Versatile represents the long-time running French label run by DJ Gilb'R.
In 1998, you came to Versatile for abstract downtempo and (deep filtered) house. In 2008, Versatile is playing Italo Disco, Krautrock, Psyché Rock and acid house, and writing songs with all sorts of electronic machines. After Versatile's first compilation ten years ago, this new release is surprising yet reassuring, like a miracle repeating. Reassuring in that ten years down the road, Versatile still takes us by surprise, mixing early inspirations and creating a place to share. A special playground somewhere between erudition and naivete, poetry and humor.
Versatile is a rarity. A label that succeeded in creating a unique identity that puts instinct before musical genre. Trends come and go, the wind changes, now and again releases meet with broad acclaim. Such is the case for the underground club hit Venus (Sunshine People) by Cheek back in the golden days of the French Touch, but also for Etienne Jaumet's 2007 maxi.
The high standards set by Versatile's boss, Gilb'R, remain intact. Rather than following the crowds along a given and inevitably ephemeral path, Versatile takes to the open road and its artists release the kind of music they hold dear. Joakim, I:Cube, Chateau Flight and Zombie Zombie have obviously made the most of this creative environment and the uncompromising artistic direction that lets them gravitate towards the music they love, as is: original, wild and elegant, fun and mystical, quirky, a fertile mix of so many things. They make truly engaging music, which is becoming an increasingly difficult feat as time goes on.
What makes Versatile's music vibrate is their sound faith in beautiful, naked music, no matter the tools or the format. The watchword of the faith is "underground": much more than a myth for rebellious or docile adolescents, their belief is simply that good music deserves to exist even if it doesn't square with today's market. Maybe you're tired of the profusion of quick and dirty "tracks" that are so interchangeable they quickly lose their appeal? Rediscover here our heritage, from early American dance music to French and German experimentation, both the popular and the intellectual.
After retracing Versatile's steps, we're dying for the next episode. Good newsóthat sequel is being written right here, right now.