Monday, May 30, 2011

Exclusive B&S Interview with Aeroplane (Vito de Luca)

After an amazing show on May 25th at U Street Music Hall in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to sit down with Belgian music outfit Vito de Luca, otherwise known as Aeroplane. With a slew of fantastic remixes and one full length ablum, We Can't Fly, under his belt, Vito continues to top charts and play his music around the world. Even getting a chance to create the 500th Essential Mix for BBC1 Radio, Vito is recognized internationally by famous DJ's and fans alike. His style takes many influences from 80's style pop and disco music and has a unique feel that is sure to get you on your feet and dancing. Here's what the man had to say:

Aeroplane May 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] How do you feel about playing in the US versus playing in Europe and other places around the world?

Vito: The thing about the US is that I love playing here. The crowds are really open… There is so much music here and the people love to have a good time. But I really do not like this country as a place to be in. It is just so much different from Belgium and Europe, but the crowds are always amazing. I’m in New York tomorrow, LA the day after, Miami… Even people that haven’t ever heard of Aeroplane are just there to drink and have a good time and dance.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So how did you get into DJing and producing?

Vito: Well I was trained as a classical musician for 10 years or more. Then I got into rock bands and we were all making music influenced by other rock bands like Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. One of my friends, somebody gave her a Homework record (Daft Punk) for her birthday, and she was like: I don’t want this so you can have it. When I played Daft Punk for the first time I was just like… Whoa, there’s something going on here… That’s really when I started getting into production.

[Bright & Shiny Music] I’m a classically trained musician as well and I find that sometimes my musical training, especially in music theory, can be a bit stifling due to all of the conventions that I’ve learned. Do you find that your training can sometimes inhibit your creativity?

Vito: There are so many artists that I love so much like James Jones and others, and at some point their music crosses a line that I cannot cross because of all of the theory that I’ve learned.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Yeah I have the same problem. I have a hard time breaking all of the rules that I’ve learned.

Vito: You can’t break them. It’s like gravity. You always go back to the rules. You have to stick with them. But sometimes when artists go a little outside of the box, that’s where you find a lot of musical genius.

[Bright & Shiny Music] What are your upcoming plans? Are you back in the studio soon?

Vito: I’m working right now on a compilation… and I have a lot of remixes that I’m working on. At the end of September I'm hoping that I can start on the new album that should be ready for February of next year.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So are you able to work on new material while touring or do you have to be settled down in the studio?

Vito: The problem with being a touring musician is that if I don’t have a piano or a guitar or a bass, it’s pretty hard to put little squares in little boxes on a computer screen and expect it to sound like real music. I have to have the actual instruments.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So what are your favorite instruments to record with? How much of your music is recorded from real instruments and how much of it is synthesized?

Vito: I mainly play bass and guitar on the tracks. I used to program a lot, like all the synths used to be midi programmed. I stopped doing that. I just play everything live now. There is a human feel to it. It is much more fun even. Trying to program some piano chords… to make it sound natural, it’s going to take you ages. It’s actually going to you less time to sit down at an actual piano to write a chord progression.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So most of your album was recorded at slower tempos like 105 bpm, which is much slower than standard dance/house/club music. Can you explain why you choose to compose at these slower tempos?

Vito: It is just the tempo that I prefer. It is a tempo that gives me the most, I don’t know… I hate the word groove, but I don’t know any other word for it than groove. I’m not quite sure how to explain it. When you play an instrument at that bpm, it can be really straight, loose…it just works all around. It’s the bpm of all of my favorite songs like Miss You by the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So a lot of artists have remixed your work, do you have a couple favorites?

Vito: Well my favorite remix of my work is probably the next one coming up that you wouldn’t have heard of yet… And I can’t tell you who it is. I have to say the Rex the Dog remix of My Enemy is pretty big. I really struggled to get the remixes for that single. And I had to really push these two choices that I played: Green Velvet and Rex the Dog. And it’s funny because both of those remixes were exactly what I was expecting from those artists. The Rex the Dog remix is perfect Rex the Dog stuff and Green Velvet is perfect, stupid, repetitive Green Velvet stuff… but so great that it could go on for 12 minutes and you'd still love it. Perfect for people on drugs haha.

