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INSIDE TECHNO


Vitalic - The Musician Who Redefines French Techno

 

 

Since its birth in the 70s with pioneers such as Jean Michel-Jarre, the French electronic music scene has been defined by many DJs and producers. But a guy known as Vitalic took it upon himself to redefine it. Today, he is one of the most prominent names in the thriving electronic music scene of France and the world.

Vitalic's music is the perfect blend of electro, techno, and house, but what further makes his sound even more refreshing and captivating are the elements of classical, rock, Italo-disco, and '70s electronic music he incorporates in his work. 

 

The early beginnings of Dima

Born on May 18th, 1976, in Dijon, France, Pascal Arbez-Nicolas is a techno and electronic music producer, programmer, and multi-instrumentalist of Italian descent who is widely known by his stage name Vitalic. But, before there was Vitalic, there was Dima. 

Dima was Rascal's first project born in the 1990s. In an interview, Pascal said that Dima was based on energy. "It was a kind of crazy project with dark and cerebral music."

Pascal's aspiration for creating music was born when he heard Daft Punk's "Rollin' & Scratchin'" in a club in his hometown. Soon, he began producing, and by 1996 and 1997, he released his first singles. 

At first, his music was restricted to the underground electronic music scene, but it all changed once he met Michel Amato (also known as The Hacker) in Laurent Garnier's techno club "Rex." With this newfound friendship, one could easily predict Pascal's promising and productive future. 

At The Hacker's suggestion, Pascal sent his new tracks to DJ Hell, head of Gigolo records in Munich, which resulted in a very successful release of the "Poney EP" in 2001 under the international DeeJay Gigolo Records.

 

The launch and growth of Vitalic's career

What really set Vitalic's career for success was his track "La Rock 01". The track became a real club hit in the summer of 2001. It became so popular and wanted that it also got incorporated in various compilation albums, including rock compilations. For example, Miss Kittin included "La Rock 01" on her DJ mix album "On the Road."

From that point on, Vitalic only kept growing in terms of creativity, vision, and popularity. He had always strived to make something new and different, so in 2005, he released his debut album "OK Cowboy" on Different / PIAS Recordings. 

This album was the perfect balance of techno beats, brass bands, electric guitars, and pop songs. It also opened new doors for Vitalic, fusing his musical world with the world of cinema. 

In 2007, French film director Céline Sciamma decided to use the song "Trahison" from Vitalic's "OK Cowboy" in the trailer for her film "Naissance des Pieuvres," while the song "Poney Part 1" was featured in the movie "Birds" by Pleix. 

In 2009, Vitalic released his second studio album, "Flashmob," heavily inspired by the new disco sound. The song "Poison Lips" from the same album was used in the 2012 film "Dredd" and for a 2016 TV advertisement for Amazon. "Flashmob" also provided the soundtrack for Davide Manuli's Italian film "La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser." The same year, Vitalic performed at Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK.

In 2012, Vitalic released his third studio album, "Rave Age," which recorded a combined "metascore" of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic, while his fourth album "Voyager" (composed over the course of two years and released in 2017), got a combined "metascore" of 71 out of 100.

Vitalic considers "Voyager" his most "disco" album ever. At the time, he was heavily inspired by the electronic music of the 1970s, so his initial idea for this album was to create something "could barely be danced to”. Later on, however, he changed his mind and added beats. "Voyager" is all about the cosmic disco sound of the 1980s, and even its retro-futuristic artwork is a clear illustration of that idea.

 

Vitalic's recent activities

There is no stopping for this top dog of electronic music! He recently resurrected his alias Dima, remixing the greats such as Daft Punk, Björk, Royksopp, Paul Kalkbrenner, Indochine, Etienne Daho, Amadou and Mariam, and many others. In 2019, he went on a "Vitalic presents DIMA live" tour, and the idea behind this move was to introduce his young fans to the origins of Vitalic's art, especially those who may not know much of his history. 

He also formed the duo KOMPROMAT with Rebeka Warrior (ex-Sexy Sushi). In the process, he announced the release of his fifth album, DISSIDÆNCE -—imagined as a two-volume album that celebrates two decades of his career.

" 'DISSIDÆNCE,' the title of which is a whole story in itself – is an album that the producer describes as a return to the roots of his sonic identity, a kind of reinterpretation of the rock energy of his early albums," the official Vitalic's website reads. According to the site, " 'DISSIDÆNCE' should be taken as a celebration of celebration, time-travel to an era that may not exist right now, but which will - and this album is the dazzling proof - be reborn from its ashes to burn bright once more, in all its raging glory."

The first volume, "Dissidaence Episode 1", was released last year, and it was also issued on vinyl via Vitalic's official website. He also started a worldwide tour to support the album. 

However, the good news keeps on coming, and Vitalic's fans will be thrilled to know that the second volume of the album, "Dissidaence Episode 2," will be released on March 4th this year. With it, Vitalic keeps his promise to return with "a second installment, darker and more techno than the first, and this time with a marked industrial aesthetic - cold and minimal.

 

Author: Techno 24/7

Pic: durevie.paris

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