DEEP FOREST OFFICIAL
Eminent composer and musician Eric Mouquet is a Grammy award-winning composer who has worked with and produced for artists like Youssou N'Dour, Peter Gabriel, Joe Zawinul, Josh Groban, Ana Torroja,
Herbie Hancock, Mell, Chitose Hajime ,Sa Dingding, Catherine Lara, Charles Aznavour, and many more.
Eric Mouquet is also founder of Deep Forest, the pioneering ethno-ambient electronica band. He is on the cusp of a musical renaissance that promises to explore new directions, combinations and influences in ambient world music with his upcoming Deep Africa album.
Welcome to Deep Forest World
Few French groups achieve worldwide success, but one such group is Deep Forest, who have sold several million album copies.The story began in the North of France in the early 90s wihen Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez first met, two musicians fascinated by ethnic music which they mixed with their own sounds. Deep Forest venture was underway!
Deep Forest create a new kind of world music, sometimes called ethnic electronic, mixing ethnic with electronic sounds and dance beats or chillout beats. Their sound has been described as an “ethno-introspective ambient world music”.
Deep Forest were nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994 for Best World Music Album, and in 1995, they won the prestigious Award for the album Boheme (first French band winning a Grammy Award). The group also became World Music Awards Winner – French group with the highest 1995 world sales. Their albums have sold over 10 million copies.
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, Australia Top 1, US Top chart album ). The song “Sweet Lullaby” is adapted from a traditional song from the Solomon Islands surrounded by electro dance loopdrums as well as acoustic waterdrums. The album Deep Forest was dance-driven but with also contained ambient atmospheres. It was re-released as a limited edition in 1994 under the name World Mix.
For their second album Boheme, Deep Forest left behind the sounds of the African rain forest and ventured into Eastern Europe bringing tender, lonesome Hungarian and Gypsy chants with upbeat, yet sad, music. The chants were no longer brief, instead extended phrases had been sampled from Hungarian, Russian, Poland and Transylvanian sample CDs. Marta Sebestyen and Kate Petrova performed on this album.
The band 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 Cesaria Evora’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 sounds and chants from Madagascar, Mexico, Belize and Cuba. The music is often upbeat and festive. The last song from the album Media Luna, which was also released as a single, features a duet of Syrian singer Abed Azrie and Spanish singer and Ana Torroja from the famous band Mecano.
The band collaborated with Joe Zawinul during the recording of the album on the song Deep Weather. 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 1999 Deep Forest worked with Cheb Mami and Catherine Lara on the song “L’Enfant Fleur” which had been composed for Sol En Si (a French charity which helps AIDS victims).
In 2000, Deep Forest released a music for the movie Le Prince du 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.
Deep Forest composed the music of Japanese movie Kusano Ran in 2001
During the 2002-2007 period Eric Mouquet worked with various international artists and composed and produced for Josh Groban, their first collaboration on the album Closer was a big hit with more than 7 millions copies.
Josh Groban and Eric Mouquet did another succesful collaboration on the album Awake in 2006. Herbie Hancock played is legendary electric piano on the song “Machine”.
In 2008 Eric Mouquet produced and released Deep Brasil, this album is a collaboration with Brazilian artist Flavio Dell Isola.
During this period, while Michel Sanchez decided to run his own career as a singer, Eric Mouquet decided to continue to compose and to keep Deep Forest alive.
In 2009, 2010 Eric Mouquet decided to go back on stage with Deep Forest and the band started to perform live (Japan, Boston, New York, Shanghai, Dakar, Paris La Villette…).
2011 will be focused on the new album Deep Africa, as 2011 is officialy “International Forest Year”, Deep Forest will carry this message to preserve our mother Earth.
This album features lot of African artists, Lokua Kanza, Blick Bassy, Olyza, Wasis Diop, Zama Magudulela, and Wes’ brother Dany de Mouataba
Deep Africa is a result of Mouquet’s Deep Projects initiative that previously released Deep Brasil (2008) which blended the subtleties and mood of Brazil’s rainforest with chillout beats and vocal harmonies.
Deep Africa seamlessly fuses Mouquet’s atmospheric compositions with a spiritual and rhythmic mélange of African chanting, percussion and the sounds of nature. Deep Africa sifts like sand through the continent’s vast landscape of sound, character, expression and timeless emotion while subtly enveloping it in Mouquet’s unique layers of sound. There are high expectations from fans and followers who are anxious to hear the new material and who are celebrating the upcoming release on Facebook as well as Mouquet’s own website. Deep Africa is a project I started few years ago when I met Blick Bassy a singer from Cameroon. Blick is such an inspiring artist to me specially the way he sings and plays African guitar, which is just magical,” Mouquet explains. “Deep Africa is a mix between my music and Blick’s music, it is difficult to describe it, one must simply listen to understand.”
When asked about his work as a musician and collaborator, Mouquet explained that the process is a natural one where the music emerges despite differences in background and language. With the world becoming smaller and more unified, Mouquet’s music may very well be the soundtrack of our time.
“Deep Projects is a laboratory where I can experiment with all kinds of music,” Mouquet explains. “I love to meet musicians and It’s always nice to be in a studio and to say ‘ok let’s start from zero and see how music is created,’”
The process has been a successful one for Mouquet whose experience, openness and spontaneity allows him to “frame” the music he hears from collaborators into something entirely exciting and meaningful. “I’m very lucky because in most cases people really enjoy this approach of making music and the result is always amazing,” Mouquet points out. “After all the years doing music in studio, I learned that the most important things in music are coming by improvisation and accidents…The way you can turn the accident to your advantage in music is a big
source of energy and creativity,” he adds. Look out for upcoming Album and a regular video blog from Eric
where you can feel his music and be part of the musical experience.