11. Aeroplane - My Enemy by eskimorecordings

Aeroplane 'My Enemy' Rex The Dog remix by rexthedog1980

Aeroplane - My Enemy (Green Velvet `Love My Enemy` Remix) by Wall of Sound

[Bright & Shiny Music] What is your favorite country in Europe to play in?

Vito: I’d have to say Belgium is pretty good. I played in Ghent last week with Moby, which was pretty random. It was the opening of a gallery and afterwards there was a party where Moby and I played. I have to say it was pretty much the best gig this year. I really love Belgium… It’s like a bit of the UK, a bit of the US… everybody is drunk but they know how to drink so they know how to party. We have a lot of dance music culture in Belgium. A lot of dance music was actually born in Belgium. But it’s always pretty great to play there.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Speaking of Moby, I saw both of you last September at Electric Zoo in NYC. How was playing that festival for you?

Vito: Umm… It was actually fucking awesome.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Will you be going back this year?

Vito: No, I’m not going back this year. It was kind of a nightmare situation before the gig actually. My plane was delayed, I landed late. Once I was finally ready to leave the airport the girl picking me up wasn’t picking me up… then she was. And then we had traffic jams, and I arrived half an hour into my set so I only got to play for one hour. So it was pretty shitty to fly in and out of New York for one gig.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Do you have a preference to playing at a big music festival like Electric Zoo as opposed to a club setting?

Vito: Electric Zoo was great. But I definitely prefer a crowd of about 150 to 200 people in a club. I love when you can’t hear the club and you can just hear the music. I hate when the bass drum resonates in the room and you can hear the sound of the club more than the music. If it’s a smaller club then I feel like the bass really hits the people and it’s a great feeling.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So what is your most memorable gig? Not necessarily the best, just something that stood out.

Vito: A lot of them are really memorable for reasons that I cannot really expose in an interview haha… So I’d have to say this one gig I played in Belgium for the anniversary of this really big club. It was total anarchy. People were going nuts. I could have played anything, and I mean ANYthing. Everybody was just partying and screaming and throwing champagne. There was a naked guy walking around… but then I found out that he is there every weekend and is always naked haha. That was one of my biggest gigs of all time.

One of our first gigs in Glasgow, we played in a room in a school. It was a math club… for people who love math and do math together, something I will never understand. So we get there and there are about 80 people and it was really quiet. They told us we were on, so I put on my first record and they asked us to crank the volume. All of a sudden it was like animals coming out of trees… the whole dance floor was nuts, I can’t explain. Girls were taking their tops off. I remember when one person asked for the Soulwax remix of MGMT. That was the first time we ever played it and I really thought the whole place was going to collapse. People were hitting the walls, throwing shit… I’m telling you girls were taking their clothes off haha. Some guys even started taking their pants off. People pouring out from everywhere… All in the math club.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So Aeroplane used to be a duo… How do you think your sound has evolved and matured over time since the breakup?

Vito: Ah dude that’s a big question for 2 am. Well since we’ve been working separately, you can definitely tell who was bringing what to our music. The way the sound has evolved now has not been because I’ve been trying to do something differently, it’s just that I’ve learned and experimented. For instance the Friendly Fires remix that I did was mainly luck. I just messed around for a while. The first time I played it in a club they had to stop the music because there was this weird bass frequency playing just below the track. It was like 15 or 20 Hz. I don’t even know how we did that. It was like we just put one single sine wave throughout the track haha. But yeah… I have no idea how or why my sound has evolved.

[Bright & Shiny Music] So you’re not really conscious per se of how your sound has changed?

Vito: No, you can’t really be conscious about it. You just wake up in the morning and you have something in your head and you just try and replicate what you’re imagining. Most of my inspiration comes from classical pop music like Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd. My only goal is perfection because these guys were sounding perfect. I am not really sure if I attained my goal with the album, but I can only hope that other people enjoy what I make. But yeah… it’s been about two and half years since I recorded the album. There are actually some tracks on it that I don’t really like.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Which ones are you referring to?

Vito: There are some tracks that I’m disappointed with what they are versus what they could have been. Like for instance Fish in The Sky… It’s there, but it’s not exactly where I wanted to take it. And it’s sort of upsetting because I have to listen to it for the rest of my life and not necessarily feel satisfied with it.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Do you feel that way about a lot of the stuff you’ve done in the past?

