This past winter, in case you missed it, I discovered the French electronic musician ANORAAK. (or, as real names go, Frederic Riviere) My last.fm sort of forced him upon me, but I'm glad it was so insistent. His music is warm, lush and perfect for the summer. Which it apparently is now, in case the smothering temperatures haven't been any clue.
Anyway, if you haven't checked out any of Anoraak's songs yet, I recommend doing so now. SEE HERE:
ANORAAK - Crazy Eyes by anoraakmotion
Those French know what they're doing!
Anoraak answered my questions rather fast. I was pleased as a plum. Or a pear. You have your pick.
Hi Anoraak! Thank you for taking the time to do this. It's very appreciated. (seriously, I am grateful for such things)
What are you up to these days? Working on anything new? Gigging?
Anoraak: We're actually waiting in an airport for 8 hours because our flight was cancelled, and believe me it's extremely annoying :) We're playing tonight at Razzmatazz in Barcelona, and back home we'll keep working on the second LP.
Your music has a very 1980s and Californian quality to it. Would you say you've drawn inspiration from those two things?
Anoraak: Not exclusively, but it's clearly a part of my influences, I'm also a big fan of disco music since forever and i grew up [with] the 90's alternative rock. I've never tried to make a 80's or Californian sounding music, but it's coming in this shape. I've always been into the Californian imagery; I guess it fits my own imagination.
How did you get started making your own music?
Anoraak: A long time ago, when I had to stop playing in my bands because I moved for my studies. Then I discovered the use of computers and started to make music alone. But it took a long time to find the way to do exactly what I had I mind :)
You're a very active part of the Valerie label, it seems. How did you get involved with them?
Anoraak: When I met David (College) thanks to MySpace, and we figured we were living in the same town. Others guys joined the project on a short period. Then we started to set up parties, cool posts of our productions on the website... That's how it all started!
Funny thing, College is also on the bill for Barcelona tonight :)
What is a live gig like for you?
Anoraak: Anoraak live is a long story. When I started to perform live in 2008, I didn't prepare it at all, as I was not even expecting to play this live one day. So I had to figure a simple setup with a keyboard, a laptop and a microphone. But coming from the rock scene I quickly felt the boundaries of such a setup. So I decided to take back the guitar, to show a little bit more of this instrumental part of my music overshadowed but the synthesizer part. Then a friend joined me to play the drums, we played one year like that, and finally we grew up to 3 when his brother took the bass/basssynths job. So now it's a band, and I feel way more comfortable like that because it's a better representation of my music. And it's such a great time every single gig we play!
For me, playing live cannot be faked for too long, this was my only problem with electronic music, and I've spent a lot of time taking this project to a next level, which is playing as a band, and it's well worth it!
Finally, because so much of your sound seems focused on this time of year: how has your summer been?
Anoraak: So far it's all about working under the clouds and the rains, but it's really motivating in a way, and I can't wait to take a little holiday time before hitting back the road and the studios!
That's it, kids! Feel free to reach out to Anoraak via
and check out upcoming dates on last.fm!
EDIT: one of my favorite (more recent) songs by him
Anoraak - Waiting For Your Phonecall from tom mouton on Vimeo.