Samurai (Tigersushi/Because)

Contact Patrick Tilley about Joakim

It’s always hard and frustrating to talk about your own music because the reason why you make music is to express certain things you can’t put in words.


Someone said writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Then writing about your own music is like dancing about your own house. But this album is a special house for me so I’d rather explain a few things about it before you find your own way through the music.


This is a very personal record. I tried to channel the emotions and spontaneity I had when I first started making music.  It’s not about nostalgia, it’s about the freshness and directness – call it naivety – you lose when you start becoming a professional musician.


I moved to New York almost 5 years ago. These past few years have been a weird combination of excitement and quite challenging events. I’ve learnt what it means to be exiled, in every sense. This album is about that, being far away from “home” and from yourself and finding your way back.


The album is built like an unknown city, you walk through it, making random turns, getting lost, some corners may bring back memories, you’re getting away from something and at the same time you’re on a quest. Hence the importance of listening to it in it’s entirety (yes, I’m a utopian).


While I was working on it, I read Mishima’s ‘Hagakure : Samurai Ethics & Modern Japan’. I was fascinated by its schizophrenic combination of visionary and progressive ideas and sometimes shockingly conservative thoughts. Mishima was not afraid of contradictions I guess, definitely a complex character. But complexity is not popular these days, complexity doesn’t sell and the almighty marketing forces need things to be simple in order to be marketed. I’ve always tried to resist homogeneity and cohesiveness, a matter or artistic survival. Somehow I see the Samurai as a force of resistance and idealism and in that way it inspired this album.


Japan is also present as a musical influence, although it wasn’t much planned (nothing is much planned when I write an album, it all starts to make sense after I finish it), especially the YMO gang, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, some of my all time favorite musicians and producers. 


I was also inspired by home made electronic and “new age” style music, listening to all these fantastic reissues on Music From Memory or Plato Flats.


And of course there’s New York. I believe this is the first time you can actually hear the influence of a city in my work. Walking those streets is a never-ending source of strange encounters and my night wanders fueled my musical writing.


Samurai, by Joakim is released on Tigersushi / Because on March 17, 2017


Since 1999, when he released his debut album as Joakim Lone Octet on Future Talk, Joakim has been a tough musician to pinpoint.


An ex piano student at the Conservatory, the man has taken great pains (and pride?) to avoid being pigeonholed and has grown on the outskirts of the French Touch and international Club scenes, becoming one of their major players but refusing to associate with any crew, style or genre.


Year after year, Joakim has gathered experiences that confirm his global vision of music and explored many facets of the musical spectrum: a musician with five albums under his belt; an outstanding DJ with a huge musical spectrum; a label founder and manager (Tigersushi and the recent vinyl-only Crowdspacer imprint); a self-taught graphic designer (he designs his record covers and most of the label’s artworks); a producer (for Panico, Poni Hoax, Zombie Zombie, Y.O.U., Montevideo…); a high-profile remixer (Antena, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Todd Terje etc…); a fashion enthusiast (he launched Tigersushi Furs with his cousin); a sound designer for catwalks (Chanel, Margiela, Balenciaga); and a step into contemporary art, working on Camille Henrot’s installations and videos (who won the Silver Lion at the 2013 Venice Biennale with the video Grosse Fatigue) or making his own sound installations (Gwangju Biennale in 2014 curated by Jessica Morgan).