Vito: Well I don’t think it’s a natural feeling of an artist to not be happy with their work, because when I do something I like, I know it. It’s really difficult because I’m a composer and a “sound engineer”. Sound wise it’s hard to get to the point I want to be at… because I’m writing all the harmonies and arrangements and creating the sounds.

We Cant Fly by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] So is listening to the album now a totally different experience than when you first recorded it?

Vito: I don’t listen to the album anymore. I’ve listened to that fucking album for three years… I think I’m done with it. You listen to any album for three years and you’ll get sick of it.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Yeah I’m sure you get sick of playing ‘I Crave Paris’ at every gig.

Vito: Yeah I did this thing on twitter where I was like, are you guys ok if I stop playing ‘I Crave Paris’? And I had people hating me and freaking out. It is like my own version of ‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones. I have noticed though that in Europe it goes down not as well as it did last year. So that's good.

I Crave Paris by Aeroplane (Official)

[Bright & Shiny Music] Haha maybe it’s on the outs.

Vito: I would love that actually haha. It’s not that I don’t like the track, I’m just over it. Most of the tracks that I play in my DJ sets last for a month and a half, two months max... Then they are replaced by something else. Paris is the only track that lasted for like…four fucking years. I’ve gotten to a point like Kurt Cobain where he couldn’t handle playing Smells Like Teen Spirit anymore.

[Bright & Shiny Music] Alright well we have to get going now but thanks a lot for talking to us and giving us the opportunity to interview you.

Vito: Thanks for talking to me, take care guys.

Bonus mixes (free downloads):

Aeroplane April 2011 MIx by Aeroplane (Official)

Aeroplane March 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

Aeroplane February 2011 Mix by Aeroplane (Official)

Be sure to follow Vito via... everything, for news and updates about Aeroplane:

Love, Patrick

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Catching Z's

As mentioned on our facebook page and twitter, we're looking for talented graphic designers to join the Bright & Shiny team and help us out with our next project. If you or someone you know would be interested or would like to know more, shoot us an e-mail at And now for the music.

Turbo Recordings ZZAfrika Remix compilation drops digitally in two days. Featuring remixes from the likes of Lightyear, Tomas Andersson, Crowdpleaser, and many more, you're not going to want to miss it. The leaked Gesaffelstein remix seems to be getting the most attention, with Busy P already calling it the remix of the year. I've got Julio Bashmore's re-work today as well: a much more melodic, down-tempo lick to lounge to.

Now, it seems to me it's been a bit too long since we've posted some quality disco-inspired funk. I hope to fix that problem with the next couple of songs, starting off with a classic french house sounding remix from Broke One.

Digitalfoxglove (DFG) first came to my attention with his slick remix of Louis La Roche's "My Turn". As mentioned in his bio, he's very much into those more mysterious, dreamy, and melodic sounds, something that is evident with "Someone Else". The track grips you right from the beginning with a steadily building intro and continues to hold on with an intricate blend of 80's style synths and vocal effects.

Aeroplane dropped this number from Rex the Dog when Patrick and I saw him on Wednesday to great effect. With those captivating chord progressions, it's easy to see (*hear) why. Speaking of Aeroplane, we had the fortune of catching up with Vito after the concert for an interview, so be on the lookout for that very soon!

Broke One's Stop Making Sense EP dropped pretty recently, featuring his original "Go Go Go" along with a slew of remixes from house heavy hitters like Treasure Fingers and Evil Nine, whose re-workings I have below. They're both highly enjoyable, though I'm partial to Evil Nine's quirkier interpretation. Check out the full release on beatport here.

Bonus Trax:

(Thanks to Jeremy Abbott for the heads up on this one)


Friday, May 27, 2011

This And That

Summer jobs have consumed my life. Free time has been unexpectedly scarce lately, which has delayed your regular dosing of musical treats. My apologies. So here are a whole lotta songs I've been holding on to and some I've recently come across. Enjoy.

Even if this song weren't golden I would still be posting it solely because of my love for Super Smash Bros. (For those of you who don't get the reference, go and find yourself a childhood). However, this guy doesn't just have a sweet name. Avery Henderson, Falcon Punch, takes the 70's track Darlin' by Delegration, keeps the bassline and guitar riffs, flips a few things around, and cuts most of the original vocals to produce this gem.

