Essence of deep forest.
Deep Forest is a musical group consisting of two French musicians, Michel Sanchez and Eric Mouquet. They compose a new kind of world music, sometimes called ethnic electronica, mixing ethnic with electronic sounds and dance beats or chillout beats. Their sound has been described as an "ethno-introspective ambient world music". They were nominated for a Grammy AwardBest World Music Album, and in 1996 they won the Award for the album Boheme. The group also became World Music Awards Winner - French group with the highest 1995 world sales. Their albums have sold over 10 million copies. in 1993 for
Michel Sanchez came up with the idea of mixing Baka Pygmy chants with modern music after hearing on-site recordings of these tribes. Along with Eric Mouquet they created the project Deep Forest. Their first self-titled album (nominated for a Grammy) was released in 1992, with "Sweet Lullaby" being the smash single which would put Deep Forest on the musical map (UK Top 10 hit). The song "Sweet Lullaby" is adapted from a traditional song from the Solomon Islands. The album Deep Forest was dance-driven and the samples were heavily digitised and edited. It was re-released as a limited edition in 1994 under the name World Mix.
For their second album Boheme, Eric and Michel left behind the sounds of the forest and ventured into Eastern Europe bringing tender, lonesome Hungarian and Gypsy chants with upbeat, yet sad, music. Due to this shift, Dan Lacksman (from Telex, producer and sound-engineer of the first album) decided to go his separate way and continued working on other projects like Pangea. The chants were no longer brief, instead extended phrases had been sampled from Hungarian and Transylvanian sample CDs. The duo collaborated with Joe Zawinul during the recording of the album.
The duo also performed and produced the remixes for the Youssou N'Dour single "Undecided" in 1994, with guest vocals by Neneh Cherry (who featured on n'Dour's break-through single "Seven Seconds"). That same year Deep Forest made remixes for Jon Anderson's "Deseo", Apollo 440's "Liquid Cool" and Cesária Évora's "My Fatigue is Endless". In 1996 Deep Forest collaborated with Peter Gabriel on the song "While the Earth Sleeps" which was written for the film Strange Days.
The follow-up third album, Comparsa, contained Spanish chants and sounds. The music is often upbeat and celebratory. The last song from the album Media Luna, which was also released as a single, features a duet of Syrian and Spanish singers Abed Azrei and Ana Torroja. A recording of their live concert in Japan was also released on a CD called Made in Japan. Although all the songs featured in the show are from the previous three albums, they have new often-longer arrangements and all the chants are performed and reinterpreted by live performers.
In 2000, Deep Forest released their fourth album, Pacifique. It mixes pacific and island beats with electronic music.
Music Detected was the title of their fifth much-anticipated official Deep Forest album which saw the duo turn its attention to the Far East and the Orient for inspiration. It also signalled a change in musical style for Deep Forest, from dance to a more rock-influence.
In 2003 Deep Forest released a compilation album Essence of the Forest, with some remastered tracks.
Music for films
One of Deep Forest songs, "Night Bird", was used in the 1996 film version of The Island of Dr. Moreau.
In December 2000, Deep Forest composed a soundtrack for the French film Le Prince du Pacifique. The album, entitled Pacifique, is a return to a more ambient and melancholy sound, with piano themes riding above moody synth textures, Pacific Island chants, scratchy synth-leads and electronic drumming.
In 2004 the duo composed a soundtrack for the Japanese film Kusa No Ran.
Both Sanchez and Mouquet have worked over a variety of side-projects and solo albums. Sanchez has two solo albums out and produced Wes's successful debut album; while Mouquet created the group Dao Dezi, collaborated with Catherine Lara and arranged Thorgal, he composed and produced songs for Ana Torroja (Mecano), Jean Sebastien Lavoie, and recently composed and produced songs for Josh Groban. Eric Mouquet is now preparing 3 albums in the Deep Forest first album style, Deep Brasil, Deep Africa and Deep China. All these albums are grouped under the generic name of Deep Projects.
Deep Forest had their first live concert in 1996 at the G7 Summit in Lyon, France. They continued from there on to the Deep Forest 96' world tour. During the 96' tour, Deep Forest performed a number of shows in France, Hungary, Greece, Australia, Japan, Poland and USA. After the completion of Comparsa there was a 98' world tour. Since 98' there have been numerous live performances, including the Image Concerts. The 'Image' concerts took place in Japan. The concerts were based around the 'Image' album (similar to Pure Moods), and featured a number of famous Japanese artists, also including Deep Forest.
A percentage of proceeds from Deep Forest's debut album sales went to the Pygmy Fund, set up to aid Zaire's pygmies in the transition from nomadic to agrarian subsistence, and to provide appropriate health care. A portion of the proceeds from 'Boheme' go to the Gyoörgy Martin Foundation, which aids in protecting the Romany (Gypsy) culture of Hungary. Deep Forest also actively supports the Sana Madagascar Association starting with 'Comparsa'. "The aim of the Sana Madagascar Association is to contribute protecting the environment, to collect instruments and precious recordings in order to allow the Malagasy man to save his culture, his nature and his traditional music."
Nominations in France and the USA
- 1993: Grammy Awards Best Album - World Music
- 1993: MTV Awards Best Video - Sweet Lullaby
- 1993: Victoires de la Musique Best Album - World Music
- 1993: Victoires de la Musique Best Group of the Year
- 1995: World Music Awards Winner - French group with the highest 1995 world sales
- 1996: Grammy Awards Winner - Best Album - World Music
- 1996: Victoires de la Musique - Best Group of the Year
- 1996: Victoires de la Musique - Best Album - World Music
- 1992 – Deep Forest (over 3 millions album sales)
- 1994 – World Mix (re-release of 1992 album)
- 1995 – Boheme (over 4 million album sales)
- 1998 – Comparsa (over 1 million album sales)
- 1999 – Made in Japan (live album) (150 000 copies sold)
- 2000 – Pacifique
- 2002 – Music Detected
- 2002 – "Malo Korrigan" theme song
- 2004 – Essence of the Forest
- 2004 – Kusa No Ran (limited release in Japan only)
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