If you're familiar with David Guetta, then you're probably already familiar with Frenchman Joachim Garraud — even if you didn't know it. In fact, Garraud's largely responsible for what is widely considered a house music primer for today's aficionados: Guetta's 2002 mega-smash album, Just a Little More Love.
Guetta fans also may be unaware that Garraud co-produced and wrote many of the album's marquee tracks, including the title cut and "Love Don't Let Me Go." But Garraud's hits don't stop there. Joachim is also responsible for the '04 club smash "The World Is Mine" and, perhaps most notably, one of the first and biggest club-friendly tracks to hit mainstream U.S. radio, 2007's "Love Is Gone."
Now, after spending nearly a decade as a key player on Guetta's production team, Garraud has stepped out on his own, putting out his second studio album, Invasion 2011, and heading out on a world tour.
"We made tracks on production for three of David Guetta's albums, and that was a pretty long and very cool story," Garraud told MTV News recently in Miami. "[But] we stopped working together a few months ago, as [Guetta's] choice was to focus more on the U.S. market by working with a lot of vocal artists. I was not very excited about this choice as a DJ. I was thinking that it's maybe moving a little too far away from [that] area. But his choice was good. I mean, look at how successful the David Guetta project is!"
That's not to say Garraud has left behind his original style and influence. When listening to Invasion 2011, one can distinctly hear what his contributions to the various Guetta projects have been. His edgy, stab synths, the bone-crushing low ends, his superb timing and use of a wide range of effects and filters, all with the surgical precision we would expect from a producer of his ilk, bring all of the elements together for a thumping, underground, infectious set of grooves meant to take the listener back into the club.
"I'm very excited about this new album, Invasion 2011, because it's very focused on the DJ thing; it's really for the DJ," he said. "It's not really [meant] to be played on the radio, because all the tracks are meant to be massive on the dance floor."
Steering clear of the mainstream-radio crossover vibe, Garraud hand-selected vocalists and collaborators who would fit his signature sound. "I worked with Roland Clark on a track called 'Stop' and another, 'Bang Bang,' [and] a girl named Ze from Kuala Lumpur [on 'I'm Invaded']." (Clark is known for his vocals with acts like Fatboy Slim and Prodigy.)
Garraud also paired up with Black Eyed Peas super producer and touring DJ, Poet Name Life, on "Everybody Is in the Place," which was most recently remixed by AutoErotique. The quality of Garraud's collaborators and remixers garnishes the album with an array of future sounds. However, his reach and ability extend beyond the studio and the DJ booth. Partnering with Jane's Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell, the duo are bringing electro to the big stage.
"When Perry saw [my set] at Lollapalooza Chicago last summer, he was shocked. So [he] came to me and was like, 'OK, I want exactly the same. You have to produce tracks for me and produce video and produce the show,' " he recalled.
Garraud was humbled by the ask, and the wheels were soon set in motion. "We've produced 12 tracks together, and all the tracks are very cool, because the lyrics are so cool. He sings all of the tracks with his heart, so they're very beautiful tracks, and on the dance floor, it's very, very powerful."
Garraud and Farrell recently took the stage at Chile's inaugural version of Lollapalooza, where the DJ/producer helmed Perry's stage show, putting together the music, tracks, video and what he refers to as the overall "stage attitude."
Garraud said fans will get to see their set on the Chicago leg of his tour and, possibly, on a future iteration of the Lollapalooza festival in Europe. In the meantime, he can be seen next on Saturday at the increasingly electro-friendly Coachella music festival, alongside a flurry of other big name DJs, including Axwell, Steve Angello, Laidback Luke, Skrillex and many others.
What do you think of Joachim's Invasion 2011 album? Let us know in the comments below!