Falcon Punch - Where You'll Stay [Download]

Para One and San Serac recently teamed up to form Slice & Soda and released a Year of The Dragon EP with a few remixes on it. The Villa remix adds quite a bit more energy to the otherwise plain original, spicing it up with a higher tempo and more intense instrumentals.

Slice & Soda - Year of The Dragon (Villa Remix) [Download]

Afrojack remixes an indie pop band song? OK, I'll go with it. He doesn't seem to take his usual approach, but there's still a distinct Dutch house sound in the drop. If your undecided about the lyrics, like some seem to be, there's also an instrumental version. Props to the Afroman for branching out.

The Wombats - Techno Fan (Afrojack Extended Club Remix) [Download]

The Wombats - Techno Fan (Extended Instrumental Version) [Download]

16 year old French producer, Madeon, Does some serious work on this Deadmau5 original. He pretty much only uses the vocals of Greta Svabo Bech and does the rest hemself, which pleases me because he gets rid of all that dubstep nonsense. The heavier electro comes in at around 1:23 and is gorgeous. He has complex production skillz seldom shown by anyone near his age. If you haven't checked out any of his originals, his remix of The Island, or his remix of Que Veux Tu, also posted in our Yelle interview, please do so here. Look out for this kid.

Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix) [Download]

Madeon - Shuriken [Download]

Julio Bashmore touches up this Classixx song with his signature beats and synths and doesn't dissapoint.

Classixx - Into The Valley ft. Karl Dixon (Julio Bashmore Remix) [Download]

This Swedish young gun signed with Sebastian Ingrosso's label, Refune, released his 'Dynamite' EP a few months ago, has come out with huge remixes, and has been supported by the likes of Avicii, SHM, and Pete Tong. Alesso is blowing up fast. If you haven't heard of him already, the songs I'm about to throw at you will surely convince you of his ability.

Alesso - Dynamite [Download]

Alesso - Nillionaire [Download]

Tim Berg - Alcoholic (Alesso Taking it Back Remix) [Download]

Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji - Pressure (Alesso Remix) [Download]

B&S favorite, Sharooz, just sent ya boi, Patrick, a new track that's due to release on Beatport this Monday. Listen up.
Sharooz - Up by Sharooz

And now, I give you... buffaloes

- Jimmy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Watch out, watch out

London based producer SBTRKT has been concocting quite the repertoire of original tunes, all the while remaining anonymous. He even performs behind strange tribal masks in what I can only assume is an attempt to let the music speak for itself. Either way, I bring you two tracks that he recently released. The first track features an amazing vocal line from the lead singer of Little Dragon, Yukimi Nagano. She was born and raised in Sweden to a Swedish/American mother and a Japanese father... which makes her soulful R&B voice all the more riveting to listen to. This track is somewhere between electro and dub; it really has a unique feel.

On the second track, we have yet another interesting vocalist, Sampha. He is complemented by some deeeeep bass synths and energetic percussion. At a mere 2 minutes and 54 seconds, this song leaves you wanting more.

Steed Lord has an upcoming EP that is set to be released in June. They uploaded a track from this EP to their sound cloud a week ago and since then I haven't been able to get enough. Funky, fresh, filter house just in time for summer. Buy the high quality version of this track here. Check out those fantastic chopped vocal bits around the 3:40 mark.

The newest Kitsune Compilation #11 was released not too long ago. This compilation is aptly named the Indie Dance issue and I could not be happier with my purchase. Be sure to stop by their site to check out everything they have to offer. Here are my three favorites from the collection just to give you a taste:

They also have a fantastic clothing line. Here's a promo video for their 2011 Fall/Winter collection.

Now for a bit of shameless self promotion... I uploaded one of my own dj sets to my SoundCloud a few weeks ago. If you like electro music, especially house, I would wager to say that you'll enjoy this mix. Track list below. Download here if you wish: Block Party Set Part 1
Block Party Set Part 1 by Them's The Rules

Gossip - Love Long Distance (Riva Starr Vocal Remix)

Kanye West - Love Lock Down (1994 Pilotpriest Remix)

Katy Perry - Firework (T.E.E.D. Remix)

Gorillaz - Superfast Jellyfish (Evil Nine Remix)

David E. Sugar - Flea Market (Sharooz Remix)

Treasure Fingers - It's Love (Charles I Remix)

