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French Waves – 30 Years of French Electronic Music History

FRENCH WAVES has made the history of French electronic music come alive through its documentary, web series, international tour, and immersive website. Starting in the 1990s with the genre’s creation in Detroit and Chicago, followed by an exploration of rave culture and the French Touch movement, and ending with the very latest generation of electronic music, FRENCH WAVES tells the story of a societal and generational phenomenon. By featuring different perspectives from iconic artists, the project traces electronic music’s path through Generations X, Y, and Z as it is passed down from those who were twenty in the 1990s to today’s digital natives.

Through the testimonials of iconic French and international artists from years past and today (Pedro Winter, Rone, Breakbot, Bob Sinclar, Carl Craig and many more), this documentary looks at the history of French electronic music through the eyes of the younger generation. It sheds light on the movement’s American roots, illegal raves, and the French Touch phenomenon, a musical trend that played a pivotal role in the recognition of electronic music throughout the world. Most importantly, the film explains how the newest wave of French artists is currently making this heritage its own. To make the documentary, Julian Starke, a young director and co-founder of the Pain Surprises collective, worked with over fifty key stakeholders in the electronic music industry, ranging from the genre’s earliest pioneers to today’s young talents. To gather their testimonials and discover new archives, he combed through Internet sources and traveled throughout Europe and North America over a period of three years. FRENCH WAVES invites viewers to step into the vibrant world of these alchemists of sound.

With an emphasis on dissemination, innovation, audacity, diversity, and togetherness, FRENCH WAVES’s approach is very much in keeping with the philosophy that has driven the electronic scene since the very beginning.
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