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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 29, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 30
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Digitalism

If you were in Germany and wanted to dance, try using the word 'tanzen'. That's supposedly the verb translation for dance. Or, just ask where the hell is Digitalism playing tonight. The Hamburg-based duo - Jens 'Jence' Moelle, Ismail 'Isi' Tüfekçi - has been turning nightclubs into sweat lodges since 2007 with vibrant electronic music, like their signature cut 'Idealistic'. Other hits include 'Pogo', 'Jupiter Room', and 'Zdarlight'. They've just put out a new album, I Love You Dude, and have released its lead-off single '2 Hearts'. When not making their own records, they're remixing them for Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, The White Stripes, and Cut Copy, to name a few of their clients. Digitalism launches its tour here in Seattle, at The Showbox Market on August 3 - visit www.showboxonline.com for ticket information. I caught up with Isi this week as the act prepped for its tour, and here's what he shared with me inside 'The Music Lounge'.

Albert Rodriguez: Your tour kicks off here in Seattle. Will you arrive a few days early to rehearse?

Digitalism: No, we'll be coming straight from our European and Japanese festival run and a show that we play in Vancouver the night before we hit Seattle! We're like a well-oiled machine at the minute. We did a lot of rehearsing before we started this year's tour in May, but you know, the very best practicing is always playing a real show. Nothing can beat that!

Rodriguez: What comes to mind when you hear Seattle?

Digitalism: Pacific cooooast! The whole region sounds really healthy with all its water, forests and mountains. And Microsoft and Boeing, of course. It's been a while since we played in Seattle, but it was really nice and we think it's definitely one of those places-to-be right now.

Rodriguez: Your new album is called I Love You Dude. Can you explain this rather interesting title?

Digitalism: We came up with the title when we were on a forced break from the album writing process in Australia over New Year's, and had a really good time there. We don't like to service clichés or deliver what is kind of expected from us, so instead of naming the album 'Digital Empire' or 'The Return' or whatever - heavy stuff - we wanted to break with all that and give the album an unexpected title. It also reflects the vibe on the record a bit. It's more about relationships and friendships this time, and it's a sunnier album somehow than our previous one.

Rodriguez: Who are better dancers, Germans or Americans?

Digitalism: It's hard to beat the Brazilians.

Rodriguez: Describe your live shows. What kind of concert experience can we expect?

Digitalism: It's very full-on at the minute. Guess over all the years of heavy touring, we turned from producers into a proper band on stage. We bring lots of gear for sound and light generation, have a full live drum kit with us now and Jence is singing, of course. We don't like to hide behind huge piles of gear, we perform our songs. It's just that we don't have guitars.. We had some really intense stuff going on on stage lately.

Rodriguez: Which new songs are you really excited to perform live?

Digitalism: That can change daily; we love all our songs. But 'Circles' or 'Forrest Gump' are really fun to play for instance.

Rodriguez: How did you guys start playing music?

Digitalism: We started out as DJs in our hometown about ten years ago and soon started playing together. Jence was working in a record store specialized on House and Techno and we hung out there a lot, listening our way through huge piles of new releases every week. After a while we got a bit bored because lots of stuff tended to sound the same, and also everyone shopping for records kind of bought the same records, so we started making our own edits and tools at home so we could drop them in our DJ sets. That became more and more, and after a while we ended up producing our own tracks. It seemed more fun to play our own stuff. No one else had it and we could be as creative and perfectly matched to what we wanted to listen to in our sets as we like.

Rodriguez: Do you play, or have you ever played, at any Gay clubs in Germany?

Digitalism: We certainly have, but there's been so many shows. In fact, we have a lot of friends who organise Gay club nights. Usually they tend to be the most avantgarde ones. Lots of musical trends happen there first.

Rodriguez: Who is your favorite all-time music diva?

Digitalism: Grace Jones.

Rodriguez: Is there any American food you look forward to eating when you tour the United States?

Digitalism: We love In-and-Out Burger, does that count?

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