La Fraicheur - Rhus Typhina

After building her reputation as a DJ for over a decade, Berlin-based French producer La Fraicheur is now expanding her craft by creating her own music. Her debut EP, Rhus Typhina, was released via Friends With Benefits Records on January 20th, 2016. 

Rhus Typhina takes its name from the staghorn sumac tree. As plants go, it is essentially a squatter. The tree springs up, invasive and uninvited, in just about any patch of abandoned soil. La Fraicheur first noticed Rhus Typhina in the vacant lots around Berlin. These untended urban forests often play host to open air spaces for clubs and unlicensed parties, and the hardy trees became as inextricable from her rave experience as they are from the soil in which they grow.

“To me, Rhus Typhina is that feeling of laying in someone’s lap on a makeshift bench, on a sunny summer morning, in a club’s open air garden,” La Fraicheur explains. “You look up and watch the sun-dappled tree branches as they dance with the wind. You’re completely exhausted from a night of dancing, but the inescapable beat of the music and the laughter of your friends brings you back to life.” 

The title track of the EP manifests this emotion musically. Airy, textured chords and an insistent 303 bassline underpin sweeping waves of sound, as hints of melody battle for prominence with playful bleeps. It’s a sound of joyous exhaustion, the perfect denouement after a night of revelry.  

On the flip side, “Pouncing” is a menacing, yet restrained tech-house track. A droning synth pivots on a half-step interval as the throbbing kick and echoing synth lines build in intensity. 

Seattle-based producer Nark delivers a remix of “Pouncing” inspired by his time visiting La Fraicheur in Berlin. They rode their bikes through the city from one warehouse dance party to the next, experiencing the juxtaposition of nature and industry. Nark’s remix starts with a driving kick and overlays flurries of percussive snaps and flitting synthesizers.

“Rhus Typhina grows uncontrollably; you can’t get rid of it. Just like Berlin and the need to produce music grew on me, and there’s no getting rid of that,” says La Fraicheur, promising a year rich in new original music.

La Fraicheur - Rhus Typhina

Written and produced by: La Fraicheur
Mix & Master: Leonard de Leonard
Photography: Sara Navarro
Design: La Fraicheur