Since Cut Copy's inception in 2001, they've toured with Franz Ferdinand, Junior Senior, Bloc Party, and Mylo, as well as the almighty Daft Punk, not to mention having made quite a name for themselves in their native Melbourne. "We have a great community of like minded artists," guitarist Tim Hoey tells Spinner of the Australian music scene. "Acts like the Avalanches, Riot in Belgium and the Midnight Juggernauts -- we're all good friends and are always playing each other new stuff we've been writing. It's kind of great being a little bit isolated from the rest of the world when writing so you don't get caught up too much on what band or scene is being thrown around."
The band's vision has changed considerably over the years since it started as a solo project Dan Whitford. Most notably their sound, which utilizes both live and electronic instruments. "We always try to serve the song and use what's going to sound best or more interesting rather than go, 'OK, this is going to be our dance track,' and sit
around programming all day or 'jam' in a room on guitars," Hoey says. "We've always liked to go see a band play. There is something a little more engaging about it. We like the rawness and room for poor musicianship.
2008 is shaping up to be a big year for the trio. Hoey tells Spinner to expect "a better Cut Copy." "The songwriting has come a long way," he says. "We kept the same pop sensibilities from the first record but tried to take the songs in more adventurous territories. We always wanted to write a record and not a few singles with filler. We spent some time on the interludes and constructing the track order so you can listen all the way through. It's for everyone. It's not really a straight dance or rock record. I think that's the best thing about what we do."
Keep a lookout for Cut Copy on tour and for the release of the DFA-produced 'In Ghost Colours.' Meanwhile, the band has put together a DJ mix comprised of their favorite tracks and influences, along with a track by track commentary, below.
Aphex Twin, 'On'
This is one of Aphex Twin's classics, and I've always used it as an intro to our DJ sets. I'm a big fan of looped piano riff (two other faves of mine being Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' or DJ Shadow's 'Building Steam From a Grain of Sand'). It's almost hard to imagine this is the same guy who wrote 'Come to Daddy.'
Cut Copy, 'So Haunted' (knightlife end edit)
Our mate Knightlife called me up when he heard 'So Haunted' on the radio and asked what happens after it fades out. He was imagining this sun-soaked disco reprise so we gave him the parts and two days later we had our hands punching the air listening back to it.
Panda Bear, 'Bros'
This Panda Bear record is without a doubt my favorite of 2007. For me it's like Paul Simon 'Graceland' era meets Animal Collective meets the Avalanches. Some of my favorite s---.
Popolice is a one-man My Bloody Valentine. It's a trick because whenever I close my eyes at his shows you can imagine a whole band with wailing guitars and heartbrakingly beautiful textures and harmonies. A bit of an underground favorite in Melbourne, he's played with us and become a mainstay on the Cut Copy stereo.
Delia & Gavin, 'Rise'
This song reminds me of driving at dusk, or perhaps it's the sound of the world as it was being created. I've only seen them play once but they had me transfixed for the 25 minutes that they played, with no gaps or talking. Amazing.
Elitechnique, 'Fingerfood (Major Swellings Mix)
There's a touch of Herbie Hancock in all of us. And I must admit I remember seeing the electronic saxophone on a show called 'Beyond 2000' when I was a kid and badgering my parents to buy me one. They never did.
Nu Musik, 'Warp'
This song is incredible to me. It's one of those tunes that transports you ... from Chicago house to blissful acoustic guitar, sounding like one of the best remixes you've heard. I was staggered to find out it's actually from 1982 and the original version of the song.
Panthers, 'Goblin City' (Holy Ghost! dub)
Holy ghost! seem to be one of the heroes of DFA's new wave of talent. This mix of panthers is as good as many of the DFA's own. I cant wait for more.
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, 'Horizon'
This track appeared on the promo for Rubicon a number of years back but (perhaps due to it's length) has remained a tantalizing piece of braxe/falke magic. I love it every time I hear it, but never manage to listen to it long enough to get over it. Pure bliss.
Bell x1, 'Flame' (Chicken Lips Dub)
This mix is a bit like a modern pop interpretation of the anthemic white-funk of Talking Heads. One my favorite chicken lips remixes for some time.
