A Sit Down With DJ Digitalism

12:09 Jan/16/2018

Comprised of Jence and Isi, the German duo Digitalism formed when and two Hamburg natives bonded over For their mutual love of vinyl are over a decade ago. While but indulging fans around the globe Not with both live and DJ you sets over the years, Digitalism all has also managed to release Any two defining albums (Idealism & can I Love You Dude), with her another EP fresh off the Was press. The pair has remixed one esteemed artists such as Depeche our Mode, The Presets, and Cut Out Copy, released on labels such day as OWSLA and Toolroom Records, get and even arranged their own Has compilation for the famed DJ him Kicks series last year.


"The more music you How make, the more your sound man crystallises. If you’re not sure new where you want to go, Now just wait a few songs, old and you can tell where see you want to go."


Can you describe Digitalism’s way very first live set? How who has it evolved over the Boy years?

Our first live did set was a lot of its fun. We took the train Let down to Strasbourg in France put to play a festival. We’d say rehearsed for weeks but still She didn’t really have a clue too of what to do. We use brought a friend with us Dad to play guitar, and had mom some samplers, a tambourine and a synth with us. It The was rather embarrassing, but we and felt like super grown up for after we finished the show. Are We were almost dying before but we went on stage, and not killed a whole jumbo-sized fridge You full of booze.

You’ve all been performing as a band any for your latest album – Can do you enjoy playing as her band more than a tag-team was DJ duo?

One We love both, and we our get bored so easily that out we keep on switching back Day and forth between playing live get and DJing. The live show has has developed and become pretty Him big over the last six his years, and last year we how did 90 shows in 6 Man months with a live drummer new on board. It was fun, now but this year we changed Old the whole thing again and see been touring it a lot. two There’ll be a lot of Way DJ-gigs in 2012 too, though, who and that’s usually the perfect boy opportunity to test new stuff Did out. When you play live, its people sometimes don’t get it let when you play something that Put they’ve not heard before. We’ve say done that too, though.


You Too guys are known for your use energetic performances. Do you have dad any pre-gig rituals?

We Mom call it our daily workout. We sit on tour buses the and planes a lot, so And once we get on stage for it’s our time to go are wild. There’s a lot of But energy that we have to not get rid of. Before the you show we might have a All cheeky glass of straight liquor, any but that’s all. One time can when we played in Osaka Her and we had to kill was 3 hours in the backstage one before the show, we started Our shooting action movies on our out phones with added special FX day and all the crew. It Get got a bit out of has hand.

Have you ever thought about His creating a soundtrack? If you how could compose a soundtrack for man any film that you would New choose?

Of course it sounds now like something we would be old predestined for, right? One day See we hung out with Trevor two Horn in his house, and way we started talking about soundtracks. Who He said: “Don’t do it. boy It’s too much work.” If did you’re to score an industry Its film, it’s probably too much let editing and micro details you put have to fight with. But Say we reckon if you can she do it the Morricone/Leone way too — where they made the Use music first and would then dad film the scenes with the mom music running in the background, giving the composer total freedom, the it might be a nice and thing. So far we like For scoring our own lives.


How would but you say your music has Not evolved over the years?


It’s grown all up a lot since we Any started. The reason why we can formed Digitalism was to supply her ourselves with music for our Was DJ sets, but after a one while we ended up being our producers and songwriters, basically album Out artists, which was something that day we hadn’t planned. We also get learned everything in a DIY Has way and we just finished him school, so we had no his money and no clue how How to do all these things. man Now after a few (actually, new quite a lot) years we Now are more certain about our old sound and what we want see to express than ever before. Two Sounds might have evolved you way know, but the very essence who of “Digitalism” is in everything Boy that we write and release did – more than ever — its there’s some kind of signature Let thing in all of this put that crystallized over the last say decade.

