Fred Falke on Daft Punk's Return: "An Adrenaline Shot Into Mainstream EDM"
If any label has best harnessed the international hipster appeal of electronic music and indie rock, it's definitely been Paris's Kitsuné.
Founded in 2002 as both a record and fashion label by Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, Kitsuné seems to have been able to sustain its momentum despite the fickle trendy nature of 21st-century culture.
Naturally, Kitsuné appeals to the Francophile in all of us, but the label has also shown plenty of love for the U.S., including its first Kitsuné America compilation in 2012. But with so much good music being made Stateside, the label is back with Kitsuné America 2, featuring tracks by Theophilus London, Toro y Moi, Gigamesh, Heartsrevolution, and more.
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To celebrate, Kitsuné is embarking on an American club tour which will bring French house maestro Fred Falke to The Garret at Grand Central this Saturday night. Falke has carefully walked the line between dance music's underground and the mainstream, producing and remixing for the likes of Katy Perry, Little Boots, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, and Ke$ha.
In advance of his upcoming Miami appearance, we here at Crossfade spoke with Falke about the differences between the French and American music scene, Daft Punk's return, and his take on Kitsuné's longevity.
Crossfade: The Kitsuné brand is over ten years old. How do you think it's evolved over the past decade?
Fred Falke: Kitsuné has always been a reference when it comes to quality and good taste, both in fashion and music. And [Gildas Loaëc] and [Masaya Kuroki] have succeeded in keeping that level of excellence over the years.
Lately, it seems you've been getting into a lot of production and songwriting work for other artists. Do you approach it differently that you would something you would release under your own name?
Every studio session is different, whether it is for another artist or my own release. What's coming out of the speakers has to put a grin on my face. Enthusiasm is the key. Routine is hell.
With Daft Punk poised to make their return this year, do you think there will be a renewed attention on French house music?
Of course, Random Access Memory will be like an adrenaline shot into the mainstream electronic music scene, which has been dangerously stagnant lately, and bring the French sound back on the frontline.
Do you agree with the duo's manifesto that dance music has moved too far away from its roots and lacks experimentation?
I read the [Thomas Bangalter] and [Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo] interview and I could not agree more. When dance music first crossed over to mainstream pop it was fantastic, but now it's become too formulaic and non-exciting. Everything sounds so similar that sometimes you can't even tell what's playing on radio.
What do you think of mainstream America's sudden love affair with dance music?
It's very exciting, as long as the quality and variety are there. The mainstream can magnify a genre or kill it.
How would you compare the French and American dance scenes?
They're two different beasts. But that's the beauty of dance music. It transcends the cultures and borders, so no matter on which side of the Atlantic you're partying, it's gonna be great.
Are you working on new music? When can we expect to hear a new tracks?
The energy I'm getting from the crowd when touring is the key. When I'm back in studio after the tour, I'll bring that energy into the studio and turn it into new tracks. So my guess is that this summer.
Have you heard the Kitsuné America 2 compilation?
As all the Kitsuné compilations, America 2 is a great one. Hard to pick one track though; they all fit together.
What can Miami expect during your set at the Garret?
Expect lot of sunshine, a strong summer vibe, and a rise in temperature.
You are no stranger to Miami, having been here many times before. Anything you are looking forward to doing?
I prefer not to plan things and expect the unexpected. Miami has always provided me some wicked unexpected experiences.
Kitsune Club Night Tour. With Fred Falke alongside Aramis Lorie and Ray Milian. Saturday, May 11. The Garret at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 11 p.m. and cover costs $10. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.
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