Dave 1 (David Macklovitch) and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) is the French-Canadian Electrofunk duo named Chromeo. Probably the only constellation where two in-real-world hating nations meet to collaborate; or quoting themselves: “the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.” Growing up as childhood friends, they truly nurtured their talents into what now has become a worldwide success, with their latest tour in 2010 followed by 2011, lasting for more than 18 months. Dave 1, which is the older brother of turntablist DJ A-Trak (Alain Macklovitch), has come a long way since the single “She’s in Control” and the hit song “Needy Girl” which I clearly remember listening to back in 2005. Their actual true exposure to music production came in 2002 when they started the band. It’s actually notable that Dave 1 has worked with Tiga in a record store in Montreal, where he later was asked to work on a project on his label Turbo. (Note: Tiga, as in Tiga & Zyntherius – I Wear My Sunglasses At Night)
Their music has that grungy analog sound to it (which P later has explained is partly arranged on his collection of vintage synthesizers). I recall from a studio tour where they had an old x486 computer loaded with old beats and mixes. These guys are definitely old-school in the sense of studio equipment, but they are also seen with newer synthesizers and vocoders (P-Thugg once explained in an interview on Studio Q (hosted by the Persian broadcaster/musician Jian Ghomeshi) that they [Chromeo] are constantly looking for new additions to their studio equipment, and his [P-Thugg’s] vintage collection is an ongoing project).
Business Casual (album cover art to the left) has been their most recent album that was released on 14 September 2010, on which the tour was based on. They seemed to have been working a lot more on the depth of the tracks as well as the lyrics, making it lighthearted, yet rich, with cool guitar riffs and solos combined with really funky synths and vocoder choruses. I now understand why their hit track is named “Hot Mess”. It’s most likely an inventive reflection of all the years of tacky 80’s songs. Not to forget their very first french lament “J’ai claqué la porte” that really shows off Dave 1’s talent for linguistics (he’s working towards a Ph.D in French Literature).
Chromeo ended their 18 month-long world tour with 4 gigs (London, New York and Los Angeles). Listen to their album ‘Business Casual’ above by clicking on the play button (you need a Spotify account), and watch the ‘Thank You’ video below.
Listen to Chromeo’s album Business Casual before you buy it