Fakear, AKA Theo Le Vigoureux, is the brightest star of France’s electronic new wave. A young producer whose music sits somewhere on the axis linking Jamie XX, Bonobo and Daft Punk, his globally attuned style combines deep, European house heritage with the sonic textures of the UK and American electronic undergrounds.
In a career that’s still only just getting underway, he’s had a top 10 EP in France, attracted public calls from MIA for a collaboration, remixed American electronic stars ODESZA and sold out Paris’ legendary Olympia. He blew away the audience at Eurosonic, played his song ‘La Lune Rousse’ live on French TV, and has been booked to play the USA’s legendary Ultra Festival. The FADER premiered his song ‘Venus,’ and R1’s dance luminary Annie Mac counts herself a supporter.
All of which leads up to the release of his debut album, Animal. Fakear has crafted a collection of songs that push the emotional capabilities of electronic music another step forward. Taking in richly textured, bleeding edge electronica (Sheer-Khan,) deep, downtempo soul (Silver, feat. Rae Morris) and the ear-grabbing groove and infectious melody of the album’s title track, Fakear links Animal’s songs together with irresistible warmth.
The album shows his mastery of tempos that will move both dancefloors and minds, and, on subtle, smouldering Andreya Triana collaboration Light Bullet, reveals he’s equally at home allowing vocalists to shine. Animal is the sound of a young producer with talent to spare, who’s crafted an album conjuring the best of a new generation of electronic music.
Fakear is Theo Le Vigoreux - an uncannily suitable name for a young producer whose energy is seemingly limitless. At 24 years old, Fakear has already taken his globally-tuned dance music across the world, playing shows from London to Tokyo, supporting Bonobo and selling out Paris’ prestigious Olympia in 2015.
The journey that’s led to 2016 and his debut album, Animal, has been three years and 4 EPs long. One of them reached the top 10 in France, and his music has drawn the attention of MIA, Annie Mac, The FADER and ODESZA - one of many peers who’ve asked Fakear for remixes.
But the real journey, of course, goes further back. Le Vigoreux was born in Caen, Calvados, Normandy - an ancient part of France, and the same place William the Conqueror came from. His parents were musicians too, and they raised him on a steady diet of of Maurice Ravel symphonies, and songs by Ismael Lo and Cheb Mami. By the time he got to high school, he was listening avidly to Daft Punk, and had obtained an electric guitar. Before long he’d joined a ska-punk band with Gabriel Legeleux, who’d go on to become fellow rising star in French electronic music, Superpoze.
By 2013, he’d kindled a buzz in Cargo de Caen, creating a reputation under the name of Fakear ("Fake Ears” in English.) His electronic collages were inspired by influences as divergent but inspiring as the post-dubstep scene in London, and the films of Miyazaki. He found his way to Paris, where he signed with the independent French music label Nowadays Records, and released the EP Sauvage in June 2014. Subsequent single “La Lune Rousse” gained millions of listeners across Spotify, Soundcloud and French radio, and this helped him to debut on the international level. A few months later, his musical voyage led to Japan, and rumination on his childhood’s ghosts changed his art's inception deeply. “This Country gave me a finer desire for music, and a greater attention to detail,” he told Canal + around the launch of his EP ‘Asakusa.’ “It has been a personal and musical stage that I exceeded. All my pieces are like that: the pictures of my sensations and of my imagination in a precise moment. I am not the same as yesterday, and not the same as tomorrow”.
In 2015 he decided to take a break from the Parisian metropolis, and moved to the mountains. “I needed it, to seize a new primary “something”, something wild and authentic”. It was in this new setting that Fakear crafted his debut album Animal. The album title recalls the wolf silhouette that he has tattooed on his forearm. Chez Fakear, the machines never filter the instincts. Instead, they are amplified.
Animal ranges from the flamenco refrain of “Sheer-Khan”, through the original composition with Andreya Triana (Bonobo) on “Light Bullet,” to two stunning collaborations with Rae Morris, a new pop star in-the-making with whom Fakear maintains an elegant complicity.
Throughout the album, Fakear ensured that his electronic methodology enhanced, rather than limited his raw instinct. He built sounds from memories and from talismanic items; The result is an album as suited to the dance floor as it to listening under the stars, or in the moonlight of the “Lune Rousse”. In the studio as on the boards, Fakear’s music is lively, incarnated and instinctive. Definitively Animal.