Firstly, don't be confused between Yan Wagner and The Populists. Beware ! The two projects of the parisian artist are plainly separated. Songwriter, singer and pop musician under Yan Wagner (his real name), he's also equally brilliant in the role of composer, producer and engineer under the name The Populists – a reference everyone could identify with, all around the world. Since 2014 and his first EP ‘Soft Power’ on Space Factory (the legendary David Carreta's record label), the power and energy of The Populists music never stopped infiltrating other territories. That's how ‘Lipdub’, his second EP, caught the eye of english Days of Being Wild Records in 2015. After these beginnings characterized by caustic song titles and a political vision – in clear contrast to the techno scene, The Populists moved to the studio to focus on his artistry.
Secondly, do not think The Populists speaks only to French, or to an audience already commited. Armed with his multiple analog synthesizers, Juno 60 and Roland SH-101 at the front, he navigates from dark disco to acid techno, from new beat to electrofunk, producing a mixture both loud and clear, perfectly at its place within that EBM revival running across Europe right now (search Mannequin, Pinkman or Rat Life Records). Originally influenced by some legends from various continents of the electro sphere, either Fad Gadget for the sense of rhythm, Drexciya for the atmosphere or Front 242 for the rhetoric; The Populists manages to keep a high level of efficiency, less productive than DMX Krew but as impressive and inspired as Alden Tyrell, Cardopusher or Dollkraut.
Thirdly, 2019 is an important year to him with the release of two records : first a new beat remix of french band Bagarre (‘Le Gouffre’), played in various clubs for months by influent DJs like Identified Patient (NL), Job Jobse (NL) or Solomun (GER), and finally available on 12" thanks to Berlin's Detriti Records. Then, his third EP (digital release) named ‘Bakchich’ maintains the same strategy which could be summarized by two words : dance + awareness. It is brought by the unmistakable Zone, the french night house built by The Hacker and Gesaffelstein, and already playlisted by I-F and Andrew Weatherall. Added together, these elements make the perfect modern formula for The Populists, mixing past, present and future of electronic music, still with the same direct and concrete goal in mind : give back to the dancers the place they deserve, and give meaning to a music that is too often missing it.
New EP ‘Bakchich’
Past dates :
04.10.19 - Badaboum - Paris/FR
05.10.19 - Tsugi Radio x Nuit Blanche – Paris/FR