Siriusmo - All The Girls (Tomboy Remix)

Reset! - If We Try (Steed Lord Remix)

Kid Sister - Right Hand Hi (Riton Vocal Rub)

Crystal Fighters - I Love London (Highbloo Remix)

Robyn - Hang With Me (Avicii's Exclusive Club Mix)

Tiesto & Sneaky Sound System - I Will Be Here (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)

Adrian Lux - Teenage Crime (Daniel Rose Edit)


Love, Patrick

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grab Bag

Today's post is a serious grab bag of epic proportions. I've got complete fire from all parts of the electronic music spectrum, from disco to trance and everything in between. In the words of Lil Wayne, we goin' in..

Fred Falke completely slays this remix, as usual from the genius Frenchman. When Mattie Safers' vocals come in around 1:15 they drop as the perfect counterpoint to Uffie's singing, this song is literally so funky and amazing it's stupid. Grab it now for endless amounts of dancing.
Uffie feat. Mattie Safer - Illusion of Love (Fred Falke Remix) [Download]

Gregori Klosman has been one of our favorite young producers out of the Netherlands for a while now. His dutch flavored style of tech house is as unique as it is powerful, and his newest track Low Battery might be his greatest accomplishment yet. The track veers all over the place in completely insane fashion, swerving from pounding tech beats to a progressive house buildup and back into dutch style lunacy all in a 6 minutes so packed with energy it's absurd. Grab this track now if you know what's good for you.
Gregori Klosman - Low Battery (Original Mix) [Download]

A mega bomb edit of Wolfgang Gartner's newest single.
Wolfgang Gartner feat. Will I Am - Forever (Paul David Mix) [Download]

Steve Angello shows off the versatility of his production skills here, proving he's just as adept at making groovier classic house as he is at putting together thumping club bangers. Grab this one off beatport from the great Ibiza Opening 2011 Compilation.
Ikon - Do You Dream (Steve Angello Remix) [Download]

Avicii strikes gold again; the drop on this one will have you fist pumping like there's no tommorow. Not so crazy about the vocals, but honestly everything else about this song is so amazing it doesn't matter.
Shermanology & Tom Hangs - Blessed (Avicii Edit) [Download]

More bass heavy fire from Skrillex. Only complaint is I wish he used a bit more of the amazing 'Disco Rangers' vocal sample...
Skrillex - Disco Rangers 2011 (Original Mix) [Download]

Shit Robot is a group I've been curious about for a while now. For the longest time I wasn't familiar with any of their music, but they're signed to DFA, James Murphy's super-label (home to acts like LCD Soundsystem and Holy Ghost!), so I figured they must have some serious talent, especially since they've managed to get away with a name as terrible as Shit Robot for this long. It turns out, they're really awesome. The track I have for you today by them features awesome vocals from Nancy Whang (LCD Soundsystem, The Juan Maclean) and a synth line from heaven that combine to make what can only be described as pure disco gold.
Shit Robot - Take Em Up [Download]

I originally found this song from this video I was watching of a Harvard Bass dj set. In case you're too lazy to watch it, when the track drops the crowd goes absolutely mental. Actually, they were going mental before this track dropped but that's only because Harvard Bass is a total G. Anyway, the bass on this is so dirty its goddamn retarded.
RipTide - Fk Me (Original Mix) [Download]

I know we tend to stay away from the Trance, but these next two are completely incredible despite their somewhat trancey styles. The first track, Hi Scandinavia by Matisse and Sadko feels like it was made specifically to be blasted as loud as humanly possible. I suggest you do it. Second up, Superman by Mat Zo is more on the trance side but it's equally as amazing and worth grabbing.
Matisse & Sadko - Hi Scandinavia! (Original Mix) [Download]

Mat Zo - Superman (Original Mix) [Download]

Finally, to close things out I bring you R3hab's remix of Lady Gaga's newest single Judah. I hate Lady Gaga, so the fact that I'm posting this at all should be an indicator of how completely off the rocker this track is.. R3hab goes to an unprecedentedly huge level here, throwing in some spacious progressive house sections to balance out a completely insane dutch house drop. (Shouts out to Brento for showing me this)
Lady Gaga - Judas (R3hab Remix) [Download]

Stay Classy,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Exclusive B&S Interview with Yelle

I had the great opportunity to interview Yelle before their show in Carrboro, NC on April 26th. For those of you who don't know, Yelle is a French band consisting of lead singer Julie Budet, main producer and percussionist Grand Marnier (Jean-François Perrier), and keyboardist/producer Tepr (Tanguy Destable). Their fun brand of electro pop is extremely infectious and has brought them around the world. Currently finishing off their fourth US tour, they will be off to play throughout Europe, Australia, and South America. Make sure to check out their tour dates to see if you can catch them in your part of the world. Here's what they had to say:

[Bright & Shiny]: Was it a big transition coming to the US from France? Are the crowds noticeably different?

