Ahead of the very first I'm A Cliche party in London this weekend we caught up with label honcho and generally all round amazing producer, DJ and Frenchman Cosmo Vitelli for a lil' ole chat. Originally part of the first wave of the French house invasion at the end of the 90's or the 'French touch' as some would called it, his output on on the highly influential Solid label picked him up many a plaudit. Cosmo has since gone on to carve a niche with his own label I'm A Cliche releasing the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Yuksek, and also under his own Bo'tox project. The label continues to go from strength to strength, reaching its 44th release... ahead of the weekend, here's what he had to say...
Hey Cosmo! Where are you right now?
Next to my studio, a place wich I tend to forget that its not my office.
But its owner also did
You made your mark as a DJ / Producer in the late 90s. What inspired you to begin DJing and was production a natural progression for you?
The reason why Ill always remain a dj is very basic : Ive always loved to share music. Ive alway done that. So you can run a blog, be a music journalist like I did a long time ago for a while (I shouldnt have, but thats another story). Or you can become a dj.
Ive also always been a big record digger, and at some point it made sense to try to play some of the music.
What is your studio consisting of these days?
And endless list of synths, guitars, outboards, FX, pedalsSomewhere theres a place with 2 chairs, and we happen to sit there with my partner Julien Briffaz, and sometimes we even produce some sounds with all that. Some children would call it a room, we call it a studio
If you were a vintage synth what would you be and why?
A Mini Moog : monophonic, simple, rough, but very polyvalent.
Its perfect for people who want to avoid complex systems.
Isnt that just me ?
I understand that you are often considered as part of the French Touch, please explain this?
Please do. Ive no idea why. Do you think my music sounds like the ones of Cassius or Daft Punk.
I know, I was around back then, I knew more or less all these fellows, but I was into very few records produced at that time. The motorbass LP, for example, great record .
Am I right in saying the label is now on its 44th Release? How is the Label going and what do you have in the pipeline for 2013 that we can look forward to?
The label is doing fine if I consider only the music were gonna release this year. A lot of exciting material (at least for me) will be out this year : a new Red Axes EP a,nd later on, their first LP, the BotOx EPs, the Edit Service on and on, etcIm not gonna start a list here
Are you responsible for doing all the A&R for the label?
I am. Every person who tried to take my place has been fired (though I cant remember anyone having tried)
Tell us the story of how you and Mr Marketing Music Tim Paris first met?
Thats weird, I cant remember where we met. Our studio were close so I guess we had to meet at some point.
But Tim probably wouldnt answer this question the same way : he keeps on telling me this weird story since 10 years. He pretends that he saw me performing live in a bar with an accoustic guitar 15 years ago.
Hes wrong, I never did that. Stop that now, Tim. And I dont play accoustic guitar.
We started this project a long time ago for just a 12 on Marketing. Its often the same stories but its true : there was a mastering date, the artwork had to be done, so we had to choose a name so fast. And then live with it.
Are you going to be doing any live shows sometime soon?
We start again our live shows from mid march. Its a 4 pieces band, 2 guitar players (one, Mark Ker, being also the singer), on bass + synth player, and a drummer.
I play the guitar. ELECTRIC guitar.
We love the new Botox release and the official Video, is the video based on past experience? The guy in the video is looking like hes having a pretty nice time, what influenced you make the track?
The track itself is a laidback, funky track with a touch of soft rock, weve always wanted to try something like that, almost FM in the production.
On it, an friend of us, Samy Osta, improvised these weird vocals, and it gave the idea of the video to the director.
Ugo (the director) had planned a trip to Thailand to practice thai boxing, but after seeing the video, I have serious doubts about how hard he practiced.
Anyway, he had this idea to follow this dutch tourist who spend 6 months there every year and just feels hes in paradise. Almost nothing was written, Ugo just followed the guy with ladyboys for a night. Or at least a part of the night.
Its going to be a big party this weekend.. Whats your best hangover cure?
Drink again the day after. It works, try it.
And lastly. Who did kill the Chinese bookie?
No idea, I always fall asleep before the end of the movie
Cosmo Vitelli plays the debut I'm A Cliche party this weekend. Full details and limited 5 tickets on that blue text to the left...