German duo transforms from selling records to spinning them

by Reina Valenzuela, Contributor

No matter what language we speak, what race we are or where we’re from, music brings people together. This seemed to be the case for the German duo Digitalism.

While working together at a record store a decade ago in Hamburg, Germany, Jens Moelle and Ismail Tufekci started DJing together and formed Digitalism

The dynamic duo has been evolving since they came together. Digitalism released its first album in 2007, titled “Idealism,” which mixed a combination of indie rock and dance music. Its next album, “I Love You Dude,” released in 2011, was a more techno-based album. This new sound led the duo to the center stage of the electronic music scene as they brought exactly what people wanted to hear at music festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Lollapalooza.

Digitalism released a new single, “Wolves,” featuring Youngblood Hawke this year that played on multiple radio stations and became a summer hit. This song takes a different route than their previously released music though, as it’s a mixture of electronic music and American songwriting.

“After we’d been testing the original ‘Wolves’ instrumental in our sets for a while we decided that it’s calling for a vocal,” Tufecki said. “We did spend a lot of time in LA the last year and stumbled across Youngblood Hawke. They’re brilliant songwriters and came back with what’s now been released.   It was a fun thing to do really and the logical next step after our last album, which was already pretty song-based.”

Not only did “Wolves” take a different course in their usual style of music production, but Digitalism also departed from its norm by finding alternative vocals.

“Apart from ‘Wolves’ and another song, we’ve always done all the vocals ourselves,” Moelle said. “That’s what we usually do. We think of the world around us as the stage for something that we want to make the soundtrack to.”

“Wolves” has been remixed by well-known artists such as German house duo Booka Shade, solo project RAC of Andre Allen Anjo, and Riton, one of U.K.’s best producers.

“All those remixes are killers,” Tufecki said. “We always try to compile a nice round-up package when it comes to remixes. Each one of these adds its own flavor to the big picture.”

Digitalism began its three-week North American tour in October in anticipation of their new album to be released in 2015. The duo finished their tour this Sunday, Nov. 9, with a stop at San Diego’s Belly Up Tavern.

“The tour has been great so far.” Moelle said. “We’re just about to cross the country and go west. We’ve been pretty busy all day every day but enjoyed a day off in New York. The weather has been beautiful and it’s great to be back. American bus tours are legendary and one of the best things in the world you can do, really.”