French Post-Impressionism at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival

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By Martin Solveig

(This is the second of two pieces where artists reflect upon their personal experiences at 2012’s Coachella Music Festival.  The previous edition featured French duo Housse de Racket after their week one experience, and this one was relayed by French electronic music DJ and producer Martin Solveig immediately following his energetic early evening set in the Sahara Tent on Saturday April 21st).


Photographer: Eric Behrns

is famous all over the world, even back in Europe where I live.  This stage in particular, (the Sahara Tent) for electronic music, is really famous.  I think it was made extremely famous by Daft Punk, when they started their Alive tour, not too long ago…five or six years?  It brought a lot more awareness to this festival and also why I absolutely wanted to drop a little tribute to those masters – the absolute masters.  If Daft Punk played this stage then it really is big enough for me!

Playing here then, as I said to the crowd, is really a unique gift to any artist.  It’s a fantastic crowd…it’s a fantastic location…it is very exotic to me; I’ve only been to California three or four times previously in my life. All of this is really a lot, and I’ve had a good couple of years so I’m enjoying every bit of it and it’s great.  This is all very positive feedback, but I feel I’d like to complain about something.  But what can I really complain about? Yes, it’s 107 degrees Fahrenheit, but you have to accept that because it’s not even humid…and the whole desert thing is what makes this unique. I have no complaints…but I will try to think about one for balance!

Electronic is quite big here — I’ve never had the chance to play Lollapalooza or to attend (and unfortunately I’m not doing it this summer so I can’t compare) — but to me, what I like the most about here is the mixture of genres.  I’ve seen so many good acts like AraabMuzik, like Florence & the Machine this weekend, (whom I’ve never had the chance to see before, and she’s so crazy and good…), Beirut, all the acts are really really interesting.  I’m a music lover first.  Of course I’m part of the electronic music family, and it’s great to be a part of this family, especially now, but overall l am just a music fan.  The Dre/Snoop show last week was so off the hook.  So crazy. I’m looking forward to seeing Feist.  I just love her music and have seen her many times before but am a fan. Also, my program is definitely to see Bon Iver, and Kaskade who I want to see perform having never seen him before.  I had a great time last Sunday with perfect weather and the other thing with Coachella is that it is such an excellent lineup where every band is giving more than their best, at least 120%.  This week I got to perform with Dragonette, which didn’t happen last week, we realized really late that we were playing on the same day and already had press and other commitments so it didn’t work then.  But it was easy to improvise this weekend and we made it up and were very happy to do so.

There are a lot of French bands here and I’m quite a fan of that French scene, even though I don’t really belong to it.  Justice, M83, Phoenix, Housse de Racket (who I know very well).  At this time, I’m very excited to see Justice on the big stage. This is why you have two weekends now, to see more of the artists you really want to see!  My last song, “The Night Out,” it is a little bit of a tribute to this French signature that I really like a lot and I wanted to explore a little bit of its color.

Everyone says that America is coming late to electronic music, but I don’t really agree.  It’s just a different time, different music, and also because of the very strong impact of the new American artists like Skrillex and all these dubstep guys.  America is telling its own story, and I like very much the connection between the different scenes, which is stronger than it used to be.  Philosophically it changed from the artist perspective with the younger artists like Madeon, Porter Robinson and all those kids I have a chance to talk with on a regular basis.  They are a second generation, and have grown up with many styles of electronic music.  The first generation was inventing a new style and then another new style, and it was going from speed garage to beat, house and it was very very closed.  These kids have embraced it all and have come up with a mixture of all this.  Porter for example has some electro, trance, and dubstep all in one track, and very naturally he’s able to have a conversation with Tiësto, or Justice, or myself.  And that’s changing everything and maybe what I like most about what is going on right now.  And that’s Coachella right now.



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