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INTERVIEW: Alexis Taylor
Will Moss , February 12th, 2014 10:46

Ahead of his DJ set at Kitsuné's French Kiss Party this weekend, we catch up with the Hot Chip man

Photograph courtesy of Steve Gullick

This weekend, Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor will be lining up alongside DJ Falcon, Gildas & Jerry Bouthier, Clancy and a live set from Let The Machines Do The Work for a post-Valentine's Day Kitsuné French Kiss Party club night. Aside from his DJing duties, Taylor's been busy with his day jobs: there's a new Hot Chip album in the offing, following up last year's Dark & Stormy EP, alongside work on new material with About Group, his trio with John Coxon and Pat Thomas, which sees him ditching his signature bleeps and blips in favour of jazz improv (read our interview with the group here), and a new solo record, his first since 2008's Rubbed Out. With his 2014 looking typically prolific, we talked to Taylor over e-mail to get an update on how his year was shaping up, and head to the Facebook event for full details of the French Kiss Party.

Firstly, what sort of set have you got planned for the Kitsune party? What songs go down particularly well when you do DJ sets?

Alexis Taylor: Gloopy house, multi-timbre techno, probably some Prince as it’s "Prince Year" and this French Kiss tribute band are going to come on in the middle of my set and play 'Dieu a donné le rock n roll pour vous'. I find Daphni's 'Ye Ye' and Juju & Jordash's 'Bleached Roots' go down well at the moment.

Then, you've got a new Hot Chip on the way - how's recording going?

AT: We're only just beginning, but it's sounding good to us.

Can you tell us anything about the sound of the record?

AT: Sounds like 'All I Do' by Stevie Wonder. Not as good obviously.

What's been the biggest change for Hot Chip over the years? How has it affected the band's music?

AT: When Owen [Clarke] had his wisdom teeth out things just went weird. "Weird has come and life defined", to quote Will Oldham. Everything just sounded and tasted better from that point onwards.

What else are you working on at the moment? Can we expect a new solo or About Group album in the near future?

AT: In the studio working on a solo record at the moment - coming soon! I will be in the studio with About Group at the end of the month.

Is there a big difference in the studio dynamic between About Group and Hot Chip?

AT: Yes there is - with About Group the emphasis is on what we make in the moment of playing together – all the sounds on the records are made in the process of performing really. Hot Chip involves a lot of layering, trying things out, editing more heavily - but out of a similar process of live playing often. So they are not that different but they are fairly dissimilar. Some new Hot Chip recordings have been made in this way though - just all playing live together and doing very little beyond mixing afterwards.

Is it refreshing to have the opportunity to play different styles of music in another band like About Group?

AT: Yes it really is - and playing solo too. And I love playing with Fimber Bravo also - each group works very differently and helps you feel and think about things in a new way. Playing solo can be refreshing because there is no dialogue with anyone - except the audience, or the sound engineer. And playing in About Group involves a nice expectation that we will make something good come out of nothing, as it were - we will just make something when we come together. Hot Chip feels so exciting when I come back to it because we are trying to be playful, and direct, and make pop music - which for whatever reason I don't especially pursue elsewhere.

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