Ruby Tuesday: Les Rythmes Digitales, “Soft Machine”

Oh, that silly Stuart Price. Not content to see the French get all of the headlines and hit singles during that big wave in the late ‘90s (Daft Punk, Air, Dmitri from Paris), the Reading, England native christens himself Jacques Lu Cont and records a French house music-style album under the name Les Rythmes Digitales. It would be years before anyone was wise to his ruse, even though he left a pretty big clue at the very beginning: one of the collaborators on LRD’s only album, 1999’s Darkdancer, was…Nik Kershaw. Yes, that Nik Kershaw.

Our Ruby Tuesday selection, “Soft Machine,” was not released as a single, a decision that baffles us to this day. Perhaps its mid-90s BPM (that’s beats per minute, by the by) was considered too slow for a club scene that was all about speed – go back and listen to the remixes for Madonna’s “Music,” where the warp-drive beat track renders the song unrecognizable – but damn, check out that drum track. Stop, start, thump, backwards snare, fat-ass keyboard squawk. It’s like Sly Fox’s “Let’s Go All the Way” on steroids. Take that however you like.

Les Rythmes Digitales – Soft Machine.mp3