Blog Archives

Joakim – Samurai (Red Axes Remix)


Following last week’s premiere of ‘Samurai’ via Stereogum, the prolific production duo Red Axes share an intoxicating 7 minute 30 seconds epic remix of the forthcoming album’s title track. A laid-back hum of brass over a gentle percussion; the instrumental is sprinkled with twinkling sound effects, cosmic synths and chopped segments of the original vocal. This is 100% what a remix should be.

A very personal and conceptual body of work, Joakim’s 6th album Samurai is about the artist’s journey between NY, Tokyo and Paris. In writing, Joakim was inspired by a range of influences from the literary (Mishima’s ‘Hagakure: Samurai Ethics & Modern Japan’), to the sonic (home-made electronic and “new age”’ style music) and the circumstantial (Japan and New York).

Catch Joakim at The Nest on 18th March, 2017.

Samurai is out via Tigersushi / Because on 17th March, 2017.

Fri. March 17 – Milano, IT @ Rollover
Sat. March 18 – London, UK @ The Nest (DJ Set)
Sat. March 25 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Thu. March 30 – Paris, FR @ Salo
Fri. March 31 – Paris, FR @ Salo
Sat. April 1 – Paris, FR @ Salo
Fri. May 5 – Amsterdam, NL @ Thuishaven
Fri. June 16 – Kiev, UA @ Closer

Joakim – Numb (Apollo Noir Remix)


Joakim shares the first remix of ‘Numb’ taken from his forthcoming album Samurai by fellow French producer, Apollo Noir. A left-field genre blurring remix, it feels completely raw and honest in its interpretation of the original. From the distorted vocals to the mystic synths, in Apollo Noir’s style this remix echoes an alternate reality where music and spirituality become one.

A very personal and conceptual body of work, Joakim’s 6th album Samurai is about the artist’s journey between NY, Tokyo and Paris. In writing, Joakim was inspired by a range of influences from the literary (Mishima’s ‘Hagakure: Samurai Ethics & Modern Japan’), to the sonic (home-made electronic and “new age”’ style music) and the circumstantial (Japan and New York).

A true artist, Joakim’s visual expression is as strong as his sonics. Evoking the ideas of transformation, ambiguity and artifice versus nature, the Adrian Yu-directed music video for the original of ‘Numb’ appropriates and makes a parody of the YouTube phenomenon of make-up tutorials. Partially shot with a cheap 90s camcorder, the video also nods to the Japanese tradition of Kabuki make-up which inspired the cover art for Samurai.

Samurai is out via Tigersushi / Because on 17th March, 2017.

Joakim – Daemon EP


The first release by Parisian iconoclast Joakim for his friends and European colleagues at DJ Tennis’ Life And Death records is a miniature nocturne for dance floor meditation, a cascade of unfurling fizzy moods and introspection, finally tuned and expertly rendered by the electronic music maestro.

I met Manfredi (Tennis) through Luke Jenner (ex The Rapture) in NYC. When Manfredi has a few days off his busy touring schedule, he comes to my studio to work with Luke on their collaboration project. We usually talk about synths, food, DJ gossip and complain about espressos in NYC. About 6 months ago we were eating Korean fried chicken and Manfredi asked me if I’d like to do something for his label Life & Death. At the time I had a bunch of club tunes I started working on and somehow had a feeling some of them could be a fit for Life & Death so I played those and Manfredi very quickly picked one, ‘Daemon’. I thought putting out something on Life & Death was at the same time kind of odd (and if you didn’t notice yet, I like when things are unexpected) and totally appropriate.”

‘Daemon’ is the most “Life & Death style” track on the EP. It’s full of modular synth tweaking and a nod to the 90s Detroit techno epic/melancholic vibes. B-side ‘Would You Give Up’ started as a very slow “R&B meets Techno” groove inspired by the freaky early Micronauts releases. The idea of the tempo change in the middle of the track (it goes from around 85 to 115bpm) came later so that it could be used by more adventurous DJs as a transition tune between different genres and BPMs.

Jay-Jay Johanson – Opium LP


After the release of his wondrous 4 track EP, ‘Moonshine’, Swedish producer, songwriter and avant-garde extraordinaire Jay-Jay Johanson returns with his 10th studio album ‘Opium’, out 8th June on Kwaidan Records. With masterful musicianship and soulful, melancholic vocals, Johanson takes us down a dreamlike road, telling 10 stories through 10 songs, inviting us into his dark and all-encompassing world.

‘Moonshine’ is remixed by French producer Joakim, who definitely has “an ear for a pop hook”, transforming the harmonies of the original track into a classy deep house cut with atmospheric vocals and sprung bassline. Check it out below.

