"We really dislike the DJ on the stage thing," Ford, the curly-mopped member of the touring monkey party, tells Spinner. "DJing should be in a good room with a good sound system, a low ceiling and the DJ in the corner. I'm not into this fist-pumping, pyrotechnics and waving hands in the air thing. It just seems wrong to me. But, unfortunately, that's how a lot of DJ things are happening in the world."
What he's referring to is the rise of the "DJ as rock star" phenomenon that has been happening across North America this summer where DJs like Kaskade and David Guetta have been selling out massive stadiums like LA's Staples Centre, or the Electric Daisy Carnival, which attracted over 300,000 partiers in Las Vegas this year, or where touring events with events like IDentity Festival and Full Flex Express tour are making like laptop Lollapaloozas.
"When you go and see a DJ play at a [concert] theatre in the UK, it just feels weird," chimed in Shaw. "Watching a DJ shouldn't be interesting. Well, they shouldn't be visually interesting or having showman antics. They should be removed from the audience, choosing records and putting them on. When we are forced to play this way, I want to tell the crowd something like, 'talk amongst yourselves!' All I'm literally doing is choosing the next record."
Unpatterns, the duo's latest album, continues in the fashion of the driving techno found on the last album, Delicacies, and further distances the band from their earlier vocal-heavy electro anthems like "I'm A Hustler" or "Audacity of Huge." Not that Unpatterns is devoid of a human voice, but most of the vocals are distorted, in an ecstatic robot sort of manner. Take for example "Put Your Hands Together," which uses leftover samples from an old recording session with Jamie Lidell, actually the only studio-recorded vocals from the album.
"We've always been interested in the techno side of things. Earlier on, we thought we could play both -- that is techno and electro -- but mixing the two is actually much more difficult than we thought," admitted Ford. "If it happens that we're playing less commercial music to less people but the parties are better, well that's cool. We'd rather play to a small room of music lovers that really get it than a big festival that's become more of a crowd-surfing emo rock show."