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What can I say–it’s hard not to be a sucker for French women. What with their ridiculous run during the 1960s and early ’70s–thinking here of France Gall, Anna Karina (who was actually Danish, but don’t tell anyone), Brigitte Bardot, et al–hell, all the way back to Edith Piaf up to now with Charlotte Gainsbourg, the Gallic region has produced more than its fair share of talented, striking femme fatales who weren’t so bad behind the microphone. While Ninca Leece may not be the next Françoise Hardy (or even the next Lizzy Mercier Descloux), this young French electronic artist is a worthy successor to her country’s tradition of ladies kicking musical ass and taking names.
Born in Rennes, Ninca Leece left for Holland as a teenager before studying music production in The Netherlands. Afterwards, she did her share of globetrotting as she worked behind the scenes for other artists. She eventually wound up in Berlin, a city whose imprint is indelibly registered on Leece’s music: you’ll find the glitchy bounce of the micro-house so prevalent in the area, but also remnants of the turn of the century marriage of indie rock and electronic sensibilities which informed the work of bands like Lali Puna, Guther, and Solvent.
On January 29th, Germany’s Bureau B label will release Leece’s debut LP, There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream. “Funny Symphony,” the album’s third track, is notable for having been sung in Leece’s native French (most of her compositions are delivered in English) as well as its icy, Teutonic groove. The song’s first passage takes cues from minimalism and progressive house, but it really takes flight with the second movement, which incorporates a New Order inspired bassline and Leece’s pop-friendly vocals. “Funny Symphony” refuses to ever take the easy terrain and thump along with too much repetition, likely the result of Leece’s background as a composer and producer, instead preferring to wash over the listener in waves. At this point in her life, Ninca Leece may be just as German as she is French, but her music is all the better for her globalized chops.