The term electro is one that's been used, abused and wrongly applied over the years. But when Madrid-based DJ team Le Chic say electro, they mean it.
Their new mix album for Gigolo, 'Le Mix', out 21st January, is a fierce excursion into the furthest reaches of Detroit 808 drum machines, retro-futurist breakdance boogie, primitive Italo robot funk and crunching techno, all delivered with trademark style and panache.
Susana Munõz and Rebeca Lozano, formerly a fashion designer and a geneticist, began running their own special Sunday sessions in 2004, at a Madrid club night they named Le Chic, in which their tough electronic grooves were complemented by a strong aesthetic.
The club was run entirely by women, and with its crushed velvet, opulent red-curtained interior, Le Chic's rock-hard electro was offset by a stylish element that was the antithesis of the idea of hard electronic music as the preserve of tops-off sweaty blokes and grimy underground warehouse dungeons.
"The night was called Le Chic, and all the workers were girls, and the name is like a play on words, like the term chick and also the idea of things there being chic. It was like a dark soundclash, but it was also a little bit chic, a really cool place," Lozano revealed.
From this springboard, the pair took the club's name as their own DJ moniker and began to DJ all over, as news of their eviscerating deck skills spread like wildfire.
Through Lozano's other role as road manager for Madrid's Coppelia club, she met DJ Hell, and so impressed was the Gigolo boss that he invited Le Chic to play at Sonar's infamous Gigolo party.
"It was a really nice party for us, we really rocked the place," enthused Lozano. "They liked us and invited us to join the Gigolo family."
The first fruits of Le Chic's hook-up is 'Le Mix', the perfect encapsulation of what the DJs are all about. Touching down with Drexciya's futuristic sound-wave 'Digital Tsunami', 'Le Mix' powers through the insouciant electro-pop of Sistema's 'Darkness', the acid propulsion of Activator's 'Doctor Gato' and rounds off with the uplifting sci-fi Italo of Hypnosis' 'Droid', with mind-blowing dexterity and style. One thing it ain't is minimal.
"We have a wide taste in music," said Lozano. "We move into electro, Italo, techno.. Nowadays the minimal sound is all the same, we didn't want to go down the route of using the most well-known labels' minimal techno records because that would be easy. We really like old skool sounds, this is the music we like to play, it doesn't matter if it was made today or 10 years ago."
The next thing on the menu is production and the duo are already hard at work in the studio concocting new music for Gigolo. These femme fatales are certainly keeping it Chic all the way.