New band of the day – No 696: Louis La Roche

This 19-year-old synth whizz is so enamoured of French house that he has given himself a Gallic moniker. Despite being a Londoner. Called Brett Ewels

Hometown: London

The lineup: Brett Ewels (music, production).

The background: There were a few genres that either began life or flourished in the noughties, often to such an extent that you could easily devote a huge chunk of your music-listening time to just one style or sound. French house aka "French touch" or "filter disco" – something to do with cut-off and phaser effects and what sounds to our unsophisticated ears like a lot of compression to make it come across well on the radio – gave us a heap of superlative acts who used late-70s and early-80s US and Euro disco to fashion a new form of retro dance music, if that's not a contradiction in terms.

And, not surprisingly given its name, many of the practitioners were French. Daft Punk were the first; après that robo duo, le deluge: Stardust (actually DP's Thomas Bangalter, a key French touch artist, together with another highly rated producer, Alan Braxe), Superfunk, Cassius, Etienne de Crecy, Bob Sinclar, Modjo and the also-pioneering Motorbass ... If you liked French house, you'd have spent much of the noughties collecting the stuff.

Louis La Roche did. In fact, Louis La Roche was so enamoured of French house growing up – and he's still only 19 – that he woke up one day and decided to call himself Louis La Roche, even though he's a Londoner whose real name is Brett Ewels. He was so into it, indeed, that before long, new moniker in place, he got hold of the equipment he would need – a Roland 909, a Zoom RFX-2000 for filters and reverb, an M-audio Oxygen 2 Midi keyboard, a distortion pedal and Kaoss Pad plus a bunch of software – to make his very own French house-worshipping records.

And they were good; very good. Good enough, in fact, for one of them – Love, featuring a Michael Jackson sample, released on Valentine's Day in 2008 – to get people excitedly wondering whether it was actually solo material from producer-musician Paul Epworth, the work of disco aficionados Erol Alkan or Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, or even the latest release from the godlike Bangalter himself. Not bad for a 17-year-old kid in a bedroom. Called Brett Ewels.

"Not bad" doesn't quite do Lil' Louis justice (Lil' Louis and Justice in one sentence – pretty good for our first day back, huh?). His new EP, Super Soaker, would sound impressive whether you'd grown up listening to records by the BB&Q Band and Patrice Rushen or not. The tracks on it are instrumental so you don't get any big vocal hooks; instead the music – including the jiggly bassline from the Seinfeld theme tune on the title track, as far as we can tell, to which we can only say: nice one, and see you in court – has to do that job. There isn't a Music Sounds Better With You or Lady on there (then again, he hasn't sampled Chic yet), but it's early days, and we look forward intently to seeing him on this year's X Factor with a pineapple on his head.

The buzz: "Zut alors! C'est magnifique!"

The truth: Get ready for the weekend, basically.

Most likely to: Get citric on your ass.

Least likely to: Appreciate the shortening of his name to Lou Ewe.

What to buy: The Super Soaker EP is released on 18 January by Ever After. Debut album I Delete Myself will be released later this year.

File next to: Calvin Harris, Mylo, Cassius, Modjo.


Tomorrow's new band: Active Child.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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