JOAKIM with NASTY NAV and FIERCE HELDER at Tattoo Rock Parlour (567 Queen West), tonight (Thursday, February 7). $10. 416-703-5488. Rating: NNNNN
Joakim knows how to roll with the unexpected. While wrapping up production on his last album, Monsters And Silly Songs, the Parisian musician’s computer crashed and he lost the whole thing. While we’re betting he’s learned to make backup copies, the catastrophe sent Joakim in a new direction, motivating him to assemble a full band and start over.
The resulting album crammed a shitload of influences together in puzzling but exciting juxtapositions. Some tracks sounded like clubby electro, some like guitar-driven indie pop and new wave, while other bits shared more with the experimental electronic music and jazz he was once known for.
“I’d already wanted to record some live drums for it and had started that, but when the hard drive crashed and I lost everything, it led me to record as a live band,” he says. “We just started recording the next album, actually, and now that we know each other much better, it’s much easier to record live in the studio than it was with Monsters And Silly Songs.”
The genre-defying quality isn’t surprising if you know Joakim through Tigersushi, the website and label he co-founded and runs. The original site only exists in archive form, buried in the more stripped-down current version, but it was an innovative and ambitious encyclopedia of obscure music, connecting the dots between the outer edges of left-field dance, jazz, hiphop, pop and experimental. The unintended consequence of this project has gone on to overshadow the original concept, though; the label that sprang from it has grown into its own beast.
“First it was just a website, which is a weird way to start a label, but that’s how it happened. When we were launching the website, we decided to put out a record to promote it, and that’s how it began.”
Between making his own music, putting out other people’s music on his label, reworking other musicians’ songs as a remixer and playing his favourite tunes as a DJ, Joakim says the Web page has now taken a back seat.
“There are always plans, and I have ideas of what I’d like it to be, but I need some time and maybe some help.”