Slouched on the leather couches of Barcelona’s Princess Hotel, Ford & Lopatin are cutting a double figure that places them oh-so neatly into the grand lineage of life-changing superstar dance supremos; geeky, hairy, insular. Following in the footsteps of The Chems, Leftfield, Orbital, SMD – take your pick really – the boys from Wayland, Massachusetts are triggering a cataclysmic dancefloor eruption from behind shy limbs and limp, tousled locks. Never trust a stud DJ, we think – look at Basshunter…
“We were never really the raver kids at school, we spent most of those days holed away in our bedrooms messing around with computers,” ponders Daniel Lopatin, who when he feels like it also creates world renowned avant-garde glitch under the moniker Oneohtrix Point Never. “I think it’s pretty safe to say we were nerds,” confirms Joel Ford, also a member of funksters Tigercity. “I remember having one friend that used to drive upstate to go to drum’n’bass parties and come back with stories. That was as close as we got.” The boys’ first wave of sonic experimentation was a long way from the stealthy ’80s synth-quakes, slick croons and pounding techno rhythms that turn Catalonia inside-out this evening. But then a fortuitous visitor came a’knocking.
“We’ve both been obsessed with Jan Hammer forever,” Joel explains. “His jazz-fusion troupe Mahavishnu Orchestra are probably our favourite all-time band, but he’s best known for the Miami Vice theme,” Daniel cuts in.
“Then one day after a Oneohtrix show this fan comes up and explains he’s Jan Hammer’s son, and invites us to come use his dad’s studio!” This resulted in the towering collision of freaked-out grooves and ice-cool labyrinths of synth that make up their debut ‘Channel Pressure’. Its live incarnation, however, sees the boys turbo-charge their creation with exactly the same deranged limb-flinging spirit that eluded them as kids. “I think we just wanted to see how many people we could possibly get moving at once,” laughs Joel. Going off tonight’s first proper show; a steamy mass of out-stretched arms, about 8,000. Not a bad start, then.
Need To Know
Based: Wayland, Massachusetts
For Fans Of: Simian Mobile Disco, Leftfield
Next UK Gig: They’re set to return this September
Buy It: New single ‘Too Much MIDI’ is out now
Believe It Or Not: The band changed their name from Games because they wanted to avoid conflict with rapper The Game
This article originally appeared in the July 16th issue of NME