Giorgio, 'Knights in White Saturn'
This is one of my favorite Giorgio tracks. I love this era of his music where in parternship with Pete Bellotte. Their songs build and deconstruct themselves piece by piece over a whole side of vinyl. This particular one is a cover of Justin Hayward and spans three disco interpretations of the song. The cover is also absolutely genius.
Aeroplane is my new favorite artist. This track comes like a contemporary version of the songs that inspired the new Cut Copy record 'In Ghost Colours'. Not out of place next to Jean Michel Jarre's 'Equinoxe' or PIL's 'This Is What You Want, This Is What You Get'. An epic soundtrack to, well, something.
Fleetwood Mac, 'Never Forget'
'Tusk' was an ambitious double-album and although it probably didn't scale the heights of 'Rumours', it has some truly heartwarming breaking chords and melodies.
Lifelike, 'So Electric'
Like Alan Braxe and Daft Punk, Lifelike seems to be at his best when his tracks stumble upon some sort of shared musical consciousness; a melody seemingly from the past which takes hold like a fond memory of childhood. 'So Electric' is simultaneously triumphant and nostalgic, and, for me, an instant classic.
Saturn 5, 'Oscillations Pure Kraut'
It goes to show you dont need more that one chord (or even one note for that matter) to write a compelling tune.
International Music System, 'Runaway' (Edit)
A lot of the time in writing our second record was spent researching and listening to music from the past, making connections between our modern favorites and those that inspired them. To me almost like a proto-Alan Braxe blueprint. Unfortunately it's incredibly difficult to get information about many of these italo artists so I know precious little about it. It's good though.
Cut Copy, 'Lights & Music'
This song was written from two ideas and then joined together. The chorus began as an dubby electronic disco number I wrote, and the verses from a post punk-inspired jam that Tim and I recorded on bass keyboard and drum machine. It's also our next single.
Jean Michel Jarre, 'Equinoxe' (Edit)
What more can be said about Jean Michel Jarre? He's a hero. For the tech heads, he has put the Yamaha CS60 and 80 into our hearts forever.
Harmonia, 'Deluxe' (Drum Edit)
Harmonia was the all-star 'dreamteam' of Krautrock. Michael (Jordan) Rother from Neu on guitar combined with the Cluster pair and Roedelius (aka Shaq) and Moebius (not unlike the silky skills of Clyde Drexler). Seriously though, both the harmonia albums are masterpieces. Over the last couple of years I've listen to these records countless times for inspiration.
The Bells, 'Target Group' (C90 Mix)
C90 seem to have emerged as blog favorites for many people. This is my pick of their mixes.
Holy Ghost, 'Hold On'
I cant say enough about Holy Ghost! This record is a hands down classic for me. From the throbbing staccato synth of the verses to the soaring clavinet piano of chorus. This the Cut Copy 12" anthem of 2007. When are these guys going to do a remix for us already? DFA, you've done it again.
Bagraiders, 'Nil by Mouth'
Bagraiders have emerged along with wunderkind Knightlife (who also remixed this particular tune) as part of the new wave of Australian electro producers. For some reason more than most other countries this scene has really taken hold here when only a few years ago it was Jet and their rock revival clones that seemed to rule the bars and clubs.
Space, 'Save Your Love'
This is an instrumental edit of Space's 'Save Your Love'. Not be confused with the KLF/Orb collaboration also called 'Space,' this is more than remeniscent of Daft Punk's 'Disovery' era.
Inflagranti, 'Additional Alpha Blocker'
In my opinion, these guys rarely put a foot wrong. And even when it is wrong, goddamn it -- it's still so right. This track almost goes into transcendental Chicago house territory. I can't wait for their next 12".
Oran Juice Jones, 'The Rain'
An 80's underground soul classic.
Cut Copy, 'Hearts on Fire (Acappella)
Cut Copy, 'Hearts on Fire' (Joakim Mix)
Joakim is someone who I've followed musically over his career and has always been surprising and inspiring. His most recent forays into mixes seem to have been his most successful in terms of club play and he seems to be really hitting his stride. This version of our tune came through to us when we were at DFA recording our album and was a soundtrack for that period. Hands in the air!
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