– Photo by Kris Macota
Since he unveiled his anthem ‘Nightdrive With You’ we immediately put an eye on this French producer known as Anoraak and now, this electro artist has evolved and has new music to show the world. He’s attached to the French Touch collective par excellence Valerie Collective, so if you have heard about it, you’d know we are talking about good music.
In 2010 he released his debut album “Whenever The Sun Sets” and three years later he’s back with his predecessor, “Chronotropic”. Let’s see what he’s been up to all this time. (Interview made before its release)
GS: We know you met Valerie people when you moved to Nantes, can you say you got into that characteristic retro-romantic 80’s style after all of that or you were into that genre before? How did you decided to get immersed into that synth world?
Anoraak: I didn’t change any of my music when we met, we actually realized we were all in the same musical mood, that’s why it matched instantly. I think we’ve just been lucky enough to meet at the right moment.
GS: Some time ago Valerie Collective threw parties, many mixtapes.. Nowadays it seems quite calm, do you guys still meet up or everyone is focus on its own projects? Will we hear about all that good stuff again?
Anoraak: Everyone is definitely focused on its own project, but we still see each other and we’re basically good friends anyway. The website is still active , thanks to College, he posts a lot of good musics and mixtapes. I don’t know if you’ll here new “Valerie” stuff like in 2008/2009, but you’ll definitely hear from all the projects that came out from Valerie. It has never been thought as a label, that’s maybe why it seems less active now, but the most important to me is that Valerie remains unforgotten.
GS: We know you come from the indie-rock scene, which are your main influences from it?
Anoraak: I’d say the most influencing bands are Pinback, Don Caballero, That Dog!, The Rentals, Pavement just to name a few. At the same time i was also really into the indie electro scene (i think Warp or Morr Music, bands like Boards of Canada or Console). The interesting thing is back in the early 2000’s, when the indie rock scene met the electronic scene for good, and then popped up some amazing bands like The Faint, or a little later Cut Copy.
GS: You say your inspirations come from the sun and the sea and it can be felt in your holidays and summery music, how do you manage to keep that feeling? Can we say you are not a winter boy?
Anoraak: I guess this is coming from my childhood, when my parents had to move from the south of France to the west. From that moment some kind of frustration grew in me about not living under the sun anymore, and since then I keep dreaming about sea and sun. You can definitely say i’m not a winter boy!
GS: Rock and French Touch; would you like to collaborate with someone and experiment new sounds? Any dream collab?
Yes definitely, but you have to find the right person at the right moment. Dream collabs i don’t know, i could mention some names of artists i like, but i’m not sure that would be interesting as a collaboration. I like to work with people from different horizons. Some things are in the pipe lines but nothing to talk about so far.
GS: You second album “Chronotropic”is just around the corner, we guess you’ll be quite nervous! Will we find many surprises on it? Any advance?
Anoraak: You can already listen to it, it’s been premiered in full on Hype Machine for a week and now it’s available! I’m really excited!
I guess you’ll find surprises, as i’m trying not to apply the same process from one album to another, but it’s still Anoraak 🙂
This album may appear a little darker, or nocturnal, and there’s a wider range of tempos and moods than before, some tracks are definitely dancefloor friendly, some other are more on the contemplative mode.
GS: All your music always comes along with very cool and great artistic material as your videos or covers; do you spend so many time thinking about the visual concept as with your music?
Anoraak: For sure, it’s the first approach you’ll have to a project, so it has to be in relation with the music, you must find a real concept. For Chronotropic i worked with Etienne Bardelli for the artwork, he already did the previous LP and i really love the visual interpretation he has of my music. For the first video, i had this idea of making a video with a skateboarder for a long time, i’m really glad we could make it with Julien Bechet, he’s a great rider.
GS: Your music goes through digital and analog, do you like to create your own sounds or you are more into plugins? Computer or synths?
Anoraak: Both! We are lucky enough to be able to work with old machines or instruments as well as brand new softwares and plugins, so i think we must take advantage of this. So i’m using every gear i can find, no matter it’s computer based or hardware equipment.
GS: Which are current artists you are following? Any new music to recommend?
Anoraak: I really like Cyclist, he makes incredible mixtapes and really good productions, i’m also thinking about Luke Million and Mix Chopin.
GS: Is Nantes nightlife as fun as they say?
Anoraak: Haha! Yes it is, if you have good buddies to party with, it’s always good times. But maybe it has changed, now i’m living in Paris, and don’t have much time to go back to Nantes often, sadly. Nantes is definitely a cultural place and a party city, you can’t be disappointed there.
GS: We have read you are an authentic gourmand, what is your menu when your are living at the studio?
Anoraak: Anything, as long as it’s not junk food, it’s always worth it to take 15/20min to cook some proper meal instead of filling yourself with industrial processed stuff 😉 AND a good glass of red wine will always make the difference!