Joakim Talks "Ghetto Techno," His Next Full-Length Album, and Basel 2013
"There's this sense of very lonely sensuality. And of course, the obvious paradox of being so connected, but so alone," says French DJ-producer Joakim of his latest, as-yet untitled full-length project, a follow-up to last June's pair of downtempo electro-pop tracks, "Heartbeats" and "Another Light," and his first LP since 2011's Nothing Gold.
Described by the Parisian underground veteran as "very deep and warm," the album is expected to defrost chilly listeners sometime this winter. But even though it's in the final stages of production, the Tigersushi label head still can't give a definitive release date.
See also: See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 Party Guide
"Hopefully as soon as possible," says Joakim. "I'm just trying to put out things more spontaneously, especially in these days, when everything is so immediate, and where the traditional strategies of releasing records are kind of obsolete. Sometimes I think, why bother? Just release stuff."
It's this desire for spontaneity and independence that drove the recent NYC transplant to start his new vinyl imprint, Crowdspacer, in January. Still rooted in the underground, but with a distinct "club focus," the label allows him the creative freedom to stray from the more eclectic, "weird" sound with which he's come to be associated.
"I decided to create a kind of different label, where I can do things in a more simple way, and with more precise direction," Joakim says. "I had the feeling I needed some alternate labels and identities to do that, and because I have too much pressure on myself when I make music as Joakim."
Some of his latest projects on Crowdspacer include a batch of "small re-issues and re-edits of trance records from the '90s, but very much slowed down," he explains. "It becomes like some really weird, slow, psychedelic techno. It's funny, because if you listen to those records at the right speed, it's horrible."
Another recent Crowdspacer project, this time a collaborative effort with fellow French producer Crackboy, was the output of a handful of "ghetto techno" tracks, an of-the-moment sound gaining popularity via producers like Omar Souleyman.
"It's very raw and quite rough-sounding, but we made tracks that are a little more produced like a club track, but with that [ghetto techno] inspiration," he says of the Crackboy callabo. "An acid bass line and stuff like that."
Headlining as part of the Young Adults Showcase during Art Basel Miami Beach week, Joakim will return to Miami for the first time since last March. He aims to "make some kind of journey through the music and through times...mixing more disco with new techno," which is a sampling of tracks that don't necessarily seem to go together. But as the DJ points out: "It's just how the songs connect. Sometimes there's slight references between the songs, to make a story."
A seasoned Art Basel Miami Beach attendee, Joakim says he's pretty connected to the art circuit, and remembers his last Basel experience with fondness: "I just remember last time getting drunk enough to dance to really stupid music, which is very, very, very rare," he laughs. "So, maybe that's what is gonna happen again."
Joakim. As part of the Young Adults Showcase. With Young Adults, Jerome LOL, Silk Road, Chalk, and Miami Players Club. Saturday, December 7. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $20 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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