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Go BackVITALIC - The creative composer chat about touring, and his new album in the pipe!

Posted: 10/10/06 15:56

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Frenchman Pascal Arbez AKA Vitalic is a creative composer of experimental dance music with French influences using organs, reverb guitar, and robotic vocoder vocals. His first release was the four-song Poney EP in late 2001, which took the electronic music scene by storm and is well loved and adored by electronic music aficionados around the globe.

Vitalic first began releasing tracks as Dima on the French Choice imprint in 1996 and 1997. He became friends with The Hacker and the Goodlife label crew in Grenoble. At the Hacker's suggestion he sent his new tracks to DJ Hell  (International Deejay Gigolos). His tracks became big hits and received massive play time from the likes of Aphex Twin, Richie Hawtin, Erol Alkan, 2ManyDJs, Laurent Garnier, and Tiga.

Vitalic is not one to let his talent fall by the wayside and has released several albums since Poney such as, All You Can Eat (Citizen, 2002), Fanfares (Citizen, Different, Pias, 2004), My Friend Dario (Citizen, Different, Pias, 2005), No Fun (Citizen, Different, Pias, 2005), and OK Cowboy (Citizen, Different, Pias 2005). One of Vitalic’s earliest musical awakenings was due to Belgian new beat. He admires and gains inspiration from artists such as Daft Punk, Sparks, The White Stripes, Belgian composer Wim Mertens, and Fad Gadget to name a few. 

Bonjour Pascal! How are you today?
Hi, I am very well after two weeks of holidays. But I can't wait to go to Tarragona and Paris this weekend.  

So right now you're preparing to play at Cabaret Sauvage in Paris. Can you describe the venue for those who´ve never been?
Le Cabaret Sauvage is a well known place in Paris, mostly hosting concerts instead of techno parties. The design is very warm and peculiar. I am happy this place will host our party. I like clubs and discovered rock festivals a few years ago. But it's pretty new and exciting for me to play in these concerts halls. 

What can you tell us about the Marsatac Festival?
I have never been there so I can tell you just a little about it. A long time ago I was invited to play but that was not possible. This year it is. I will play together with my friends Hacker and John Lord Fonda

And then you’re off to Switzerland. Where will you be playing there and what other DJs will join you?
I will play with David Carretta. I didn't notice but in fact, since I started to reply to this interview in September I will play with all my friends. That's nice. The name of the club is Globull. It is gonna be my first time there.  

We’re sorry to hear that your tour of the U.S. and Canada has been postponed. What happened? When will the tour be rescheduled?
The US and Canada tour is postponed for personal reasons I prefer not to tell. On the other hand, I promised Pias I would start working on the second album and I have to start at some point. I really love touring. It is tiring but it is also much fun. But at some point, I feel the need to go back to my dark studio and realize the ideas I gathered in my head over the past few weeks or months.   

What other gigs do you have scheduled for the months ahead?
Until January, I'll play in Greece, Spain, Hungary, Belgium, France, Ireland, England, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and Czech Republic - both in clubs and festivals. 

Can you describe the live acts you deliver to your audiences?
From now on, I have two different versions of live acts. One with some video and the lighter version without video. Musically, the live (act) has to be short (approximately one hour); it should be dance music and effective for the people. It covers the different styles of dance music I like to make (new beat, rock stuff, pure techno, disco...). I also plan to have a third version, less dance oriented, for concert halls but not right now.  

Were you surprised when "Poney Part 1”, “Poney Part 2” and “La Rock 01” became big dancefloor hits?
Yes. I expected nothing special because I never expect things to happen the way I plan them. So I was happy with the tracks, but I didn't know what would happen to them.  

A collector’s edition of OK Cowboy was recently released. What can you tell us about the rare tracks and video footage on the new edition?
The rare tracks were some tracks I made for live performances. We had good feedback from the audience so we wanted to get them on CD. Naturally, we put them on the second edition. We also included the videos because it seemed natural to make them available. The second CD also includes Bells (a track with Linda Lamb), and You Are My Sun, that I made before the summer. 

You’ve worked with Linda Lamb before. Do you enjoy working with vocalists and have future plans to work with more singers? Why or why not?
Yes, I enjoy it. It is different from working alone of course. I don't want to have rules, like I always work alone or I will never work with vocalists. My tastes and plans change all the time. So I am open to any technique or kind of music. I think I will use vocalists in the future because it widens my scope. And it can be much fun. 

Do you have any plans to release a new album soon?
I don't think it is gonna be soon. I will release it when I will be convinced it is good and consistent enough to be released. That can take time if we include the time required by the record company to set things up. 

Can you tell us about your past collaborations with The Hacker?
It was mainly about having fun and making music together. I miss that a bit but Hacker and I have agendas that don't permit us to start collaborating again. We still talk about it sometimes and should try to meet by the end of the year. We'll see.  

Your music has been used in a lot of designer runway fashion shows. Why do you think that is? How do you feel about that?
I think it is cool but I have no peculiar thoughts about that. I am not involved in the fashion industry so I have no special pride about it. But it was strange to discover Lagerfield used Dario last year, while watching the news in Germany at the hotel. 

What can you tell us about Brigitte?
She is the female voice on the album both electronic and based on my own voice that I turn feminine. I use this term to describe all the fake feminine voices I make, or also the ones I transform, like Linda Lamb on Bells, which is 'brigitted' to hold the note longer.  

And who is Dario?
Dario is you and me, after a few drinks, when we take the car and go fast on the motorway. It is a stupid attitude that I don't promote, but that happens. The story ends up badly by the way... 

Words by Julie Anna Bates