Little People

Mickey Mouse Operation

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Available on black wax

Little People is the nom-de-guerre of producer Laurent Clerc.
Laurent is both Swiss and English. His parents met as athletes - they were both sprinters in the 60’s. One ran for Britain, the other for Switzerland; one of them was fourth in the Olympic Games in the 400m. The other was European Champion in the 200m. Laurent now makes music. Go figure.

It's the early Nineties, Laurent listens to hip-hop. Then the Mid 90's, he samples his first record and starts a hip-hop group with his mates. He used to rap too, but he now prefers to keep that quiet.

In the Late Nineties he leaves Switzerland for England. Manchester University is where he spends the next 3 years studying for a degree in Nano Technology or something like that - but we won't go into that!

At that time, your Mo’ Wax's and Ninja Tunes are flavour of the month. Following their lead, and as a form of release from bizarre mathematical formulae, he starts making instrumental music, and manages to write several scores for plays and short films during his time there.

Meanwhile he's still in touch with a hip-hop band back in Switzerland - Prime Essence - and finds a role undertaking production work for them. Things move and soon enough they get picked up by a label in Paris. They release a track on a compilation and collaborate with 'IAM' (probably the biggest and best hip hop band in France at that time).

A year later, all of them go to Paris to record an album. It's a complete fuck-up. The label they are with is basically run by a bunch of gangsters who made their money smuggling diamonds into France now trying their hand at the music industry. The little Swiss kid from a quaint part of the world isn't quite cut out for the whole gangsta rap scene and decides that making music with people who bring guns into the studio isn't exactly what he's after. So he drops it all.
Besides he prefers the instrumental form of hip-hop.

A year on, he graduates from Manchester University and goes back to Switzerland for the summer. Records several tracks during that time and collaborates with his old schoolfriends Julien, Carlos and Nicolas. He comes back to England and releases his 5 track EP with his own means (Little People - instrumental works). Illicit like what they hear...

'Last Fare' is released on the label’s soundtrack inspired compilation, ‘Straight to Video'. Illicit’s fortunes waver, but finally they manage to give our man his chance...

Laurent delivers an album that makes absolute sense in the Illicit oeuvre. Part breaks and beats instrumentals, and part cinematic soundfields, it owes much to the influence of Deadly Avenger by way of Portishead and Mo’ Wax. Although you can sense the delight of visual programmers everywhere at such a perfect selection of music to backdrop their film or TV show, the music deserves a much more focused attention with intricate melodies interlaced with soulful backing.

His parents might argue that it was a crime to have squandered all that athletic potential in favour of making records. For our part we’re just glad he chose breaks & beats over track & field. Laurent is definitely no Mickey Mouse Operation.