We speak to the French producer about his new album, which arrives via Tigersushi in May.
Tropics Of Love has been in the works for a while—Joakim discussed it in an RA Exchange back in early 2013. As with his most recent LP, 2011's Nothing Gold, Tropics Of Love will come out on the Frenchman's own Tigersushi label (with help from Because Music).
Though this album was crafted in Joakim's current home in New York—a break from his previous LPs, which were all made in Paris—it promises to exude the same kind of Gallic charm that runs through all his material. It was crafted in his makeshift studio using, among other things, a SP1200 modular synth. There are a couple of vocal contributions: "I recorded [former lead singer of The Rapture] Luke Jenner in his kitchen and Akwetey in my living room," Joakim told RA.
As well as building a new studio in New York, 2014 will see Joakim touring in support of the album (he has two bands: one in Europe and another based in the US). The full album has been preceded by the On The Beach single, which comes backed by remixes from Principles Of Geometry, CFCF and Joakim himself. We caught up with Joakim via email to find out more:
Where was the album recorded?You can listen to one of the album's cuts, a cover of Neil Young's "On The Beach," via the SoundCloud player below:
In New York where I recently moved. I haven't set up a proper studio like I had in Paris yet, so it was basically recorded in a room in my apartment where I brought a minimal set up from Paris including a few old synths, a sampler and drum machines.
I also built a modular synth and bought some '90s cheap synths when I was there. Same for the vocals: I recorded Luke Jenner in his kitchen and Akwetey in my living room. Then I went to a proper studio to do the mixdown on a board with some cool hardware.
The LP seems to touch on lots of different styles. What kinds of things did you draw inspiration from when putting the album together?
I think I was partly influenced by the machines I had on hand. The SP1200 has this grainy lo-fi sound that reminds of Art Of Noise, for instance, which was an influence. The modular defines a lot of the sound atmosphere of the album. Things like Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon for the synthy tropical atmosphere, and modern R&B, both commercial and the weirder bass stuff that is to me a sort of experimental R&B.
01. Chapter 1
02. Bring Your Love
03. 3 Laser Fingers
05. Chapter 2
06. Each Other
07. This Is My Life
09. Chapter 3
10. Man Like Moon
11. On The Beach
Tigersushi will release Tropics Of Love on May 26th, 2014.