REVIEW: Fakear @ Koko Camden

Théo Le Vigoureux, aka Fakear, is a French musician, songwriter and producer who, after having established a fervent fan base in his native France, has gifted his globally-tuned dance music to an even larger audience after dates supporting Bonobo and ODESZA across the US and Canada. He’s inflamed the UK as well, gaining deserved notice from British rapper M.I.A., who had the young portent produce tracks on her latest record.

His loyal homegrown fans have followed him across the globe all the way to Koko, a vintage concert hall in Camden Town – and here he is, finally touring his brand new album All Glows. When Fakear’s asks the following question to the audience: “Are there any French people in the room tonight?”, he provokes a wide-spread explosion and I realise I might be the only non-French fan present. Other than that, Fakear is not very loquacious. On stage, he is the only performer and eclectic director of his distinctive sound. His setup is simple: a laptop, two launchpads, a drum and an electronic guitar. The environment is rendered suggestive by blue and red lights encompassing the entirety of the old theatre. The set begins slowly and continues to take twists and turns through earlier tracks from his 2016 album Animal, with added throws of mainstream electronic segments and splashes of airy female vocals.

 

Fakear picks up the electric guitar to add in a solo that screams edgy and innovative and delivers intricate beats that make the whole room shake with pleasure. He confidently throws himself into each new track. There’s remarkable dexterity to his performance, which makes it fascinating to watch. His equipment catches various moments playfully – tumbling drums, spiritual vocals or gorgeous ambient noises. Slipping into familiar sounds from his latest album All Glows, Fakear invites his special guest Ana Zimmer on stage to perform their latest collaboration ‘Something Wonderful’. Ana brings some needed charisma to Fakear’s stage and her sweet tones elevate this meditative track, sounding wholesome and rounded against the sharp synth samples.

Fakear’s audience is loyal, already familiar with the one-week-old material from All Glows. But nothing is louder than the reaction of enthusiastic fans welcoming the sublime “La Lune Rousse”. It’s the combination of delicate, piercing vocals with guttural bass that sets his music apart and generates such a cathartic response. Fakear’s set spins through top tracks from the new album, building up to a crescendo of noise as he unleashes an audience favourite “Out of Reach”. His fingers twirl in the air and his shoulders wince with every drop on “Karmaprana”, anticipating the same climax as his fans. It’s invigorating to experience a DJ set that feels like more than a playback session. Finally, Fakear leaves the stage by ceremoniously closing his laptop and gesturing a vigorous peace sign to the crowd. He seems happy. And with a well-received debut in London and such a promising future, it’s not hard to see why.

All in all, Fakear puts on a fantastic performance and shows a talent and unique style that surely won’t pass unnoticed amongst global audiences any longer.

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