After his breakout in 2019, Anomalie has created a lot of hype with his unique blend of jazzy hip-hop and electronic dance music. He’s toured around the world playing at venues like Red Rocks, Electric Forest, and more.
Anomalie has amassed a large following after the release of his collaborative EP with Chromeo Bend the Rules, and the tandem EP release of Metropole I and Metropole II. Now he makes his return with a new album Galerie out this Friday, followed by a North American Tour. Find the full list of tour dates here.
Words and photos by Anomalie
When I released Métropole in 2017, it was clear to me that I was going to tour it with a live band – and then every other project after that.
Even if Anomalie is a solo project, since I’ve always preferred writing and arranging on my own, when it comes to performing, there’s simply nothing quite like interacting with incredible musicians – it’s rejuvenating. And then in the case of Anomalie Live, it also makes it so that I can enjoy my own repertoire in what feels like a fresh take on it through their musicianship and end up walking off stage with a big smile every night!
However, it’s always been important to me to also preserve the scale and precise aspect of the multilayered, detailed, and produced recordings that I spend so much time on. In order to do that, I came up with a setup centered around Ableton Live with two key features:
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1. The automation of every sound I play (usually several per track), so that I can strictly focus on playing, listening to my bandmates, and interacting with the crowd.
2. The optimization of every single vst effect and instrument to make the session as CPU friendly as possible while still allowing me to use more than a hundred different patches in a show.
The first, I achieved through chain selector automation. At the very top of my project template, there’s a midi track that has a monitor-in enabled, and basically acts as the main midi input for the whole show
Each song is then split into two groups: a midi track with an empty instrument rack that allows me to automate when a patch is the one that I’m playing at a given moment, and a group of tracks with the actual vsts/sampler patches on them, which all receive midi from the empty instrument rack above. What this allows me to do is fully use all the available cores on my CPU (especially if many of those sounds are playing at once) as opposed to having all the vsts as a rack on one track, which will only allocate one core/thread to all of them.
I use the Roland A-88mkII as my main controller since it has the best velocity curve in any midi controller in my opinion – it works really well for piano, Rhodes/Wurli and synths. I’m also able to use the section on the left of the keyboard to navigate through the setlist, start and stop tracks, and control effects if needed (although I’ll usually automate most of that and manually perform what I need to perform on the mod wheel and my expression pedal, the Moog EP1)
I then UAD Apollo Twin as my main interface since it’s portable and still allows me to use 6 mono outputs in total (which I end up using for backing tracks, what I play, a click track, and an output for my MXR Talkbox)
My bandmates Gab (bass) and Alexis (aux keys) also have similar sessions on their laptops for their patches, and I’m able to sync their effects and apply sidechain when needed through two midi cables that are sent to their stations
Finally, Ronny (drums) combines his drum kit with an Alesis Strike MultiPad and a kick trigger for recording accurate samples when needed, while still allowing his musicianship to truly shine on the actual thing.