Digitalism on EDM in America: "Las Vegas Is Getting Bigger Than Ibiza, It's Supercool"
Before David Guetta had everyone singing "Sexy Bitch" and Swedish House Mafia soothed with "Don't You Worry Child," there was Digitalism. Circa 2006 and '07, this German duo of Jens "Jence" Moelle and İsmail "Isi" Tüfekçi rode a wave of progressive dance music that took over indie dance nights across America.
Digitalism was the perfect blend of indie rock and electronic sounds, capturing dance floors with cuts like "Pogo" and "Zdarlight." That led to appearances at music festivals and venues across the globe, including Ultra Music Festival.
This Saturday, Digitalism returns to Miami for a live show at Bardot. So we here at Crossfade spoke with Jence about why go on tour without a new album worth of material, how they are influenced by indie rock, and the pressures to keep innovating.
Crossfade: Normally, artists tour when they have a new release, but Digitalism hasn't dropped anything since last year's DJ-Kicks mix. So why are you touring now?
Jense: I don't know. [laughs] We have two new records coming out. We released the "Zdarlight" remixes and we have the Bloc Party remix coming up. And we also had the Rapture remix that got released. But I think the main reason we are doing this tour is because we haven't played a show in the States yet. The last time we were in the States, we had a different show with a drummer and us -- it was completely different.
In Europe, we've started this new live show and we really wanted to take that to the States as well, because we are probably going to change the live show again after this tour. It's also a great to go back to small venues again. We've done it a lot in the States already and it's a bit like touching base with everyone again. We've DJed a lot in the States over the past, oh, I don't know, half year or something. It was good to do this for a change.
Last time you were in Miami, it was at Grand Central for a DJ set, but this time you'll be at Bardot playing live, correct?
Yeah, this time it's live. I've been to Bardot during WMC and it's a pretty small venue, but we got a stage into the venue, so it's going to be pretty funky, I guess. [laughs]
We've seen a lot of acts there. Bardot has a way of making shows seem like the band is just playing for you.
Yeah, it's almost like a living room atmosphere. It will be pretty special.
Do you enjoy DJing or the live performance more? Or do they each give you something other doesn't?
They compliment each other. When we DJ, we can more easily try out new stuff, play our friends' tracks, and our current favorites. And we don't need a sound check and all that. It's a bit easier to DJ. But we really like playing live as well. At the beginning, around 2005, we absolutely hated it. We didn't know how to do it, because we came from a DJ and studio producer background. Then we grew into it. We like it so much that our last studio album, I Love You Dude, was heavily influenced by all these live shows. That's why it was so much more fun than the first album.
It's two different worlds, but we get bored easily as well. So after a couple of months of DJing only, it's good to back to playing a live show.