Stop me if you've heard this one before: Parisian art-school kids bond over a mutual love of punk, form a band, open for the Gossip, launch a Tumblr speckled with black-and-white photos. But DixLexSix — having recently changed their name from 10lec6, a pun on the French word, "dyslexique" — are anything but ordinary. That much is readily apparent from their volatile new EP on Cosmo Vitelli's I'm a Cliché label.
Formed back in the early 2000s, the band released two albums of spastic hardcore in 2005 and 2008, sounding like a cross between the Slits and Melt Banana — not what you might expect from a group featuring DJ Jess of the French house duo Jess & Crabbe, whose credits include a remix of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."
On the band's new EP, though, they reconnect with their club-music roots. "Fraggle" is led by a squelchy, acidic bass synthesizer, and the rapid-fire drum programming on "Sticky" gives it the feel of Chicago footwork. But Dixlexsix are still a band, with live drums, two percussionists, and electric bass giving their funk-punk rhythms the kind of supple groove you can't get from machines alone. Liliane's singsong incantations still suggest a heavy Slits influence, and there are ample echoes of bands like ESG, Liquid Liquid, and Bad Brains, as well as of contemporaries like MU and LCD Soundsystem. But there's a gleeful, insouciant swagger to Dixlexsix's cowbell-heavy jams that proves this is no textbook exercise. For good measure, they also dip into languid no-wave dub ("Puree") and earsplitting hardcore ("Jinx On'Em"), while remixes from In Fields and Raudive (Oliver Ho) go all-out disco; it's New York's Mudd club, ca. 1979, meets Paris' Social Club, right freaking now.
The Dixlexsix EP is out September 10; stream the whole EP here now.