Review: Previously, Brazil's Mareh Music - founded by the people behind the festival of the same name - has concentrated on split EPs full of summery minded, happy-go-lucky house and disco. Here, they give one artist, French scene veteran Joakim, a chance to fly solo. "Biopeda" is something of a hazy, sun-kissed delight, with ear-pleasing synthesizer solos and swirling electronics riding a Brazilian-influenced, analogue-meets-organic groove. It's accompanied by an even better dub mix, which emphasizes the Latin percussion elements to deliver a seriously sensual and floor-friendly drum workout (with added wave noises, in case you wondered about the inspiration).
Bring Your Love (feat Luke Jenner) - (4:29) 79 BPM
Three Laser Fingers - (5:00) 56 BPM
Heartbeats - (4:23) 72 BPM
Chapter 2 - (0:44) 94 BPM
Each Other (feat Akwetey) - (4:50) 57 BPM
This Is My Life - (6:35) 67 BPM
RX777 - (6:38) 60 BPM
Chapter 3 - (1:26) 107 BPM
Man Like Moon - (6:22) 95 BPM
On The Beach - (5:50) 59 BPM
Hero - (10:17) 60 BPM
Review: Predictably, Parisian eccentric Joakim is on fine form on this fifth album, his first since 2011's stylised Nothing Gold. As you'd perhaps expect, Tropics of Love isn't easy to pin down. Joakim's usual influences - acid house, synth-pop, glitch-hop, new wave and classic electronica - are all present, this time joined by an orange-hued Balearic sensibility that courses through album highlights "Man on the Moon" and Neil Young cover "On The Beach". Of course, it's not all wide-eyed bagginess with one eye on the horizontal, post-club market; as you'd expect, the album's more upbeat moments - particularly the brilliant "This Is My Life", in which a computerised voice recounts key moments in the producer's music development - all hit home hard.
On The Beach (Joakim Cray76 remix) - (8:13) 59 BPM
On The Beach (Principles Of Geometry remix) - (4:40) 70 BPM
Review: Cover versions can be notoriously tricky to get right. Getting the perfect balance between paying tribute to the original and giving it your own twist is notoriously hard. Happily, Joakim has more than managed it with this superb cover of Neil Young's atmospheric 1974 song "On The Beach". While Joakim's version is tactile, dreamy, electronic and, dare we say it, Balearic (check the lilting pedal steel and snaking sax lines), the French producer has managed to retain the melancholy and heartaching pain of Young's original. The remixes are uniformly impressive, too, with Balearic specialists CFCF delivering a typically baggy and sun-soaked take and Principles of Geomotry taking the track deep into glitchy experimental territory.
Review: Parisian eccentric Joakim has always been the sort of producer who is impossible to second-guess. Capable of delivering everything from French disco-punk noise to languid Balearic goodness, his discography is both thrillingly varied and curiously unfathomable to beginners. On this latest single for longtime home Tigersushi, he delivers a delicious, dewy-eyed blast of Balearic pop goodness that somehow manages to successfully fuse elements of Afro-house, Reichian marimba melodies, synth-pop sassiness and Beach Boys-ish vocal harmonies. If that's not enough to get the juices flowing, check the superb remixes from John Talabot (eyes-wide-shut electronic bliss), Soul Clap (touchy-feely E-house) and Das Glow (dark and disturbed Afro-tech). His best for some time - and that's saying something.