Breaking out with hand-crafted edits and high-profile remixes for Daft Punk, Cut Copy, Klaxons and Depeche Mode, the rave rockers, who met in a Hamburg record store, continued to build a stalwart following in the indie electronic community with their dancefloor-primed singles 'Idealistic,' 'Zdarlight' and 'Jupiter Room,' not to mention their energetic DJ and live performances.
After holing up in the storied bunker where they recorded their debut, Digitalism have returned to play a slew of live dates in support of their sophomore release, 'I Love You, Dude,' which features a collaboration with the Strokes' Julian Casablancas, and a healthy dose of French House-inspired synth pop. Digitalism -- the duo of Jens Molle and Ismail Tuefekci -- recently caught up with Spinner via e-mail to discuss their new album and live show.
As a bonus, download free Digitalism music, courtesy of Rcrdlbl.
Tell us a bit about the album title, 'I Love You, Dude.' How does it relate to the music on the album?
The title decision was made during a forced break from the album production in Australia end of last year, hanging out in the sun. It was a phrase that got stuck in our heads, and at one point we decided to use it as the title, out of a mood. It kinda fits though: The new album feels sunnier than the first one, and it's more about relationships and friendships this time. "I love you, dude" is a phrase that friends say to each other mostly when they're really content or excited because they're having the best time.
Why did you change it from the original title, 'Tourism'?
We like doing daft stuff and surprising people. We're not big fans of maintaining clichés or delivering what is expected from us. So the new title was a gut-decision; we knew it'd shock or confuse people. It's pretty tongue-in-cheek.
How did your collaboration with Julian Casablancas on 'Forrest Gump' come about?
We wanted to try out something new this time and see what ideas other people come up with when we send them our music. By the time we were working on 'Forrest Gump,' Julian had just finished his solo album, which was quite electronic and experimental. We thought that our instrumental demo could be something for him. We got in touch via his tour management, and although he was really busy around that time, promoting his record, touring and writing for the Strokes, he ended up sending a little recording over. We then included some of his ideas in the song. It was great to work with him, but it was more ping-pong than sitting and writing together.
Why did you decide to have him contribute musically rather than vocally?
We usually don't like features on our music, and we don't like namedropping. It was good to have him on board, but we didn't want to make a big deal out of it. As far as we can we do everything ourselves, we do it. We're a very DIY band, and we have a voice. The only real feature on the new album is by Cäthe, who sings on 'Just Gazin'.' She's got an amazing voice.
What is your live show like this time around? What can we expect at HARD Fest?
It's gonna be a very full-on show. We come with lots of synths and gear, we sing and bring live drums with us too. We're pretty much out there. DJing Hard Fest last year was already pretty awesome, this time we're coming to play live -- it's been a while since we played our last show in L.A. It was a great crowd!
How has the Kitsune/French scene you were associated with changed since 2007?
The whole French thing has changed a lot. The big union of crowds that came with what the press called "Nu Rave" isn't there anymore at the moment. Scenes have split up again into harder music, deeper techno (with lots of brilliant producers), Dutch house or downtempo discoid stuff. Others just go to watch bands play concerts now. It's more separated now than it was back then. And of course, Daft Punk aren't touring anymore! It seems labels sign more bands now than before. Kitsuné did some great work with Two Door Cinema Club, Delphic and now Housse De Racket, for instance. But that big uniting thing yet has to come back! It feels a bit like everyone's cooking his own stuff.
Have your musical tastes changed?
Not so much actually. We've gone a bit more extreme on the new album, but the roots are still the same. Our new music is faster and slower than before, more melodic and harder. There's more disparity now. That's probably an influence from the last few years of playing live.
There are so few record stores now, like the kind where you met. Where would you have met in 2011?
Probably at a festival or gig somewhere. Or at an airport?
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