For the better part of this past decade, French DJ and producer Fred Falke was part of a successful duo with fellow DJ Alan Braxe, the pair delivering songs such as the 2000 dance floor classic Intro. But since separating from his musical partner last year, Falke’s stocks have risen exponentially.
He’s turned in filtered disco takes on songs by Ladyhawke, Will Young and Ke$ha, as well as a colossal eight-minute re-rub of The Gossip’s Heavy Cross that makes the original seem somewhat of a pale photocopy in comparison. Falke’s background as a bass player is what makes his remixes stand out — rather than being endless ‘doof-doof’ fests, they’re live-sounding homages to the disco era with deep, danceable bass lines.
“I always start with the bass line. The bass line and the melody of the song are the two key elements. I always need to find a bass line that people can dance to,” Falke told Sydney Star Observer from France.
Falke is not just responsible for some of the best remixes in recent memory, he’s also the co-writer of one of the year’s best singles, Mini Viva’s UK hit Left My heart In Tokyo (YouTube it — you’ll be singing the chorus for days). The single came out of writing sessions with Nordic indie-pop star Annie and production powerhouse Xenomania.
“I was really amazed, I stayed with them for two weeks working on tracks. [Xenomania lyricist] Miranda Cooper and Brian are amazing songwriters, and everyone who works there with them is so talented. Everyone there is working, working non-stop, which is something I really like,” Falke said.
Not everyone is so keen on the Xenomania working style — artists such as Franz Ferdinand and the Pet Shop Boys have spoken about the cutthroat nature of their sessions with the producers.
“When I see the amount of success they achieve, you can’t do that if you’re not working constantly. But at the same time, everyone at Xenomania loves music and loves making music.
“It’s not like a factory, it’s about making a lot of great tracks — sharing your ideas with everyone. It’s unique.”
Falke is unsure where many of the fruits of his labour with Xenomania will end up, but has other projects in the pipeline. His remixes of two recent Will Young singles turned the gay UK singer’s blue-eyed soul into anthemic dance. Young is said to be seeking out a new dance direction for his next record, collaborating with Groove Armada. Would Falke write directly with the star next time around?
“Nothing’s confirmed yet, but after the second remix I did for Will, I met him in London. We had a big long chat about making music. He’s such a nice guy. Maybe I will write stuff with him next year. We’re figuring it out.”
info: Fred Falke plays Field Day at the Domain on January 1. info: Visit www.fuzzy.com.au