This project was pretty different from what I usually do, and it was fun and instructive to work with my fellow Parisian expatriate friends Peter Corser, a great UK saxophonist, and Hasse Poulsen, the talented Danish free-jazz guitarist. There is some great guest talent on the record, including Egyptian poet Abdullah Miniawy and French singers André Minvielle and Sanseverino. Hope you’ll like it! More info here: http://www.sighfire.com
Last year I had the immense privilege of co-producing Alain Chamfort’s upcoming record with him, “Le Désordre des Choses”. I’ve played with Alain in the past, and I love his back catalogue. Some of the most elegant and sophisticated music and lyrics of French pop music, hands down. Imagine my enthusiasm, getting to produce the next chapter in this amazing songbook! It was a fluid and inspiring process, Alain is a great keyboard payer, so we had a lot fun. He is as sharp and adventurous as ever, no slowing down in sight despite a 50 year long career.
The first two songs are now online, to great critical response. I hope the fans and the critics will like the rest of the songs as well! The writing is particularly strong on this album, so hopefully the production does justice to the songs. The album will be released in April, stay tuned!
Really enjoying the Reface series! The CP model packs a Wurlitzer, two Rhodes, a Clavinet, a CP80 and a Toy Piano in a tiny yet enjoyable, and most importantly playable unit. Included are also various effects, and presets can be stored on an iPhone. It even runs on battery and has built-in speakers. Very inspiring and handy, you can work out ideas anywhere, including when work is being done on something else in the studio. Below is a video where I play around with the unit in my studio.
I’m starting a new project. Ever since I came to France 20 years ago, I’ve been frustrated to see how little interaction there is between the music scenes in Scandinavia and France. Over the next years, I’ll try to organise regular acoustic sessions bringing together artists in an intimate setting. With help from some good friends, I did a test session recently with the amazing guitarists Freddy Koella and Aske Jacoby. You can have a listen below!
If this dream is to become reality, I’ll need sponsors and grants, and the more traction I can get on my own, the better chances are of generating interest with partners. So please don’t hesitate to like, share and follow as much as you can. We’re on Facebook, WordPress and Youtube for the moment. Thanks for the help. And enjoy!
A year into the tour with Camille, and we’ll be going for a good while more, at least into the fall. Yesterday Camille won the Victoires de la Musique for tour/concert of the year! You can find the upcoming concerts above. And don’t forget to check out the concert we did at Pleyel, which is now online on the Arte website:
A few years ago I was contacted by a small group of people in Paris who were working on a prototype for a new type of MIDI/CV/USB controller. I went to see them and was blown away by it! It has incredible sensibility and adds a lots of expressive possibilities to old school hardware as well as to software synths. Time went by, the team worked very hard and the product came out earlier this year to great critical acclaim. This is not an easy feat, I have a lot of respect for the fact that they managed to bring something this innovative to the market.
We shot a video last year to showcase some of what the controller has to offer. This was shortly after the great Bernie Worrell passed away, so the music is basically a tribute to him and the great concepts he added to synth playing. Hope you’ll enjoy it! You can learn more by clicking here.
I’ve been co-hosting the Blues/Soul radio show “Bon Temps Rouler” with Jean-Jacques Milteau the past couple of months on Paris-based jazz radio TSF. So much fun! Getting to hang with Jean-Jacques and listen to cool Blues/Soul tracks is the best – this music is what allowed me to become a musician and remains the foundation of most things I do. I’m looking forward to keeping on doing this for a while, TSF is a wonderful place to be.
You can catch replays here: Podcast
If you had told me a year ago that I would get to perform with Camille and London Grammar, I would have had a hard time believing you. These are two of the most beautiful and fascinating voices ever, and some of the most exciting projects around. But the occasion did materialize when Camille invited Hannah, Dan and Dot along when we did the French TV show Alcaline last month.
This cheap iOS app rocks! Really cool controller for most digital audio workstations, including Pro Tools and many other.
Anyone interested in music produced in France over the past 50 years should have a deep look into the work of producer / engineer / mixer / musician Dominique Blanc-Francard, nicknamed DBF. Getting an early start in the business in 1970 in the legendary Chateau de Herouville studios, recording the likes of Pink Floyd, Elton John, David Bowie, Cat Stevens and T.Rex, he quickly established himself as a succesful freelance engineer, and went on to work on much of the most classic and iconic music of the past 5 decades. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Dominique on several projects in his state of the art Labomatic Studios, and each time has been a precious learning experience. I’m currently thoroughly enjoying reading his memoirs “It’s a Teenager Dream”, and I would recommend it to anyone. I hope it will be translated into English someday, the content here is definitely of interest to many people way beyond the French language sphere. You can get it here.
My old friend Jens, the great Danish drummer who is to blame for the fact that I’ve been in France close to 20 years now, has developed a great app for drummers. It’s a creative, fun, music-minus-one metronome that you can personalise to your liking in a variety of styles. Very good stuff, check it out here!
Beautiful video for this song from Imany’s latest record, shot in the old Palais de Justice in Dakar. I was quite involved in the playing and arranging on this one, so it was wonderful to discover these beautiful images accompany the song. The dancer Lil Buck is beyond talented, and I’m very proud of Imany, Malick N’Diaye and the Think Zik label, they’ve come a long way and are living proof that hard work and strong values pay off.
Incredible portrait of one of the the strongest and most soulful songwriters ever. The documentary is jam-packed with profound insights into this unique man, his background and why he hasn’t released any music or played any concerts since 1985.
Very happy and proud to be joining Camille for her tour this year and probably a good chunk of 2018 as well. I’ve been a fan of her for years, I think she makes some of the most original and beautiful music in France, and she is a vocalist from out of this world, both technically and emotionally. I also have enormous respect for Clement Ducol and his beautiful arrangements who grace the previous album and the upcoming one, which is out in June. Below you can listen to a few previews. Tour dates are here.
Here’s a throwback to 2009 when we played the Stade de France in Paris with Johnny Hallyday. 240.000 people came out to the three sold out shows – this was in proportions way beyond anything I’d tried before, and I doubt that I’ll ever get to see these kinds of crowds again. We played in front of a million people at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille day – nobody gets to play in front of a million people! So I cherish this unique memory, as strange as it was. I didn’t grow up with these songs, so they don’t trigger the same nostalgic feeling in me as they do in people from France – much like I discovered the songs of Louise Attaque or Jean-Louis Aubert in front of huge, nostalgic crowds. It’s a true privilege to get to catch up with French popular culture this way!
Johnny is one hell of a singer, can’t argue with that, and I enjoyed playing with this great band a lot.