Music was DJ Joachim Garraud's first love
Classically trained DJ Joachim Garraud knows how to get the party started, writes Terrence Choi
Hot on the heels of Kraftwerk's recent 3-D extravaganza comes French electro-musician Joachim Garraud (right), who brings his immersive audio-visual show to Macau on June 22.
The Nantes-born, classically trained pianist turned DJ, producer and remixer says he is excited by the prospect of putting on a performance here in Asia.
"A lot of people come to see the DJ, but I'm focusing on much more," says Garraud. "It's crazy when I'm playing my videos and when I'm doing a loop on the track and everything is synchronised. People are very 'in' the show. The LED walls are everywhere, so if you are able to synchronise it, you're essentially making it global. With the 3-D, people are immersed in it, and hypnotised by the content."
Garraud, who first began playing vinyl in France in 1989, is now an unashamedly maximalist electro-musician. He makes no bones about his popular-leaning inspirations and tastes. His music is fun and easy to dance to. The melodies and drums are the stuff of big stadium raves, and were providing hands-in-the-air singalongs well before Tiesto and Skrillex.
Garraud has collaborated with, or provided remixes for, among others, David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Cassius, Deep Dish, Culture Club and Steve Aoki. He has played in front of a television audience of billions live from the Pyramids, held an 11-night residency at the storied Space in Ibiza, started many record labels, and hosted his own radio show.
Garraud's founding musical experiences foretold what he would become. His mother was a dancer who, he says, "had some amazing records".
The young Joachim immersed himself in the likes of Herbie Hancock and the jazz fusion groups and moved on to Kraftwerk and electro pioneer Jean Michel Jarre. "Then I had my own records, and there was a lot of funk," he says. "When I started, it was Kool and the Gang, Fat Larry's Band, Prince and Michael Jackson. These artists formed my musical background. When I learned to play piano, I was writing and reading music. It makes a difference to have a background in classical music."
Garraud is deeply in love with the culture of music. "A lot of people know me as just a stage musician, but I'm more of a producer, composer and songwriter. I was lucky to learn music at school when I was six - piano and percussion."
Music is 100 per cent of his life. "During the day, I can't stop making music. On top of that, I'm working for all the artists I love. If you can do a new version of a David Bowie song, it's a great honour, because sharing musical feelings with artists like that is very unique.
"It's helped me stay in love with music every day. This is not a part-time job," Garraud says.
Club Cubic, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau, June 22, 11pm, HK$350. Inquiries: (853) 6638 4999