Now we’re not sponsored by Duolingo or anything like that yet, but I figured fuck it, two hours of trying to find out how to say “I think you should hire me cause I can speak French” was enough to come on here and write about N.E.R.D and Dev Hynes’ French love child, Varnish La Piscine (or Pink Flamingo, some quality name choice eh). The Swiss rapper, producer, and movie director has a name that if I didn’t know any better than Google translate, (which I don’t) he’d be known as uh…Varnish of the Pool? Either way, once you get past that you find that La Piscine is definitely flooding the French Pop Rap scene with the shit that will have you pulling a full-on Tyrone Biggums for more.
He won’t have you screaming “I SMOKE ROCKSSS” at 1 in the morning, but you might as well be because when La Piscine touched down in 2020 with METRONOME POLE DANCE TWIST AMAZONE, the Parisian resident dropped a bag full of car-coasters and tantalizing head-bobbers that do more harm to your neck than help. The release is a soundtrack accompanying his co-directed French film titled Les Contes du Cockatoo, which is just cancer for the “I cAnT wAtCh Parasite cAusE oF SuBtitLeS” crowd, cause no spoilers but let’s just say it has a WHOLE LOT of Cockatooing in it. Mr. Pool’s more recent releases channel his heavily westernized pop rap influences but merges lanes with a more lax and dance-inspired approach, with common W’s like “DIRTY BOSSA”, where Varnish GETS THE PEOPLE GOING.
Or how about the funk-steered “Algenubi”, where the collocation of guitar and sirens is enough to dance yrself clean (ten years since that classic) and follows La Piscine trying his best to make some Tuesday night plans work. Does it go anywhere? Not really but welcome to what a post-Kobe life is like nowadays. “DIRTY BOSSA”, as well as the sensual “KISS”, is a burst of chillwave and Neo-soul that La Piscine pillows with the reoccurring “Generation!” refrains in the back of the latter track, both sounding like something straight out of a French Neon Indian music video and is just *chefs kiss*. “ORDRE SUPREME” and “BOMBE” show Varnish’s range over more rap-centric instrumentals, and also flexes the Pool’s production skillz as he meticulously layers both tracks with either those high-octane beat switches on “BOMBE” and “CORTEZZ” or with mirroring vocals all over the chorus of “She Goes”, making it sound like he’s going in circles in his head about this one girl. But sacre fucking bleu, the real shock on here is Rico TK spawning in with a flying knee of a feature, combining Varnish’s stylistic approach with Rico’s typical braggadocios shit complements each other too good, get them a fucking visa ASAP!
The Swiss storyteller’s many faces bring him closer to becoming the ultimate dance hall and pop rap sensation the fashion capital needs, and considering Moosic’s already popping in Turkey and Indonesia (shoutout Gabodinho and Will), now is the perfect time to pop out the Rosetta Stone and go HAM on those dance moves. So go check out Varnish La Piscine’s latest soundtrack and short film, or take a baguette and stick it up where the sun doesn’t shine, whichever makes you feel closer to the Louvre.
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