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Anoraak - Anoraak, Mon Cherie

Author: Nina Bertok
Monday, February 16, 2009

In late 2007 the Valerie collective became the hottest thing in French music since Ed Banger, with acts such as Minitel Rose, Maethelvin and Anoraak making Jan Hammer-inspired synth pop. 3D’s Nina Bertok talks to Anoraak about his debut album, Nightdrive With You, out on limited release in Australia.

When he isn’t busy blowing up crowds across Europe with the Valerie crew, by his own admission, French DJ/producer Anoraak – real name Frédéric Rivière – spends his time just “geeking out”. How exactly- By indulging in his passion for the ’80s, of course.

“I am making music all the time,” he claims. “But when I don’t, I’m just geeking out a lot, really. I first met College [Valerie member] thanks to MySpace in June 2007. Then he introduced me to his old friends, starting up with the Outrunners and Maethelvin and in the same time we met the guys from Minitel Rose. We were all sharing a certain image of the ’80s music and arts, so it naturally became a collective, sort of like a family. We launched the first Valerie party the following November where Russ Chimes was a guest DJ and then he integrated the collective.”

Anoraak describes the Valerie crew as a tight-knit group of friends with a strong personal as well as professional connection.

“Actually we all hang out together, the professional connections are exactly the same as the personal ones between us,” Rivière explains. “We’ve just done a tour of America and I’ll be back in France for a week where I’ll be working in the studio with my band for this little time. But America was great; all the parties were great really. The audiences in each city were so nice and friendly, just really involved in the music. They were dancing from the first second until the club staff would force them to go! It was my first time ever there and it was crazy times I won’t forget. On all the gigs I was with College. In New York City we were also with Russ Chimes and Lovelock, then in Los Angeles with Keenhouse and LexiconDon, and then in San Francisco with Loose Shus – great people making great music.”

Besides the wild parties and crazy nights, Rivière claims he got the chance to make at least one of his dreams come true.

“I have dreamed of going to places that blow my imagination, places where I have never been before. That is San Francisco and Melbourne. Now I have been in San Francisco and I am definitely in love with that town now, it’s so beautiful and it feels so good just to be there. But before that I’ve had my own idea of these places. I hope that Melbourne and the rest of Australia will be the same when we get there in a couple of weeks. Actually, I’m not that familiar with the Australian electro scene. I mean, I know it really well but I don’t know how people live it there. I do know a lot of Australian music that I am listening to, from the past to now. I’m an old AC/DC fan, I love INXS, Midnight Oil, I’ve been really into Ammonia in the ’90s, and I’ve really loved Cut Copy for a couple of years, especially the early stuff. I’m also a big fan of Van She, Miami Horror, Bag Raiders… I could mention tons of names, Australia’s music scene is great.”

WHO: Anoraak
WHAT: Plays onelove at Tank / Nightdrive With You through Valerie / Sony
WHEN: Saturday 21 February / Out now