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Joakim is a man of many hats and musical genres. The producer, musician, and label-owner was a strictly classical musician until a friend left behind a synthesiser in his room one day when he was teenager. This fortuitous event led Joakim down a new path as he discovered and dabbled in indie, jazz, and electronic sounds. He started releasing his own music circa 1999 on a sub-label of, respected French record label, Versatile. Around the same time he started a web-portal named Tigersushi, named after his first release, which has become a successful label over the years boasting releases from Maurice Fulton, Panico, E.S.G., and Metro Area.
Joakim’s musical star has also risen over the last decade as his sound grew from quirky electronic-tinged modal jazz to his unique mixture of analogue synths, pop hooks, indie guitar, and intricate production. His last few albums have been met with consistent critical acclaim and he’s toured the world both as a DJ and with his excellent full live band. With his latest album released last week and the band about to go on tour, we were quite happy to get this moving mix dedicated to another extremely talented and busy man that left this world far too early.
How’s it going?
Can you tell us a bit about the mix?
This mix was recorded on the 15th of September, two days after i arrived in Australia and received a very bad phone call about the passing of my friend DJ Mehdi and other friends at the hospital. Playing music on that night felt very cathartic, it was the first time i felt a bit better. I prepared a set dedicated to Mehdi, with some of his tracks and some of his personal favorites like Madonna’s Everybody or Mr Fingers The Sun Can’t Compare. I think the club crowd at New Guernica felt it was special and it was a memorable night for me.
Please tell us a bit about your latest album?
Well, I wanted to make a stripped down electronic pop album. I ended adding too many elements, as usual, and then tried to get rid of most of them and that’s it, haha. Still, i think it’s my best attempt at writing a song-based album, which has always been my secret goal. I’m fascinated by great songs. Songs you remember and bring immediate emotions. It took some time. I’m getting slower and slower, harder to satisfy. The first writing steps go fast, but deciding what’s good and what’s not takes forever. It’s also the first time i sing on most tracks. Influences, that’s always the hard question. Some slo-mo 80s R&B. Cold African grooves. Soft rock. Space disco.
You were just living in NYC for a while. How was that?
I loved it. It’s bloody exhausting though. Not a day without its dose of excitement. Too many parties, exhibitions, concerts, restaurants, bars and you want to see them all. I think it’s a vampire city, it sucks your blood and also turns you into a super-human. There’s a lot of very interesting people there too.
How does the New York music scene compare to back home?
Well, to my eyes, Paris is like a small village, everyone knows each other, or almost. In NYC there’s so much happening, the competition is fierce and there’s different scenes that don’t necessarily communicate much.
What’s coming up for you over the next few months? Will you be touring with a live band again?
Yes, I’m actually just in the middle of rehearsing as I write these lines. Exciting and intense. I’m working with a drummer and bass/synth player, trying to melt instruments and machines together.
Then I have two remixes to finish, a band to record (young surf-rockers from Bordeaux) and a tour to start!