[REVIEW & INTERVIEW] Vitalic Noise CMJ Party and RUFUS Interview

CMJ rolled through town last weekend and we got a taste of almost everything the city-wide festival had to offer. However, one showcase in particular rose above the others in a party I soon won’t forget….

If you weren’t at the Cheeky Bastard party at The DL last Thursday, you done missed out son! Vitalic Noise brought some Cali and Outback beats to the city with their CMJ showcase featuring the likes of RUFUS, Goldroom, Viceroy and Miami Horror DJs. In a scenic rooftop bar on the LES, even the rain couldn’t put a damper on the craziness that ensued over the course of the night. The packed crowd nearly brought down the roof dancing to the best disco and electro-pop beats, and although I’m told that we were 100% safe with spring-reinforcements, the visibly bouncing dance floor was enough to make me take a break and watch from afar as hipsters, ravers, Australian rugby players and even a couple seniors (seriously, there was a 70 year old man in awesome suspenders tearing up the place…) got down and dirty until the early morning. Check out our interview with RUFUS below along with our top picks for tracks dropped throughout the night.


After a fun interview outside the club (see below), RUFUS started out the night and brought the party to life with a rockin’ live set comprised of all originals and a preview of their newest, yet unnamed, track that we can’t wait to hear again…

Miami Horror DJ Set:

Aaron and Benjamin of Miami Horror followed with a funky, disco DJ set. What tracks did they play? Couldn’t tell you…but what I can tell you is that this was one of those sets where dancing was infectious. A few tracks I did manage to catch mid-grind were the Space Ranger remix of DJ Agent 86’s “So Hot,” “I Love It” by Cassian and “Real Talk” by Anna Lunoe and Touch Sensitive. Good stuff.


Next up we had Viceroy spinning his signature mix of “Summertime, All the Time…” which included the Gigamesh remix of “Take My Pain Away” by Moullinex, the Cassian remix of “Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison and probably the most appropriate use of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” I have ever heard in a mix.


Closing out the night was our buddy Goldroom with his sublime California style that included the Magician Remix of “I Follow You” by Lykke Li and the Oliver Remix of “Be Free” by Live Element.

RUFUS Interview:

RUFUS: This is hectic! [referring to the street full of cars zooming past as we do our interview on a street corner outside the club]
GDD: Hectic? Oh yeah, this is your first time in New York Right?
RUFUS: Oh totally overwhelming…that’s probably the word of choice for the last three days. Heccctiiiiicccccc…
GDD: Yeah, and this is a popular area of the Lower East Side too, so it gets pretty congested here.
RUFUS: This is congested…everywhere is congested!

GDD: Haha, welcome to New York! So, we at GDD like to start off interviews with our traditional question: What is your favorite drink?
RUFUS: Well I’m James and my favorite drink is a vodka lime soda. I’m Jon: and my favorite drink is a Mohito… I’m Tyrone and mine is actually, probably…a mango smoothie.
GDD: Haha ok, no alcohol for you Tyrone?
Tyrone: No, I like alcohol, but that’s probably my favorite drink!
GDD: Have you ever tried it with Vodka? I bet that would be pretty good…
Tyrone: I should try that.
James: Haha it’s on the to-do list!
GDD: I’m a gin and tonic girl myself..
Tyrone: Oh what, a Hendricks?
GDD: Actually, Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray…it depends on my night!

GDD: This your first time performing in NYC, do you have any thoughts about what to expect tonight?
Jon: I think we are just trying to expect nothing, and it’s like starting again…the way we first started in Australia, you know, we’ve got to treat it like that. So if we go into tonight hoping for a few people to be around and dig it, then we will be happy.
Tyrone: If we impress anyone I think we will have succeeded. And I feel that we have played a fair few shows and I feel like we know what we want out of each show, so if we can get that across I think we will be happy.

