marlon in an earlier interview as somewhere between “Velvet Underground or Kraftwerk-style. Very mysterious.”

We are passionate and into vintage sound and all kind of sound from the past that we’re trying to mix with new technology.

Their early days were marked by a DIY ethic, recording track-by-track in their home studio and exploring a range of sounds and styles in order to discover their creative identity. Their big break came in the wake of an opportunistic US tour, where they managed to land 20 gigs with just one EP to their name and $3,000 to support the trip. This unexpected move created waves of intrigue back in France, leading to a rise in their public profile and a signing with Universal’s french imprint Barclay.

Its a mix between like italo disco and new wave and cold wave with surf music rockabilly and 60’s music.

Exploring vintage and modern

Marlon and Sacha are true connoisseurs of vintage sound, with classic keyboards and synths threading through all their releases - from the high-pitched synth arp in their hit track “Elle ne t’aime pas” and disco bassline in a career defining early release “Sur la planche”, to the surf rock guitar trills of “Oú va le monde” and the sultry saxophone reverb in “Tu t’en lasses”. La Femme are never far from the fundamental sounds and instrumentation of synth and psych-rock, reimagining them with an air of originality and eclecticism.

While paying homage to the past and relying on an array of classic hardware in the studio, La Femme are also accustomed to the potential of modern sounds and synthesis. This is where their love for AstroLab begins - a keyboard perfect for the touring synth aficionado, combining musical heritage with modern functionalities.

For people like us combining software and hardware is very essential and important because we are very oldschool in a way. Also, we’re doing a lot of our records like backpacking records, so when we travel we always record in different places.

Classic synth menagerie

Marlon and Sacha’s enthusiasm for AstroLab is inspired by its diverse sound library and the faithful reproduction and emulation of the world’s most sought-after synthesizers and keyboards.

This keyboard is basically a library of all the knowledge of vintage keyboard of all time.

While the original hardware is undeniably precious and worthwhile owning, AstroLab removes all the hassle and cost of maintaining a studio full of world-renowned synths, and makes taking their iconic sound on the road easier than ever.

They also remark on the synthesis capabilities of AstroLab, which go far beyond sample-based keyboards by recreating the unique wave-shape and character of each instrument. This enables in–the-moment sound alteration and the ability to influence the fundamental characteristics of the sound, empowering artists to create their own unique patches and make impactful adjustments when playing live.

Prepared when playing live

We are introduced to another stand-out feature, which is AstroLab’s playlist mode. This is essential for any gigging artist who needs quick-access to all their sounds at the touch of a button. For La Femme this could mean a 20 song set and up to 5 different keyboards per song. The playlist mode allows you to easily manage all your premeditated performance presets which, in the words of Marlon, is very useful when “you’re in the fire of the action”.

We are also shown a few iconic melodies and chord progressions utilizing AstroLab’s artist tribute sounds, from Daft Punk’s “Aerodynamic” to Kraftweks’s “Autobahn”. Tying things up, Marlon and Sacha perform a take on one of their releases from the album Psycho Tropical Berlin, named “Packshot”, delivering a wonderful synth pop duet with some of AstroLab’s core sounds.

Parisian pop pioneers

La Femme have a growing and dedicated fan base who praise them for their inventiveness and skill in exploring new sonic ground without comprising their core identity. La Femme’s evolving creative spirit and ingenious mix of music styles, combined with an exceptional stage presence and affinity for good fashion makes them truly one to watch.

AstroLab fits perfectly into their sonic arsenal, with an extensive range of classic instruments and modern sounds instantly available and ready to take to the stage.

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