- Live Review
Digitalism’s spectacular live set at Palais de Tokyo was hands down the best live music show I’ve ever been to.
Pogo was the song that first introduced me to Digitalism, the German electronic DJ duo consisting of Jens “Jence” Moelle and Ismail “Isi” Tüfeçki back in 2007. The addictive track with its poppy chorus and perfect party-anthem beat has remained one of my all-time fave tracks. Digitalism was formed in Hamburg in 2004 and the duo released their first studio album, Idealism, in 2007. The album hit number 6 in the US Electronic Albums chart and Pogo was the track that obtained mass appeal after its use in commercials and on Fifa 08. Digitalism had been put on the map and Idealism heralded a new era for EDM music.
Follow-up album I Love You, Dude was released in 2011. Many music artists have stumbled and fallen prey to the second album curse, never able to replicate the success and musical inventiveness of the first. But Digitalism’s I Love You, Dude is arguably even more geneous than their debut. Jens and Ismail have an incredible ability to produce a body of tracks which are all stand-alone and don’t rely on one set sound to carry the album from start to end. Rock-inspired guitars, poppy hooks, catchy German-accented choruses, heavy techno beats, repetitive electronic pulses, beautiful ballad-esque interludes… the duo literally have every base covered and it’s actually quite astounding. If you don’t believe me check out the glorious Just Gazin’, surely Digitalism’s masterpiece.
Various EPs followed such as the brilliant, heavier DJ Kicks (featuring awesome standout track Silenz) and 2013s Lift EP. But 2016 was the year Digitalism returned with a bang with their third studio album Mirage. 9 years on from the release of their debut and they’ve in no way lost their stride, knocking out yet more timeless anthemic tunes. And 9 years on from first hearing Pogo it was time for me to finally realise my goal of experiencing Digitalism live.
Their Mirage tour took them all across Europe, including London venue Heaven. But on a Thursday… I knew that if I was going to see Digitalism then it needed to be in style. So, on that note, Eurostar tickets were bought and I was off to Paris to experience the most epic music in the most epic city! Hyped up on Rosé and Sangria and fresh from our own Digitalism-soundtracked pre-party we were ready for the night to really begin. YOYO, the underground space at Palais de Tokyo, played host to the kings of EDM and they practically shifted the foundations of the building!
Thumping opener Battlecry got the audience pumped right from the off. Jens and Ismail composed a set list which combined their heaver techno offerings such as Miami Showdown and Zdarlight with their poppier anthems. A few of the gems from their extensive back catalogue made a very welcome appearance. Case in Point: 2 Hearts from I love You, Dude. Cue Jens taking to the mic with his unmistakeable German-accented English. The unquestionable highlight for me was hearing the incredible Circles, the track that’s soundtracked my life since 2011 and will never, ever get old. As soon as they played those opening beeps the whole crowed went hysterical, Jens taking to the mic again. And again and again and again and again… yeah that was f-ing awesome!
Mirage is the album that just keeps giving and one of my fave tracks is Go Time. After being stuck in my head for virtually my whole time in Paris, experiencing it live cemented it as the song of the holiday. Unbelievably addictive, it’s up there with classics Pogo and Silenz. The deep bass combined with electronic guitar melodies and Jens’ signature vocals make it a Digitalism modern classic. As the set wound down the duo retreated backstage but of course this was just a ruse! Moments later they returned to the decks to give the crowd the encore they deserved… Pogo! Life had come full circle as we danced to the track that started it all.
Just as I thought our night was over and my life had peaked we bumped into Jens and Ismail outside the venue. I told them we’d travelled from London just for this show, for Jens to reply “We were there two days ago” haha yes indeed but come on, this is Paris! Obligatory photo taken and being slipped a Digitalism-branded souvenir badge each, off we ran into the night, sure in the fact that no other live gig will top this one! We love you, dudes!
Have a listen to the track that will always remind me of Paris, Go Time, below, taken from the new album Mirage. Also below, check out the video for the track that started it all, Pogo. For more info about Digitalism and to hear more tracks old and new visit their SoundCloud page here.