GDD: You guys have an interesting set up with 3 people, could you describe what each of you does live and how that correlates to your production work?
Tyrone: I’m Tyrone and I play guitar and sing. [James and Jon laugh at his introduction] I mean it’s for your recording, so you’re not like ‘who, who said that..”
GDD: Well, I actually get pretty good with voices, so hopefully I’ll be able to figure out who is who…oh man, now you guys are going to start talking in different voices so I won’t know.
Jon: Now I’m just going to be upset if you quote him as me!
Tyrone: Anyway, I play guitar and sing. I’ve got a synth by my side…
GDD: Which synth is it?
Tyrone: Oh, it’s a microKORG..and a lot of pedals, I’ve got a lot of pedals.
Jon: Um, so I run a lot of stuff through Ableton. We sample a lot of the synths that we used back in the studio. Like, we’ve got a mini-moog at home at the moment and an Oberheim Xpander and a 201 and a 101. So we sampled some of those sounds and I just use the sampler in Ableton to be able to play that stuff and pads to trigger that stuff. And I play percussion as well and a bit of backing vocals. And harmonica.
James: And I play the drums. I have a drum kit and a sampler by my side and yeah, in a similar way we use the sampler to get sounds off the recordings and to be able to play it live and mix up rhythms and have that live spin on it.

GDD: And do you go through a similar process for your production work?
Jon: It’s very different because we start reverse when we start writing. We’re pretty heavy with being particular with our production, so we get everything set in the studio how we like it and we are really meticulous that way. Then we work out how we‘ll do it live and how we make it even more live compared to what was actually recorded.
Tyrone: Yeah, we might write in different lines, like guitar lines, things that aren’t in the song that just give it a different vibe live.
Jon: And keep it fresh as well.
James: Playing with adaptations for a live show, we’re heavy on that.

GDD:We recently premiered your “Back to Cali” mix on Gotta Dance Dirty earlier this week, how did you choose the tracklist for that mix and where do you draw your inspiration from when creating a mix?
[All Laughing…] Tyrone: You got this [Toward’s Jon]
Jon: I basically download a lot of music, like all the time…
Tyrone: And he’s got a group of friends..he’s got a little community.
Jon: Yeah yeah, on facebook, I got this facebook group that I am friends with and we all share music together. So like, I’d say like 70% of the mix that we made has songs that we have shared on that little blog together.
Tyrone: The opener [Woody x The Notorious B.I.G. – Going Back to Cali] is just something that we have been listening to for the last year. Over like all of our tours we’ve just played that song and everyone is like “Ohh, whattt..”
Jon: Yeah we thought it was good, coming back to America.
Tyrone: Yeah, get it Biggie!

GDD:A lot of people might stick you in the “Indie-pop-dance-australia” sound category, do you agree or what do you think your specific sound is?
Jon: I think genre is always hard, for other people to put you in that box.We don’t mind, it’s part of the base that we are in and if that makes it easier for other people to find similar sounding music that’s cool. Indie sounds cool, pop sounds cool, dance sounds cool. Don’t really care…
Tyrone: Australian, European…we haven’t gotten American yet… so maybe we will get that tonight.
GDD: Yeah, you might, you might get Cali tonight!

GDD: According to your twitter you just sent a brand new track in for mastering…can we hear a bit about it and what should we expect out of you guys in the coming months?
James: You’ll hear it tonight…
GDD: Will we, yes! What is it called?
Tyrone: We don’t have a name for it just yet.
Jon: Yeah it’s untitled number 1!

GDD: Haha, ok, and what can we expect out of you guys for the coming months?
Tyrone: Hopefully a single…soon and then just working on tracks…
James: Yeah finish up tracks…
Jon: Basically we have been putting all our energy into making new tracks to hopefully get an album out early next year. And if all goes according to plan maybe you guys will hear the next single next month.
GDD: Definitely, I’m excited for it!
Jon: Yeah! And hopefully more touring!
GDD: Cool, cool, well thank you so much for taking the time for this interview out here on this fun New York corner!
RUFUS: Yeah of course, anytime!

Photos courtesy of Jeff Meltz for The Culture of Me.