• Vitalic
  • 2010-01-19

Electro maestro Vitalic, aka Pascal Arbez, released his second album Flashmob last year to widespread acclaim. The man behind dancefloor favourite “La Rock 01” is on the road touring an impressive new live show featuring two mirrored walls and mesmerising graphics. Ahead of his visits to the UK and Ireland, zap! bang! was granted an interview to find out how Pascal’s latest opus came about and get an indication of who to look out for in 2010.

How did you get into producing dance music?
Since I was a kid, I loved any genre of music employing synthesizers, from movie soundtracks, to disco, then techno when I grew up. Later, I really wanted to try myself to compose and i bougt a few cheap pieces of equipment.

What do you use to create your sounds? Are they entirely electronic or do you use some instruments in the composition process?
I don’t use real instruments. It may change, but so far I prefer analogue synthesizers from the past, modern emulations or software equipment to make music. If I want to use the sound of an organ, a battery or a trombone, I create it myself with the equipment I have.

The release of Flashmob has been a huge success — how long did you spend working on the album?
Something like a year. It was not that long compared to OK Cowboy. But there was quite a gap between the two LPs because when I’m touring a lot, I don’t make that much music and prefer to update the live set to improve it.

I don’t use real instruments… I prefer analogue synthesizers, modern emulations or software equipment.

How would you say your sound has evolved between OK Cowboy and Flashmob?
It’s a bit less rock. When i started to make Flashmob, rock was everywhere. I know that people would expect me to do something similar to OK Cowboy with guitars and so on. But i wanted to find new scopes and new sounds. So Flashmob is more disco and a bit slower. I can always get back to harder stuff later on; i just follow my mood.

What’s your favourite song on the album? Any idea which track is the fan’s favourite?
I think the one fans prefer is “Poison Lips” then “Second Lives”. My favourite is “Still” and “See the Sea Blue”.

How is your Flashmob tour progressing? Any surprises so far?
It going very well and all the team work hard on it to improve it little by little. We want to mak a big update for the summer so that people won’t have the feeling they saw the same show twice. Studio sessions are something you do by your own, alone and quiet. The live is a team work and we are all very excited to leave on Friday, and set up everything, to solve the last minute problems…

Your new V Mirror Live show is quite spectacular visually, can you explain how you came up with the concept?
It’s not my concept. The basic idea of the mirror comes from Exyzt, visual artists from Paris. Once the concept was found, we chose which material to sync to which track and had to find the techniques so that the visuals make their own life, while I’m playing the music. All the lights are synced too.

The crowd always go wild when you play La Rock 01! Do you still enjoy playing it?
Yes. I wouldn’t listen to it at home anymore, but live, I’m there also to please the people. I’m not fed up with it as long as it pleases the audience.

Do you have any favourite cities for playing gigs in? How do the crowds differ around the globe?
It mostly depends on the venue and the crowd. But I’m always happy to go to Spain.

Which DJs and artists are impressing you right now?
I love Len Faki, The Proxy, Bloody Beatroots, Donovan, Metro Area…

How do you see the dance-scene developing over the next 12 months?
In the beginning of 2001 there was a come back of italo disco; now, it’s the come back of dance stuff, with Belgium old techno sounds. The kids are really into techno as if it was just totally new. It’s fun.

I love Len Faki, The Proxy, Bloody Beatroots, Donovan, Metro Area…

What would you say makes a good club? Do you have any favourites?
A good club to me would be a good mix of audiences, like party monsters, kids, freaks, gays… a good sound system of course, and a few strobes. My favourite is Florida 135 in Spain because it’s remote and a place of total freedom. But i like Fabrik, Razzmatazz, many of them…

Are there any music festivals you are already looking forward to this summer?
I always look forward to play where I play because I chose the festivals. otherwise I wouldn’t play there :) But Rock Werchter in Belgium is very big (the biggest in Europe by the way).

Music festivals can be magical places — do you have any golden memories from playing and attending festivals?
I had a great night at Glade Festival some years ago; magical moments with crazy people in a small tent, dancing on minimal trance. Glastonbury was also unforgettable, with my car left without battery and the rain pouring.

Are there any rising talents to look out for in 2010?
He’s not a newcomer but i can’t wait for the release of The Proxy LP. I’m a fan.

Vitalic is back on the road in the UK performing live in Dublin at The Academy on Friday, January 29th then on Saturday, January 30th he’ll DJ alongside Yousef and Tiefschwarz at Circus in Liverpool before heading to Leeds University Union alongside Erol Alkan, Filthy Dukes, Caspa, Zinc and Joker.

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