Julie: yes, the French crowd is definitely different.
Grand Marnier: French crowds are different from all other crowds. In France, the people understand the lyrics so it is not just about dance and energy. Here it is about the energy and the dancing. Some people here understand the lyrics but not many. In France, everybody understands... so they first understand, then dance. It’s pretty progressive during the set. But here it’s like boom! (does a little dance). It is very nice for us to look at people singing in French when you are actually in France and to know they understand what we’re saying, but it’s also really nice to see people just having fun here. So it is a different mood, but both are good.

[Bright & Shiny] Yeah I feel like the general consensus is that the US is notorious for people loving to dance and have a good time… all the time.

GM: We see it also in Canada and Australia. And even in South America, people are really crazy there.
Tepr: We do party in France as well, but it’s not the same. It’s not like going crazy. Everybody is concerned with how others are dressed and things like that.
GM: There are a lot of laws in France about noise levels. Even in Paris music is getting very buried. Like you have to stop the music at 2 am.
Tepr: There are no underground parties anymore. You don’t really go out to have fun, you go out to be seen. It’s a different energy.

[Bright & Shiny] Is this a more recent development?

GM: This is something more recent. It is also something political. France is not really fun, it’s just ok. It is not the coolest country in the world like some people think. The best time to be in France has switched to the summer because of the festivals. We have a lot of music festivals. But during the year it’s not very exciting.

A cause des garcons (Tepr remix) by YELLE

[Bright & Shiny] Have you found music festivals in the US like Coachella to be similar to French music festivals?

GM: Coachella was similar to French festivals but bigger and nicer because of the weather, the palm trees…
Julie: Summer in France can just be rainy and not very good for festivals.
GM: But it can also be perfect too. The sun seems to always be out here in the US, especially in California.

[Bright & Shiny] So this is your fourth US/Canada tour, what stands out as your favorite US venue?

GM: Well each tour has gotten bigger and bigger. The first was three shows, then eight shows, then 20, now this one is 28. As for our favorite venue, we really liked Washington D.C. and the 930 Club.

[Bright & Shiny] The 930 Club gets a lot of great reviews from artists.

GM: We also loved playing in New York and LA.
Julie: The last tour we did we played at a little club in Salt Lake City. It was not sold out, but it was really good, and that was the first time I went stage diving.
GM: It was always very happy and everyone is in a good mood here in the US.
Tepr: Being able to tour here and have Americans know and sing our lyrics is great… So this transition for us is a big deal.
GM: People in France just don’t believe. We have to show them. We have to bring someone to film us for them to believe that we have fans here.

[Bright & Shiny] You have a really great aesthetic, especially fashion wise. How did you develop the look for Yelle?

GM: We started to perform and then we met people really quickly. So basically when you start to perform and play this kind of music, girly kind of electro pop, you always have connections in the fashion industry. You meet lots of cool people and designers and you keep good relations with them. It is important for us to have everything matching.
Julie: There has definitely been an evolution of sorts. At the beginning I would just buy stuff for shows at American Apparel, but today it’s really great to be able to work with designers to collaborate and invent something with them. With Jean Paul Lespagnard it was like that, you know? It was all about the music and what we wanted to portray to our audience and fans.
GM: Jean Paul Lespagnard designed the outfits that we are wearing on the cover of our new album.
Julie: The outfit that I’m wearing in that picture is crazy. It is made of plastic and it’s beautiful but it is very hard to move in it haha.
GM: At this point many designers just send us outfits and things to wear.

Ce jeu by YELLE

[Bright & Shiny] What are your musical backgrounds? Did you start at different styles and sort of evolve into your current sound?

