Observations: French synth star Pascal Arbez produces album featuring Brigitte the virtual voice
Friday 13 November 2009
Clasping an espresso at his management's London offices, the French synth star Pascal Arbez, better known to his acolytes as Vitalic (pronounced "vee-tal-ique"), shakes his head despondently. "All the time I am told that dance music is in danger, or even that it is dead," he says. "It's stupid. All you need to do is check the internet or go to a club or a festival and you can see how alive it is," he sighs. "But attitudes are beginning to change. Dance music has become stronger definitely. La Roux play electronic music and look what they have achieved. And I hear [the Dutch disc jockey] Tiësto has more fans than Madonna."
Arbez's career certainly backs the idea. Over the last ten years he has performed to 2,000-strong audiences from Brazil to Japan, and released records that have been embraced by electro-heads, pop-lovers and diehard rockers alike. His first full-length album, OK Cowboy, released in 2005, popped up on many critics end-of-year lists, since when he has been requisitioned to remix everyone from Björk to Basement Jaxx. He has been called a "metal disco warrior" and "the Wagner of rave", though, asked how he would describe his music, he grins and says: "Disco with balls!"
It's an apt enough description of Arbez's latest album, Flashmob, which channels the electro-prog wizardry of Jean Michel Jarre, the cool camp of Giorgio Moroder and the digital funk of Daft Punk, and sets them against a wall of seriously sweaty techno. Recorded at his home studio in the countryside a few miles outside of Dijon, the album was composed entirely on synthesisers. This even extends to synthesised vocals. "I had this fantasy to have this female singer that didn't exist, and so I created Brigitte," he smiles. "People don't always know whether she's real or not. I'm just trying to do something new. Plus, she's cheap and she always does what I ask."
Single 'Poison Lips' and album 'Flashmob' are out now on [PIAS]. Vitalic plays Matter at London's O2 on 28 November
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations