Anoraak & Fred Falke at Firefox #FEED Party – SXSW
In the press booklet for the Firefox #FEED party last night, organizer Justin Bolognino of Learned Evolution spoke of creating a place where product experience could be defined by blurring the lines of technology, music, and social media. What followed was an evening of power synth, heavy bass, and an eclectic mix of revelers.
The night started out with a set by French artist Anoraak who loosened up the crowd with music that felt like reinterpreted 80s. He introduced the crowd to a blend of Balearic chillwave and funk beats that was almost acid lounge, but better and more danceable. It seemed that the crowd hadn’t come across this type of music before, and it took some time before people switched from head-bobbing to outright dancing. At one point, I heard a guy next to me tell his friend “It’s good music, but I don’t know how to dance to it.” I hope this kind of music can escape the clubs in Paris and build a following on this side of the Atlantic.
And then came Fred.
That Fred Falke is sneaky. Opening his set with music from his recently-released album, IV, he had me convinced the night was starting down a path gilded with delicate and nearly ambient electronica. The music came off as super happy, maybe even too happy to dance to. This may be why a few people around me decided to light up a couple of joints and smoke right there on the dancefloor.
Then, about two songs in, he kicked on the bass. I’m not sure if he just wanted to test the strength of the sound system, but the bass was wonderfully tremendous. It became obvious that Falke was fusing together a palette of acoustics on a road to somewhere, and, while I struggled to swallow my drink (the bass was that amazing), he suddenly flipped into the unique sound we’ve come to recognize him for. Both driving and melodic, Fred Falke set the crowd on fire. Marrying vocals with the sound he had been building, the France-based German artist knocked it out of the ballpark with the lyrical finesse I’ve come to expect from him. For me, the biggest challenge was to restrain myself from disco-clapping for a good half hour.
While not terribly known in these parts, Falke most definitely kept the crowd engaged and dancing. He also was responsible for a tragedy that kept occurring: People kept getting so caught up in the music that many a drink was dropped during Falke’s 1hour 45 minute set.
It is also worth nothing that the light show created and executed by VJ artist Alejandro Crawford added to the immensity of the performance, marring flawless mixes with spectacular visuals.