Exclusive Interview With Digitaria
“Of course there is music she likes that I can’t stand, and vice versa. Some years ago she was really into happy indie pop dance, and I was really into minimal, we spent maybe one year without a common ground”
Digitaria are Daniela Caldellas and Daniel Albinati, two Brazilians that came together in music a decade ago. They started as a fourpiece band, their first release in 2006 on German label Gigolo Records was relicensed to Ministry of Sound and led to their debut album on the label. Since then they have become a duo, released a second album and have been non stop touring from Brazil to Russia, from Ibiza to Istanbul, in dreamlike clubs, parties and festivals like The Warehouse Project, Paradise at DC10, Creamfields, Lollapalooza, Dream Valley, D-Edge and Warung.
After producing two of the biggest singles on Hot Creations, Digitaria are set to release a full-length studio album, ‘Night Falls Again’ on Jamie Jones’ imprint. The Brazilian twosome live by the philosophy that electronic music should have no boundaries, creativity and feelings are the only things that matter. Their freespirited natures and Latin American passion is funneled into twelve distinct tracks on the album. We had a talk with Daniela and Daniel about the album, their collaboration over the years and Brazilian dancing skills.
There’s a lot to discuss about the present, but first I’d like to go back to the beginning of Digitaria. In 2003 it all started as a four-piece band. Can you tell us how this evolved to what it is now?
We had some previous projects, and then we started Digitaria. I had a studio and so everything was easy, we could experiment with lots of different kinds of equipment and ideas, we were like a crew of friends. But everything changes in life. People change their interests sometimes, and after two years it was just me and Daniela.
Your new album ‘Night Falls Again’ will be released 21st July on Hot Creations. What is the idea behind the album and what can we expect from it music-wise?
There wasn’t a previous idea about how the album should sound or anything like that. We just started making experiments in the studio and wanted to see what came out. There are a lot of different kinds of music there – softer stuff, harder stuff, Daniela’s vocals, Clarian’s vocals, my vocals… We also worked with Denney from Hot Creations and Shall Ocin, two excellent producers, on two tracks… We like the idea that Digitaria is an open and mutant project, we would be very bored to do the same kind of music again and again.
Digitaria feat. Clarian – Favourite Addiction (Original Mix)
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Where lie the key differences for you between producing an album and an EP?
An EP is easier, of course. You do the music, you mix it, you release it, you have the results. An album is different, it’s like stairs with infinite steps, you never see the end of the process, it’s always too far. It’s a leap of faith, working for 18 months or so in something until we see the results.
As a DJ/producer duo you are together almost 24/7. What do you admire most in the other’s character?
Daniel: Her endurance, courage and talent.
Daniela: His sense of humour.
And what annoys you?
Daniel: She’s always late.
Daniela: He’s too grumpy sometimes.
What genre of music has always divided the two of you?
We don’t think about genres too much, but of course there is music she likes that I can’t stand, and vice versa. Some years ago she was really into happy indie pop dance, and I was really into minimal, we spent maybe one year without a common ground.
‘Favourite Addiction’ is the first single of the album. None other than Groove Armada did a remix for the track. How did this project come into place?
Well, we are big fans of Groove Armada – who isn’t? – since the 90s. Their new stuff is also incredible, we always play two or three tracks of GA on our sets. When we finished the album we had to choose the remixers, and they were on the top of our list. Dreams come true.
For your career you moved from Belo Horizonte to Barcelona. What do you miss most about Brazil?
Friends, family and Brazilian food.
As Brazilians, do you think that the World Cup, and in two years the Olympics, will improve your country?
Yes, sure. Brazil has become a much better country than it was two decades ago, with a strong economy and an ever-growing development. I think the world cup was a perfect opportunity to show the world how the country is now. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the Brazilian team..
Brazilians are known for their dancing skills. Is it hard not to laugh sometimes when looking at Europeans dance (let alone Dutch people..)
If you looked at me dancing you would change your concepts about Brazilian’s dancing skills.
Recently in Moscow you played your first live set since 2010. Why this long break?
We’ve been DJing for ages, but Digitaria has always been a “live” act, from 2004 until 2010. But in 2010 there was so much good music coming out that we decided we should start DJing together as well. We loved it and at the same time we were a bit tired of live shows, so we decided to take a break of them and focus on the DJ sets. It’s a different kind of energy and work. We love to search for music, listen to promos, new artists, etc… It’s a more “collective” kind of work.
Did you play live differently now than you did back in 2010 and if you did, how exactly?
Yes, totally. Technology has evolved a lot since then, and our music changed a lot as well. When we play live, it’s really live, so I have to be able to change the track as it plays, extend it, etc… Daniela plays a lot of keyboards and effects, and sings a lot too. I also sing on one or two tracks, it depends on the night. It’s always different.
What’s the most difficult thing performing live compared to a DJ set?
A DJ set is more flexible, of course. You can play harder if you feel like, or softer, you can go more house or techno, depending on the crowd. We can be very flexible in our live sets as well, but of course there’s a limit. A live set is composed of the best tracks we did, a DJ set set is composed of the best tracks in the whole world.
Daniela, you like to sing during your DJ sets. Is this always planned?
It depends on the vibe. There are some nights where people just want to dance, so I just play the normal set. But when we realize there are some Digitaria fans that want to listen to our music, it’s always a pleasure to play them and sing live.
Every DJ has had the moment. At Park am See festival you started your set for a nearly empty dance floor because the last bit of sunshine was to be found at another stage.
Can you get satisfaction out of playing for two or three people as compared to a full dance floor?
Well, we have played for empty dance floors more times than you can imagine in these ten years. We’ve had already unforgettable nights playing for 10 people, as well as playing for 30.000 people. In fact, if there are two or three people really connected to us, we can play for hours and hours.
In the Park am See we began the set with the dancefloor near empty but in the middle it was totally packed again – after the sun left all stages. It was a very good set for us, we’ll never forget that day.
Summer is well on its way. What has been your favourite event so far and which one are you looking forward to the most?
In fact we’ve been so involved with the release of the single and album that “summer vibe” hasn’t caught us yet. We are really excited to play again at Paradise @ DC10, it’s our third year and it’s always incredible. In August we are also going to play in Africa for the first time, we are also very excited about that. And we are also composing a lot of new stuff that should be released by the end of the year.