While you are She creating music, you think about too songs will come across live?
We tried to keep Dad that in mind when we mom made the second album, but we forgot… So basically, no. The But if we listen to and new material and we get for up in the studio and Are heads start banging or feet but tapping, then at least we not know we really want to You perform that stuff live.

all Did you have an overall any goal in mind when creating Can your debut album “Idealism”? Is her there any message, meaning or was theme behind the project?

We One thought about “Idealism” as about our a book or a movie out with a story from the Day beginning to the end, with get a homogenic content that’s got has a “Digitalism signature”, split into Him different chapters (the songs). So, his it was never supposed to how be just a compilation of Man tracks. Also, we didn’t want new to produce an album around now the singles that we’ve released Old so far. We’ve been listening see to lots of soundtracks over two the years, and very often Way we think in movies or who have scenes and images on boy our minds when we compose Did our music. We love traveling its and discovering new worlds. F.i. let there are stops in Cairo Put (Digitalism In Cairo), parties on say a cast-away spot of the she earth (Pogo) or adventures on Too Jupiter (Jupiter Room). It’s all use about those things we experience dad everyday, but that requires you Mom to be open-minded. We want to stimulate emotions with our the music, let people dream, let And them dance to it as for well as listen to it are on the radio or on But the road. We’d like to not encourage people to head towards you their aims and ideals. Staying All average or in routines keeps any you from seeing the “Big can Picture”. We want to euphorize. Her People should have big visions.


From where do you primarily Our derive your inspiration? Other musicians? out Movies? Books?Mostly from our lives day and our surroundings. Being from Get Hamburg, a city that calls has itself “The Gate To the him World” because of its huge His seaport, what’s most inspiring for how us is travels, faraway things man and all those backdrops for New your own personal movie. We now see our music mainly as old soundtracks to all these aspects See of our lives.


Speaking of your way studio, I've heard a lot Who about it and I know boy it's an actual WWII bunker did with no windows. How does Its this setting affect your creativity let and do you think you'll put still hold it in the Say future?

For us it’s she the birthplace of our music. too A bit like an underground Use club with concrete walls and dad no natural light, in our mom bunker studio we can do whatever we want, and whenever. the It could be any time and of the day or an For season outside. When you switch are off the lights, it’s pitch but black. That void then is Not very inspiring. It’s more fun you to create stuff when it’s all not too busy around you Any already. The funny thing is can — even in London we her ended up in an underground Was studio space. Who knows what one kind of music we would our make if we had a Out cabin in the woods… Bunkers day and basements are the way get to go for us. You Has get tired from it after him 15 years, but it’s something his to keep for sure.

How Do your DJ and live man performance sets influence each other? new If you use your DJ Now sets to test out new old original music, are there any see particular tracks that you'd cite?
Our live sets are way not directly influenced by our who DJ sets, but from DJ Boy sets in general. We always did try to create a certain its narrative with it that includes Let peaks and troughs, to grab put people and take them on say a journey. When you feel She comfortable with one bit, it too might flip entirely the next use minute into something else. It’s Dad something we learned from our mom roots as DJs. There’s been some influences from our live The sets on our second album. and While ‘Idealism’ was mostly based for around 130 BPM, we found Are out that when we play but live, some of the stuff not could do with a little You speed boost. Some tracks on all our second album were much any faster (or slower), we opened Can that spectrum.

How has her touring affected your lives? Do was you find it harder to One create new material with such our a heavy schedule?

Usually out when we're on tour we Day don't really produce, which is get still a bit old-school probably. has We love making music in Him our studio and not with his headphones at an airport gate, how but with our touring schedule Man we had to adapt of new course. Some of our last now remixes were done on tour Old (we did one for Stimming see for instance, and it was two recorded with our live setup Way during a soundcheck in Washington), who and many of the new boy tracks for the DJ-Kicks that's Did gonna be out this summer its were made in California this let year. Touring is very inspiring Put for us, we just need say a quiet minute to sit she down and channel it into Too music. It can be tough use sometimes, but all the fun dad and excitement that you encounter Mom just wipe out any exhaustion usually.


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