Video: Vitalic – Sweet Cigarette
’Sweet Cigarette is also a tribute to ‘Warm Leatherette’ by The Normal, a song I’m obsessed with and is still avant-garde in my eyes. ‘Sweet Cigarette’ sounds metallic and unstable because it made entirely with Buchla synthesisers and wasn’t sequenced. I just played it with the keyboard and that makes the whole thing sound unstable somehow. The lyrics were written by an Icelandic-British friend of mine living in Paris, a community manager in a huge cosmetic brand by day, and a freak known as Blanche Poubelle by night.’ Pascal Arbez-Nicolas / Vitalic
It’s been a good fifteen years now since Vitalic (aka Pascal Arbez-Nicolas) took it upon himself to redefine techno using his native French sensibility, mixing energy and melody to forge his own recognisable style. Many of those tunes, like “Poney”, “La Rock 01”, “My Friend Dario” and “You Prefer Cocaine” went on to become club classics, blurring the boundaries between techno, disco, rock and pop, and profoundly inspiring and stimulating a scene that had been struggling since the end of the ‘French touch’ to find something a little more refreshing than filtered disco house.
For “Voyager”, his fourth studio album composed over the course of two years and the one he considers his most ‘disco’ ever, Vitalic remembers initially wanting to make something that could barely be danced to, inspired by the electronic music of the 1970s. However, that angle of attack was rapidly diverted. “I changed my mind during production and added beats,” he explains. “Voyager” thus became a record that has forgotten nothing of the cosmic disco heritage of the 1980s, dominated by deeply energetic, orgasmic synthesisers with influences from pioneers of the genre like Moroder, Cerrone, Patrick Cowley, Lime, Spacer, Carpenter and Gino Soccio.
Both the name and sublimely retro-futuristic artwork of “Voyager” clearly announce the direction Vitalic has taken – this is a cosmic space odyssey, packed with energy-filled retro-futuristic hits perfect for dancing in zero gravity, followed by melancholic cooldown periods spent contemplating the lost galaxies of the vast cosmos. Conceived as a cosmic journey into the heart of dance music, “Voyager” perfectly brings together the three elements that have always composed Vitalic’s strength: a touch of experimental folly, killer melodies and a joyful overabundance of energy. It’s this magic formula that makes “Voyager” the ideal disc to listen to with your feet on the dancefloor and your eyes fixed on the stars. Or vice-versa.