Palace is not only the the debut artist album but also a fabulously clubby throwdown from Guillaume Duchastel de Montrouge under the DJ W!LD moniker (his alias is a reference to Wild Style, the early-‘80s cult film about graffiti pioneers, breakdancing, and freestyle MCing, and the album title a nod to the Paris nightspot). The Circo Loco resident rolls out a nine-track collection of full-frontal body music that showcases the different sides of his musical persona, with Latin- and Brazil-tinged cuts rubbing shoulders with funk workouts and jacking tracks (W!LD lived for a brief spell in Brazil, after which he became one of the leading DJs in Europe's underground gay scene). Echoes of acid and Chicago house are present, too, and one can even hear traces of hip-hop in his street-level material.
Palace includes a number of standouts. The opening “Last Summer” rolls out its tough low-end strut with a breezy allure before a brief swirl of sampled voices jumpstarts an even deeper move into bass-powered swing. The cut's sexy vibe proves irresistible, especially when a delicious breakdown finds an ethereal female voice teasing “ Do you remember how it used to be / You are atop makin' love to me,” with the tension unbearably building until the beat roars back in. In another highlight track, Duchastel de Montrouge scatters his own clipped phrases (the mantra-like “Eh you … Can I feel you … On you … In you”) and gravelly drawl across the bass-banging house of “Another Day” to hypnotic effect. The bass-throttling groove powering “Bizaz” is so underground it's downright filthy, and neatly weaves a variety of funky vocal elements and a slamming pulse into one of the album's most infectious deep house bangers. “Take A Trip” starts out rather unassumingly but gains force once Hector Morales shows up to laconically recount a hilarious story about an Ibiza vacation involving “liquid stuff” and partying, and then moves to another level altogether when the bass thunder and dizzying house groove kick in. A more restrained side to the album comes to the fore during the soulful “How I Feel” when W!LD overlays a snappy beat pattern with a delicate female vocal part and the merest whisper of a smokey saxophone.
That Palace is an album designed with club play in mind is exemplified by tracks such as “Amor,” which languidly stretches out its Latin-tinged, percussive-heavy stomp for eleven steamy and sultry minutes, and “Con Leche (version 303),” a tribal funk jam speckled with squiggly acid fever and staccato claps. Like a number of the album's pieces, the ten-minute title track may be long but sidesteps repetition by switching it up a number of times along the way, in this case by repeatedly spreading an epic, horn-drenched motif across its crisp beat swing. One of the album's major strengths is the way Duchastel de Montrouge artfully integrates a choice selection of samples into the material, a move that turns the tracks into more than just hard-hitting beat workouts. There's a moment during “Take A Trip” when Hector Morales murmurs “Gotta get up” but such prodding will hardly be necessary when Palace comes booming out from some high-end system.