Sébastien Forrester

Nomad with a penchant for the complex

Who they?

An itinerant Anglo-French producer, percussionist and remixer who has been absorbing cultural sounds from around the world and transposing them into otherworldly soundscapes. Forrester was brought up in Texas, has lived in Gabon and the Caribbean, and now finds himself residing in Paris (the one in France) where he recently recorded the ‘Spirals’ EP following some sonic experiments in Morocco.

Why Sébastien Forrester?

Sébastien isn’t an unusual name for a French electronic dance musician, but his rhythms are not your every day (or every night) floorfillers. Forrester became a percussionist after living in sub-Saharan Africa and in recent years has studied jazz drumming at the local conservatoire. This strong rhythmic predilection is what makes the ‘Spirals’ so interesting. Inspired by, but not copied from, an intense Gnawa ritual called the lila, which apparently puts its dancers into a trance. The songs came out of a series of improvisations that began last summer at the Institut Français in the Moroccan beach town of Essaouira. What started as a jam with band-in-residence Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains and Guembri player Maâlem Saïd Boulhimas, turned into a sonic stew stuffed  with surprises. 

Tell us more… 

The seven tracks that form ‘Spirals’ include some cameos, most notably Forrester’s aforementioned pal François Atlas, and rising Moroccan DJ GLITTERڭليثر٥, who also goes by the easier to say DJ Manar Fegro. You may have heard Forrester’s work already – he previously traded under the alias Holy Strays with a glut of releases exploring distorted beats and sepulchral moods, with 2013’s ‘Chasm’ EP in particular taking big room production to heights that were almost gothic. Along the way he’s remixed Rejjie Snow, Forest Swords and Spanish flamenco superstar Rosalía.  It’s a quiet life, eh?

‘Spirals’ is released by Kowtow

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