Digitalism at The Great Northern

Event has passed (Sat Apr 7, 2018 - Sat Apr 7, 2018)
The Great Northern
09:00 PM


Welcome to: XOYO It’s mid-January 2016, and we’re in a brief hiatus before the promotional frenzy for Digitalism’s third album, Mirage, kicks off in earnest. Jens “Jence” Moelle and ?smail “Isi” Tüfekçi are playing some records at London’s XOYO club, where they maintain a residency. They find the capital inspiring. Jence has succumbed to the city’s charms and pretty much lives here now, so tonight’s set is very much a home game. Professionals that they are, Jence and Isi skip the teasing and hit London with some new songs from Mirage. “Utopia” turns out to be a suitably predictive title, and it’s a song they call themselves call “the bomb in our repertoire.” It immediately puts you in mind of Digitalism hits like “Zdarlight”– the long breakdown, the nagging melody, and their penchant for an engaging melancholic deepness. It does stellar business with the crowd. “Tell you what,” they seem to say, “let’s just play it again right away?”

In defiance of efficiency DJing of course, Isi and Jence confide a few hours earlier, makes for a pleasant break from the studio routine. The crowd is a joyous reminder of the true motivation. Indeed, it was on their 2015 USA tour that they suddenly recognized that their fans urgently needed an infusion of some new Digitalism material. Their blood pumping, inspiration flowing, in a pure “reaction of defiance” they headed straight for the studio, Isi remembers. “From this point on things went quickly,” Jence adds. “We produced from February till August, and one more week in November to finish the last two tracks – and then the album was done.”

What brings this new spirit of efficiency to the house of Digitalism? You’d think being
in two cities, London and Hamburg, would slow you down... “In the early days, we would often sit in the studio for months working on a single track.” Now the approach is totally different. Jence explains, “When I spotted two free days in my calendar, I used one for preparations in London and worked on the second one in Hamburg with Isi, who also came in with his already thought-through ideas. Instead of long periods of thinking which often led in the past to nothing, we worked this time in short eruptions and cut the process radically down to its essence.”

Let ?s talk inspiration and ambition
Asked where their inspiration for Mirage came from, they answer, “deprivation and travel,” and start to throw a two voiced monologue on me. “Stimulants are the feeling of being outsiders, comforting yourself, but also the ecstasy that comes from epic trips around the globe. Usually, the best ideas just come to us when there’s not much going on immediately around us. When you’re forced to imagine things, that’s when inspiration is best. You know, when you switch off the light in our bunker studio, it’s really dark, and there’s nothing - until you start creating things in your head - and then as music.”

But Digitalism wouldn ?t have done Mirage if it wasn’t for all their history. It all started with a series of club hits: “Idealistic,” “Zdarlight,” and “Pogo” - tracks that would become the charming pillars of their 2007 debut album Ideallism. Never ones to sit still, Isi and Jence continued writing, working on the follow-up. And so there they were, the second album I Love You, Dude done and dusted, touring it out on the huge stages, backed-up by a live band and drummer. What had started as a bedroom dream that got sharpened in record shops and behind nightclub decks, finally tipped up at the most popular hotspots of the festival and club circuits. From Coachella to Melt!, the boys were on a roll – and still are.

Digitalism keep on touring and making music, and they appreciate it even more than ten years ago.

Mirage is their third album, and it feels like they take us back to where it all started with
Idealism–“but updated and catapulted into 2016,” as they point out. “Although the concept of ‘ an album’ is probably outdated, this record seems to be the counter-reaction to the single tracks and small EPs that we’ve released between 2011 and now.”

more about Digitalism

Digitalism is a German electro duo, founded in 2004 in Hamburg, consisting of Jens "Jence" Moelle and ?smail "Isi" Tüfekçi. Jens likens Digitalism's songs to simple chapters in a complex novel about social interaction and attraction, with distorted baselines and thumping rhythms comprising the punctuation.

Digitalism is pioneering the electro-punk and indie dance movements, making appearances at festivals such as Coachella and various clubs worldwide.

Digitalism's debut album, Idealism, was released 9 May 2007 as Digitalism on Toshiba EMI Records in Japan, on May 21, 2007 on Kitsuné Music in France and on Astralwerks in North America. The album includes re-edits of the previously released singles "Jupiter Room", "Zdarlight" as well as their "Digitalism in Cairo" original re-edit of a track by the Cure which actually doesn't feature a sample from the track.

In June 2011, Digitalism released the second studioalbum, I love You Dude, on Cooperative Music. The ablum includes the previously released singles "Blitz" and Stratophere", the hit-single "2 Hearts" and a cooperation with Julian Casablancas. All over the sound on the second album has become more openminded. Digitalism's sound is crossing the limits between Electro, Rock and Indie.

Their 'Lift EP' (2013), is the first time they have collaborated on tracks, and marks a return to the label that helped introduce them to international dance floors - 'Kitsune records.' The duo deliberately carved out long-stretches of studio time in 2013 to work on collaborations and new material.

'Fahrenheit 32', the latest release from Digitalism is available for free on Soundcloud here -

Digitalism has remixed tracks for Tom Vek, The Futureheads, Daft Punk, Tiga, Klaxons, White Stripes, Monk, Depeche Mode, Cut Copy and many others. Their tracks and remixes are played by DJs such as Erol Alkan, Soulwax, Boys Noize, and Justice, among others.

Jens Moelle has released a solo EP on Kitsuné Music under the name Palermo Disko Machine.



  1. The Great Northern 119 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA