'I need to do different things'

Blending Genres

'I need to do different things'

It definitely isn’t easy to incorporate elements of electronica into world music — especially when you’re 52 years old. But that is exactly what French ‘ethnic electronica’ artiste, Deep Forest aka Eric Mouquet, is all about.

    Metrolife spoke to the musician during his recent visit to the City for the ‘Deep India’ concert.

“Music is a global phenomenon and can come to you anywhere. I don’t have a specific process; but I like to mix all the sound and culture that I feel when I’m travelling to my own background music,” informs the musician. “It’s much easier now because of the internet. You can type any area of the world and access the music from there. But my music comes from a very old school of electronica like ‘Tangerine Dreams’, as well as modern artistes like ‘Deadmau5’ and ‘Skrillex’.

After 20 years of different works, I think I’ve got my own language incorporating these two elements,” he explains.

While the original band comprised Eric and Michael Sanchez, it is presently just a one-man-army, with session musicians joining him at live performances.

    But the vision is still the same as when they started off — the music still seeks
inspiration from exploring the world, from the native Baka pygmy spoken word to lonesome gypsy chants.

“When you finish an album, you’re so deep in the work you did that you need to take a break. I need to do different things. For example, the very first album of ‘Deep Forest’ focussed on African music and it was a big success. But I’ve come back to it only after 20 years with the next album, ‘Deep Africa’. It’s an interesting experience because I think the feelings and soul of the music are the same, but it’s a new approach. The technology and my skills have changed and I have aged since then,” shares Eric.

Asked about his upcoming album, ‘Deep India’, a first-of-its-kind collaboration with santoor player Rahul Sharma, he says, “When I work on a project, I know where I have to go. But I really like collaborations. The recent collaboration with Rahul was really interesting because I’ve never worked with a santoor player. If I have to make a project around Indian music, I wouldn’t know where to start. Working with someone so rooted to the culture got me a specific thing to focus on.”

He adds that the album will be complete by January and will showcase Rahul’s distinct vocal elements other than capturing the rhythms of folk melodies from across India. Interestingly, most of the musical exchanges between the two artistes took place via e-mails.

   Does he like India so far?

He smiles and replies, “I’ve not gone out too much.

But I like the weather already. In France, it’s winter right now. To be here at this time and experience this weather
is like a holiday for me!”

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