GM: I started playing the drums at 10 and I was really into Nirvana and RHCP and Rage Against The Machine and Beastie Boys. So basically I am coming from a rock and rap scene. Haha I even listened to a little Limp Biskit back in the day.
Tepr: I also came from rock like Nirvana. So when I was younger I just bought a guitar. We all come from small towns so we didn’t have all that many people to play with, so I bought some equipment like a microphone and a computer and began to get into different music and produce my own music. I had my own side projects. Eventually I met Julie and Jean-François and they invited me to join them on stage.

[Bright & Shiny] Yeah I’ve noticed that your guys’ music that you produce by yourselves, specifically Tepr, tends to differ from what Yelle produces as a group.

GM: Yeah when we all play together it’s a collaboration so you need to be able to share your ideas and trust what other people are going to do until you have a complete product, so no regrets. As for composition/production it is me and Tanguy (Tepr)... and Julie does writing. I am sort of a round-a-bout because I am involved in both.

[Bright & Shiny] Who were some of the first artists that influenced you to get into dance music?

GM: Actually if you listen to some bands like Rage Against The Machine, you can really dance to them. I mean, dance music doesn’t mean forming ‘kick music’. It’s just about moving the body. Every band is really trying to get people to dance, even if it’s a hardcore band from New York City. It’s all about head banging and dancing. So it’s natural for us to like songs like that and compose songs in that way. It’s natural for us to love music that has great lyrics and a good melody, but also music that makes us shake our bodies.
Julie: When we were teenagers we had the radio, and much of it was dance music in a sense like Prince.. Cindy Lauper…
GM: Yeah, mainstream music was pretty cool when we were teenagers. Not anymore. It’s a lot of R&B. I mean we love Rihanna and artists like that but on French radio, it’s a lot of R&B artists trying to copy American artists so it’s not that original.
Julie: Back then radio was more unique. You could listen to Cindy Lauper and Rage Against the Machine on the same station, now it’s all more classified.
GM: There were not taste makers back then that dictated what would be played. Now they just play the same songs over and over and they are like, ok people like this so this is all we are going to play now. It is not about discovering new music anymore.

Cooler Couleur (Crookers feat. Yelle) by YELLE

[Bright & Shiny] How did you make the decision to tour with French Horn Rebellion?

GM: We discovered them on a Kitsune compilation. We decided to try them as an opening act in New York City six months ago and they were really cool people and it’s important for us all to get along during our tour. We wanted to get Katy Perry but... haha

[Bright & Shiny] Didn’t you guys to an official remix for her?

GM: Yeah, we did a remix for her song Hot N’ Cold. We actually opened a few times for Katy Perry during her UK tour. It was definitely good exposure for us, because the UK is such a mystery. It is really different from here and everywhere, and we were playing in front of tens of thousand people.

[Bright & Shiny] So I guess let’s talk a bit about how your write your songs. When starting out do you tend to focus on one aspect of a song first? What is your creative process?

GM: There is no rule about that. I mean, a song will just come from an idea we have in mind. We might come up with it while driving or something. Once we have a good idea we start to develop it. An idea might be a loop, a melody, a rhythm, a sentence. It can be from Tanguy, Julie, or me. It is never quite the same process. But finally we are all in the studio and contributing to the end product.

[Bright & Shiny] So do you prefer writing originals to doing remixes?

GM: Remixes are fun, but it’s not something from nowhere. It’s not original. I feel like originals are more respected.

[Bright & Shiny] Yeah I agree, remixes are played for a month in the clubs and then they’re gone.

Tepr: Yeah. Originals are much longer lasting.

[Bright & Shiny] (At GM and Tepr) So you two both DJ in France. Do you prefer playing in a band as opposed to djing in a club?

GM: Djing is just a way to not get as involved as an artist. It is cool to dance and drink, and you can also dj while you dance and drink. And you are paid haha… and the girls can see you hahaha. It is the biggest joke ever. But there are some DJs that are huge and they deserve it and they make DJ history.

[Bright & Shiny] Yeah it’s gotten to a point where as long as you have a computer all you have to do is download Traktor and bam, you’re a DJ.

GM: Haha exactly. If you have a name, you can be a DJ. Everybody. I mean, a lot of DJs are just so bad. There are so many DJs that just have a name and maybe an EP, a lot of cool friends, and then they just get paid a lot of money for shit.
Julie: We need and love to have a connection with the crowd as a band.