‘Drowsy’ opens the album unconventionally, with a reverb-laden harmonica playing roadside blues, Johanson describes it as “entering suburbia with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn…”. The intro lulls us into a false sense of knowing before changing tempo and weaving an eerie beat with ‘Too Young To Say Good Night’. It’s colder here than the albums opening would have us believe, it’s here where we enter Jay-Jay Johansons universe, like Alice through the looking glass. He skilfully intertwines touches of jazz piano and a dirty drum beat with a deep, repetitive bass line and echoes of the harmonica that originally invited us in.

Previous single ‘Moonshine’ is a tragic love letter told against a dark, cinematic backdrop, with a pulsating and ghostly beat and heavy electronics. Johanson composed the track with the soundtracks of both Ennio Morricone and John Barry in mind, and explains that “the song tells a story of being in love with someone that might not be the best one for you, but sometimes you just can’t resist the choice of your heart.”

We’re led by the hand into ‘Be Yourself’ next. This slow, sweet love song has a more retrocentric feel to it, close vocal harmonies and a thoughtful brass section, played by Johanson himself, joins from the distance before a rolling fuzz builds into the trip hop beats of ‘I Love Him So’. Here, German duo Funkstörung bring something new to the table, with breakbeat electronics and experimental soundscapes reminiscent of Massive Attacks ‘Mezzanine’. There’s emotion to these crooning vocals, ‘I Love Him So’ was is song about Johanson’s son, written it in the waiting room of a hospital where he was being treated.

‘NDE’, or ‘Near Death Experience’ lays down a harder beat made up of the claps and foot stomps of Johanson and his son, recording together, while ‘I Don’t Know Much About Loving’ shines through with a heavy groove and soulfully wistful vocals atop beautifully dissonant piano stabs.

Jay-Jay Johanson has had a close working relationship with Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins since 1997, having appeared on a number of records together. On ‘Scarecrow’ Guthrie returns to give us a taste of what the two have been working on lately, and a glint of what a future album might sound like together. ‘I Can Count On You’ continues along this path with mellow grooves with pop sensibilities.

As the album winds down, we’re taken down new roads, more otherworldly sounds are introduced, as if this opium induced dream has reached its climax and now we enter the darker corners of Johansons mind. ‘Alone Too Long’ spins its story against a dark, cinematic backdrop and ‘Harakiri’, the only instrumental on the album, leaves us with room for thought as ambient melodies drift atop a vintage drum machine.

‘Celebrate The Wonders’ closes this epic with the sound of water, rushing against rocks, washing us ashore to bring us softly back to land. This rich, textured ballad does well to exit us from the dreamscape, almost transcendental, journey that ‘Opium’ takes us on. It’s grounding, smooth and familiar.

With further touring plans, and future releases already being planned, Jay-Jay Johanson is set to cast his net wide over 2015, and ‘Opium’ is a perfect gateway drug into the rich and diverse world he has created. Album released 8th June on Kwaidan Records.

OPIUM Tracklist:
1. Drowsy / Too Young To Say Good Night
2. Moonshine
3. Be Yourself
4. I Love Him So
5. NDE
6. I Don’t Know Much About Loving
7. Scarecrow
8. I Can Count On You
9. Alone Too Long
10. Harakiri
11. Celebrate The Wonders

Joakim – This Is My Life (Video + Kindness Remix)


Here’s Joakim’s new video for ‘This is my life’, made by Fafi. The EP is out now, backed with a more chilled remix from Kindness, which can be streamed below.

Obsessed by our everyday vision surroundings, « This is my life » project hacks your laptop and takes control in a big bordelo standing between Joakim’s real life and stunt fantasy.

Video: Joakim – Bring Your Love


Below, youi can watch the official video for “Bring Your Love“, the new single from Joakim‘s Tropics Of Love album featuring Luke Jenner (from the Rapture) on vocals. Album available here via Tigersushi. Directed by Ill-Studio.

Joakim – On The Beach

First single of Joakim‘s upcoming new album ‘Tropics Of Love’, which is out on May 26 via Because Music.

"This is the cover of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, On The Beach by Neil Young. When i first heard that song, i felt like i could have or should have written it. The lyrics are so dark and beautiful, they relate to the slightly autistic part that a lot of artists are hiding and the artist condition in general. But I’m no Neil Young when it comes to song-writing, so instead of trying to write something as good, I decided to make a cover, twist that blues tune and turn it into something completely different and (much to my surprise) even darker, to the point where most people don’t even recognize the original song."

POV – Adat / Oum

POV is Joakim x Crackboy. They make acid Arab techno. Buy "Adat / Oum" 12" here.

Video: Joakim – Another Light

“Another Light” is the follow up to the Heartbeats video. Same concept, different song. Shot in London, Washington, Oaxaca, Paris.. and edited by Joakim. Get the 12-inch including Heartbeats and Another Light here.

Video: Joakim – Hearbeats

Here’s the video for French producer and Tigersushi boss Joakim‘s “Heartbeats”, shot by himself in Shanghai, Puerto Escondido, New York, Washington, Bogota, Venice, Zermatt and a few airplanes. Joakim’s “Heartbeats” b/w “Another Light” is out now on Tigersushi.