French producer Fakear has released his new album Everything Will Grow Again. The album was made and written before the world was brought to its knees by a pandemic, but the title remains as prescient. The album represents a period of change in Fakear's life. He moved to a new home and in that process of physical rejuvenation, went through old demos, got rid of most of them and refreshed his music to create this album. He spent a few weeks in London with Alex Metric in Metric's "bat cave" to refine this album and rework certain ideas. He also collaborated with friends and singers at various points on the LP. There are moments of raw and unfiltered sounds, like on the intro with noises recorded from a city apartment or a cat breaking things in "Together." He also had the privilege of accessing the massive sample archive from the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, which helped shape "Tokai."
To get further into the ideas for the album, we decided to have the Normandy native explain the creative process for each song on the record. He explains the recording process, some of the samples used and how some friends got involved. Read for a new Director's Cut feature and pick up a copy here. Listen as you read.
“Kaïshi” was born out of an experiment with violins. At some point during the writing process, I got stuck because I wanted some instruments I don't know how to play. So I invited my oldest friend, Alice, who plays the violin, to play some parts on a few songs. Then we started something new, crafting a new intro from samples we have. I know I wanted something very intimate as an intro, and we recorded all the parts at my place, with all the noises you can have in a city apartment. I choose to let them be, to give this kind of "feel at home" feeling I wanted for years. This is a DIY album, starting by a very DIY track. I recorded everything myself, with my shitty microphone at my place.
This is one of my favorites. The first version of this track is nothing like it is now. This is one of the last tracks I wrote for this album, with a very simple chord progression and very simple sounds. Effective. When I played this track to Alex Metric, who helped me along the way of making this album, he suggested that we change the whole structure. It was built as an A (main part) - B (bridge) - A (main part) sort of track, and Alex love the bridge part. He told me that we should turn this bridge into the actual main part. We spent 2 days working on this track, but the result is astonishing. We did this crazy bassline you can hear when everything pops in on a Matrix Brute he has in his studio, and it literally made the track.
This is a track I made before I started working properly on this album. It has this kind of old touch I used to put everywhere. It has a "world music" vibe with this big sample flute, which is out on Splice, by the way. Yeah, I know. It's funny how Splice was first a big stylish sampling platform and in a couple of months became so popular that every song has something out of it. But the flute sample with that bassline was so strong I was stuck onto it. It was part of a 10 track project I thought would be the album, but I cancelled it when I moved in my new home. “Sekoia” and “Rituals” were the only survivors.
4. Rituals (with Luiza Fernandes)
I was just discovering the South American electronic music at this time. It has this "cumbia" feeling, at least at first it had it. I didn't know what to do with it, but I had the feeling it could be stronger. Then a friend of mine told me about this singer, Luiza, and invited her at my place. At this time I lived in my friend's apartment, just in front of a beautiful canal in the north of Paris. Luiza started recording out of her imagination, without writing any words. I loved it, and we built the track as it came. Mid-way, we realized that our fathers were kind of best friends when they were young. Crazy! I didn't even know that girl three hours before, and now she was a friend of my whole family.
5. Carrie (with Alex Metric)
This is the last track created for the album. I spent almost 3 weeks at Alex Metric's batcave studio to make this album sound like it has to be, and when we had finished the whole album, we had one day left ahead of us. We were surprised, it usually does the opposite, you want to make so much that you run out of time. We worked so efficiently at this time, you know when you're at the peak of your creative workflow and you can make a track in a day. That's exactly what we did. We dug into demos and old tracks I had, and Alex got stuck on this African lullaby sample I had. He started opening the synth, and asked me to play chords on it. 3 hours later, “Carrie” was born. That was fascinating. We spent 2 days on “Tadlo,” at the beginning of the sessions, and 3 hours on “Carrie.”
6. A New Home
It's the first track and everything is in the title. I had just moved to my new house, and started thinking about making the next record. I dug into my demos and none of them were good enough to me. So I threw them all away, and started from scratch. I was finally able to setup a good studio, with all my gear and instruments. “A New Home” is born from that setup. I like the warmth of this song, there's not much in it but everything is in those little noises you can hear, like the breath of the synth, the bass amp buzzing a little bit, there's a lot of details which make this track sounds like a home recorded song. I was on the brink of throwing it away because I thought it wasn't that interesting, and then my friend who played the violin added this magical touch to it, saving that beautiful track.
This track is a whole story of itself. I have never recorded a bassline like this before, and it feels suddenly great. I wondered why I didn't do it before that. There are also a lot of tiny noises and drum stuffs I recorded from my house, and invited some friends to play on it. That's why it's called “Together.” My girlfriend is playing the clarinet, another friend the violin, I'm playing the saxophone, and I'm pretty sure we can hear my cat breaking some stuff in the background. This is a happy song, which concentrates on this little bubble of happiness I'm living in. The saxophone was the first instrument I ever played, so it's kind of cool to give him a second life here.
This is a very straightforward title. At some point last year, the Quai Branly Museum in Paris gave me access to all their sample archives. Can you imagine that many samples, field recorded tribal chants from all around the world, sacred songs, rituals played by flutes or any instrument you can imagine? That was impressive, and humbling as well. The main flute riff is out of this awesome sample bank. It got stuck in my head; I grabbed my bass and started jamming on it. It has a very weird vibe to me, because at some point it sounds like an Asian track, at some other like a speeded up bossa nova, with some jazzy funky touches during the bridge... But it was so cool to create!
This track is a pure accident, a magic trick of life. We were deep into the studio sessions with Alex Metric, taking a cigarette break. We had experimented so many things with an OP1 synth, but didn't get to find anything convincing. Suddenly we heard some crazy arpeggiator coming from the studio. We rushed into the studio, afraid that it would go louder and louder and damage the speakers. But it was just looping on itself, with that crazy sci-fi vibe. We thought we had turned off the synth during the break, but we'll never know what exactly triggered it to play those crazy notes. We recorded it, stretched it a dozen times, and play some big bass pads on the top of it. I called it "Linked" because the few notes I play on the piano are inspired by the game Zelda "Breath of Wild," when you're just walking in the wilderness, you can hear those few notes. Shout out to the geeks out here!
I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, and make a really clubby track. I love this dark vibe about it, it's like a tribal cyberpunk dance with a lot of synths and twisted samples. I didn't overthink it too much, I just unleashed the dark clubber in myself. The part when the drums go crazy took me days to make, but the result worth it. The kind of lead melody you can hear before the twisted flute comes in is made out of a Tibetan crystal bowl resonance. It makes this really cool soft vibe, like a 8 bits synth. When it comes back at the end it's doubled with a Korg MS-20, and the tones are very similar. I love that track, because it's very raw and somehow works without many layers.
11. Water Lullaby
I had the idea of this track watching a short documentary about women accomplishing some kind of ritual in the Vanuatu islands. They step into the river and start hitting the streaming water, as if it was a drum of some kind. They play music with the river, singing and dancing. I didn't know what to do with it, so I just let it happen, and that very bouncy rhythm came naturally. I even sing, which is kind of the first time I do on a Fakear song. I love all the little noises at the end, when you can hear them laugh and spit out water, that's a beautiful end for this album.