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Review: Joakim delivers his most restrained long-play to date with ‘Samurai’

Joakim is one of those producers and indeed an artist I seemed to have grown up with. He has had a hand in and around some of the most genre-defining electronic music in recent years. He’s the man who’s sonically shaped the likes of Cassius and as a solo artist he delivers his sixth studio album with ‘Samurai’. This long player marks the big four-o for Joakim and we are told it takes in his influences and life journey between being in Paris, Tokyo and New York.

So with a strong coffee and devouring a chausson aux pommes a la Parisien I began my new Joakim journey. Don’t expect any French House rules, out and out indie pop or even flashes of techno. What starts off rather interesting and with real promise kind of sways into yacht rock, jiving some avant-garde Japanese electronica, tacking from side to side with 80’s synth funk and krautrock all done in a futuristic electronic very French kind of way.

As one would expect the production is quality, instrumentation and the mixing second to none. New things seem to appear within the soundscape with every listen. I like that. There is warmth, light, then dark with oddity. However, the only real track highlight for me was the title track ‘Samurai’. As a whole it kept me listening, there is a cinematic vibe throughout the work. This album could quite easily be the perfect soundtrack to a new J.G. Ballard film adaptation.

Words by Joel Summerling