TVD Package Deal: Digitalism

All dance-aholics rejoice! Digitalism’s second record, I Love You, Dude, will be released one week from today. And, hopefully I, and you, okay we, will get the chance to hear the German duo live and “bust a move” when they play the 9:30 Club in August during the HARD Tour. I would like to sit down with Jens Moelle and Ismail Tuefekci to hammer out some of the foggy details that typed responses draw forth. So, for now, this interview was a text correspondence. And as you will read below, they love music and do not take themselves too seriously, and I love them for that!

How did you move from being DJs to producing a record? And, what was that transition like?

We both worked at the same record store, and we used to hang out a lot with the owner, too. It was like a family. You’d spend the afternoons in the shop (even if you weren’t working) and go and DJ at night or at least go visit a friend DJing somewhere. We started doing these homemade edits at Jence’s place on a computer, and somehow got into this habit of burning them onto CDs and giving them to friends who were DJing the same night, just for fun. We kind of became obsessed with it, and the edits got more sophisticated.

One day we decided to rent some space for a studio, so we could make even better music in there. Said and done—and a few months later we managed to release some new edits on a vinyl white label. By the time we were preparing the second one (“Idealistic”), the pressing plant said that it would be a waste if we put it only on a white label. They suggested a proper release instead. Next thing was that Kitsuné picked the track up to re-release it properly, and it found fans all over the world. After a few 12” vinyls, we found the time to finish a whole album.

So the transition was pretty smooth and natural, it wasn’t an overnight thing, and we’re really glad about this because that way you get all the important experience you’ll need for the future, and you appreciate every little thing that comes along.

You’ve been pegged as a fusion of dance and punk rock, a palatable electro duo that anyone can enjoy; where is Digitalism going next?

We don’t know really. All we know is that on our first two studio albums we ended up with kind of a bipolar mix between techno and indie music. It’s just the stuff that we love, and we’re trying to put everything under one roof. It’s a tricky thing to find the right balance there. We also found that regardless of what we come up with in the studio-–it can also be a ballad—there’s always the nod to the dance floor. It’s just in us, because that’s where we’re coming from. Hard to say where that’s going [go] to next. The new album, for instance, is just like the first one, but more extreme. So the song side is emphasized, but the hard tracks are even harder this time, and the tempi are totally different and in more extreme ranges.

When will Digitalism be gracing The States and the District with a live show? Maybe… this summer?*

We’re coming over for the HARD Summer Festival (and the HARD Summer Tour that’s scheduled around it), and that’ll be real soon!

On Digitalism: Did you give much thought to the dictionary’s definition of your name?

A serious condition resulting from excessive consumption of digitalis (a plant) characterized by nausea, vomiting, and a disturbance in heart rhythm or rate.

Ha-ha that’s a good one, no we didn’t! Apparently there are more “Digitalism” definitions out there; it’s also an ideology and an art form. But by the time we chose the band name, we didn’t know anything about that, especially not the herbal stuff. We loved a series of Yellow 12”s called Africanism produced by Bob Sinclar, DJ Gregory and the likes, and we were looking for a name to write on our CDRs. We did everything with computers by that time, hence “digital”-ism.

Did you enjoy the soundtrack of the 2010 TRON: Legacy? Tron was a big thing, and we were happy to hear that Daft Punk was working on it.

It’s a great soundtrack with a beautiful musical theme, and we love the fact that they worked with a full orchestra. That’s our taste! But the film itself was like a two-hour trailer for “Tron Legacy,” where you leave the cinema and think, “OK that was the trailer, now where’s the real full-story movie?” A bit disappointing. Great effects though.

How do you feel about your songs being used in television shows, commercials and video games?

That’s great—it means those people wanted Digitalism music!

And finally, when dancing to your music is it in the feet, the hips, or the shoulders?

We always head-bang immediately when we found something exciting in our studio, so probably the neck, and the hips too, that’s what the ladies do!

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