[Bright & Shiny] I feel like playing as a band with instruments is much more organic.

GM: Yeah we really feel like we’re making something on stage.

Je veux te voir by YELLE

[Bright & Shiny] So what can we expect in the future from Yelle? Are you going to take a break after your US tour or are you going to immediately start working on new material?

GM: We have a few summer festivals to do in Europe after this. We will not have a break from touring for at least another year… or more. We will be doing a Europe tour, Australian tour, then we have a South American tour, Europe again… then we can begin recording again next year.

[Bright & Shiny] Are you able to focus on writing music while touring or is it too hectic?

Julie: We can maybe do one song or a collaboration
GM: But it’s a different thing to focus on something like a new chapter. It’s difficult to start a chapter when you’re still stuck in the present chapter.
Julie: Before out latest album we had been touring for almost three years. We took a three month break and after that we were ready to start recording again.
GM: We are not one of those rock bands that can come up with a new song during sound check with just three chords. We have to have a place to focus… But now we really need to get food before our show. Do you have any good places for us to go?

[Bright & Shiny] Haha ok well thanks a lot for the opportunity to interview you guys. I can’t wait to see the show tonight and I hope you play well. There’s a great food market right across the street with pretty much anything you guys would want called Weaver Street Market…

Here is a video of the crowd that night that should give you an idea of what the crowd reaction to their awesome set was...

Be sure to follow them for news and updates on Yelle:

Love, Patrick

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ready For The Weekend (Get Retarded)

I come bearing gifts of the best kind: wonderful music hand selected for the shenanigans of the weekend. Happy Friday.

Calvin Harris has had a massive 2011 so far. After taking a bit of a break since the release of his last album, he stormed back in 2011 with the dropping of Awooga and primetime performances during WMC, and now he's got another total bomb of a track: Bounce. The song, a collaboration with Kelis, has all the trademark Calvin Harris elements we've come to know and love him for - catchy melody, lots of fun, completely sick. It isn't released yet, but we've gotten our hands on a preview (192kbps, but NOT a radio rip) copy that should hold you over till the official release. Grab it while it's hot.
Calvin Harris ft. Kelis - Bounce (Original Mix)

Next up we have a remix we got in the mail from 19 year old Florida producer DallasK. The track, a remix of Nero, goes from big room progressive house into a bass-heavy, dutch fusion of a drop that can only be described by the word 'madness.' Seriously, the first time I played this track and the drop came blaring out of the speakers at me I probably looked like I had lost my mind to anyone watching I was dancing so retardedly.
Nero - Guilt (DallasK Remix)

Hardwell has been really taking over recently, with a string of massive releases following up his Zero 76 collaboration with Tiesto. Today I have two of Hardwell's newest and most epic tracks to date, and they're literally both so amazing I'm not really sure which to start with. Martin Solveig's most recent EP Ready To Go (vocals by Kele of Bloc Party), was definitely solid but for some reason I never reeally felt it that much. Hardwell managed to figure out what the track was missing and transforms it here into a piece of progressive house so flawless it's mind blowing. Encoded, the other Hardwell track I have for you is an original that's equally as bomb but has more of a dutch/techy edge to it.
Martin Solveig ft. Kele - Ready 2 Go (Hardwell Remix)

Hardwell - Encoded (Original Mix)

What can be said about Skrillex that hasn't already been said. The dude is a lunatic or a genius depending on how you look at it. His music has a power and style to it that's unlike anything else out there right now. This track hits HARD. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Skrillex - Do Da Oliphant (Original Mix)

The synths on this one are utterly amazing. Soooo nice.
Human Life - Wherever We Are (Original Mix)

Jaymo & Andy George, two of BBC Radio 1's dope house djs, have put together a track here with a beat so twisted and strangely dance-inducing it sounds like it could've been made by some italians named Crookers. It's sick to see that these guys are as good of producers as they are DJs. I'm sure we'll be seeing some more massive releases from these two soon.
Andy George & Jaymo - Midnight (Original Mix)

And finally I'll leave you guys with a track by one of our favorite producers out of England right now, Julio Bashmore. Throw this on at the end of the night when you're trying to unwind. Straight gorgeous.
Julio Bashmore - Craboon (Original Mix)

Stay Classy,