French producer Anoraak returns to his 80s synthwave roots

Frédéric Rivière a.k.a. Anoraak makes electronic music that just naturally flows. It’s groovy enough to get you moving on that dancefloor, but it also chill enough to keep you on that good vibe for quite a while. It’s hard to achieve that kind of suave — the genre is even called indie-dance — but what else do you expect from a guy whose last name literally means river?

We caught up with the French producer hours before his DJ set — with surprise vocals, btw! — at the latest leg of Fred Perry’s Subculture Live series in XX:XX last Oct. 20. He talked to us about his new EP, 80s synthwave, and his idea of a perfect nightdrive.

Can you tell us more about your new EP Black Gold Sun?

It came out in June this year. There is a comeback of the retro 80s sound recently. I just figured I was one of the first ones who did this 10 years ago. I went through this instrumental process, more house [music], and I just wanted go back a little bit to this. I’ve been seeing these dudes make very good synthy 80s retro music. It’s a bigger scene now. It’s very interesting.

When I started this, I was coming from rock bands. Being involved in the electronic world was kind of something I didn’t understand quite at the beginning.

Your music really changed a lot through the years.

Yes because I wanted to experience new things. When I started this, I was coming from rock bands. Being involved in the electronic world was kind of something I didn’t understand quite at the beginning. I was just all alone at that time but I decided on the second album to go out with a band: drummer, bass player, everything. That was a great experience, but at some point I decided to go back to the solo stuff and embrace the fact that I’m making electronic music and that’s fine. No shame in that. That’s when I began to embrace it, around 2012 to 2013.

 

Are you planning to continue with this sound for now?

Generally, I don’t release my stuff before a couple of years unless I’m playing it live or in a DJ set. This DJ set [in the Fred Perry store in Greenbelt 5] is actually pretty special because I only played the stuff I did — the remixes I did and all my originals. This is the first time ever. It’s pretty cool. I go back to [my songs] years after and rediscover them.

In a couple of weeks I’m gonna put out a remixed version [of the new EP] with more club versions, DJ-friendly. It’s gonna come out with a video clip. I’m very excited about that.

Raak & roll: We’ll be hearing a remixed version of Anoraak’s new EP.

We’re just curious: Who do you want to drive with at night, where will you go, and will you play your own songs?

I would love to drive with my girl, of course. Anywhere that’s warm and not rainy. I will definitely not [play my own songs] because it makes me feel awkward. It’s not like I don’t like my music. If people wanna listen to it then fine, even my girl. But not on my watch. I don’t want to witness someone listening to my [recorded] music. I don’t feel comfortable with that.

At the heart of Fred Perry are subcultures and music. Since 2005, it has been the avenue to collaborate with true icons and introduce the very best of emerging musicians. Follow Anoraak on Soundcloud.

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