High above the slopes of Montmartre is a billowing cloud of smoke. But this is not the kind of smoke one finds radiating off the steaming hot girls of Paris. No, the source of this plume has been exhaled from a quiet, enigmatic Frenchman; named simply SebastiAn.
For three or so years the Ed Banger obsessive have been through head-banging torture waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. With impatience brings the daily bombardment of "when's the Uffie album coming out?", "are Justice going to release another bloody album or what?" and "fucking hell is SebastiAn's album ever going to see the light of day?" - just some of what Busy P has had to swallow and politely address.
But what's the old expression - you wait for one Ed Banger release and three come along at once?
Between putting together a live set, producing a few tracks-for-friends and composing a couple of film scores, the SebastiAn cooling tower has been puffing away, with the man inside fusing together a full length LP, and a rather generous one at that - energised by 22 tracks (although 8 of which are 'interludes' each under a minute long).
The wait for Total has been totally well worth it. Within seconds of opener 'Hudson River' you know the record will: a) burn with that distinctive, punchy SebastiAn sound and b) be really really good.
The Prince-esque 'Love in Motion (featuring Mayer Hawthorne)' and tres chic 'Embody' pull Seb up from the dark, industrial belly and out into the fresh air.
Old favourites 'Ross Ross Ross', 'Kindercut', 'Motor' and 'Doggg' all make welcome returns, alongside the new candidates which, for me, constitute much of the second half of the album.
The Breakbot-friendly 'Arabest' has already brought out some mind-boggling, c.1960's moves from my old man; 'Prime', which follows, brings SebastiAn fans back to an apocalyptic reality.
Harpsichordal 'Terta' (co-produced by label mate and smoking buddy Gaspard Auge [the hairy one from Justice]) wouldn't be too out of place on a DatA or Birdy Nam Nam record; and 'Yes' answers the question "has SebastiAn absolutely nailed this record?".
SebastiAn - Love in Motion (feat. Mayer Hawthorne)
SebastiAn - Arabest
SebastiAn - Prime
SebastiAn - Tetra
SebastiAn - Yes
Pre-order Total here.