Lifelike & Kris Menace Talk
Some people are unable to work together for 15 minutes without getting on each other's wick so for Lifelike & Kris Menace to have a working relationship that spanned a decade and a half would suggest they have a partnership that would make even the closest of friends look as though they were merely acquaintances. Despite this lengthy association they've been free to follow their solo paths in recent years and it has taken the opportunity to contribute to a Giorgio Moroder project that has brought them back together. The music? A mighty fine slice of disco-fuelled sound that'll bring a smile to your face no matter where you are. We caught up with them to discuss their ace new track 'Ready 4 Love';
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Lifelike & Kris Menace, a French/German duo, producing records/albums and remixes for the last 15 years. We’ve worked with and remixed Daft Punk, Chromeo, Air, Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue, Empire Of The Sun, LCD Soundsystem… We both run our own record labels, Computer Science for me, Compuphonic & Work-It-Baby. I’ve written music for some short movies, notably one called ‘Naked' directed by Laurent Pratlong/LP Addictive. It’s being shown now at independent film festivals, and Kris runs other projects like Black Van (on DFA), Stars on 33 and Menace & Lord (on WePlay/Warner).
Why has it taken you a decade to get together for another collaboration?
We’d always been in touch, we toured for more than 2 years together after ‘Discopolis’, but we just felt we had to go our own separate ways for our solo projects.
Did you find it daunting working under the beady eye of Mr Moroder on his new album?
We’ve both been fans of Moroder for a long time, it felt like such a blessing to be asked to remix one of his recent songs. It was a very easy way of working, we received the stems of the track he wanted us to remix and just wrote the remix in one night. We’ve added an electric guitar lead solo which he totally loved so he was enthusiastic about getting the remix getting done.
If Discopolis was a real city, what would it look like?
A little city full of late 70s/80s disco vibes that me and Kris love.
What makes disco so darn addictive?
I think it has to do with its timeless stamp, and even more to do with the bassline and drum grooves. You can listen to Chic's 'I Want Your Love' 35 years after its release it still sounds fresh, it’s because what we all need is great music. When the music is great, it reaches people’s hearts and lasts forever.
We here at R$N Towers ruddy love 'Ready 4 Love' – where did the track come from? Who had the basic idea?
We both wanted to do a new record. We already tried after ‘Discopolis' to do something new together, but the pressure we had on our shoulders was too big to be able to do something we both would have been happy with. We are complementing each other, we both play keyboard, drums and have production skills, so we just easily comment on each other's work and agreed to modify some things we thought could sound better. So the idea came from both of us, but let’s say Kris is more the synthesising and arranging guy, while I’m more into samplers and bass.
Is our love of disco nature or nurture?
Nurture, of course.
What's the best thing about working together with someone you're so familiar with?
Well the great thing about working with Kris is that we’re talking so much bullshit that it’s sometimes hard to finish the studio session without chest pains, as we’re laughing so much. I think friendship is better than business collaboration, like going in a studio trying just to write hits with the stress of your management. We just don’t give a damn about that anymore, we just want to have fun and write songs we love, the rest doesn't matter.
Have you ever been or will you ever be ready for love?
We are always ready for the love of disco! So should you be!
What's the funkiest bassline you ever did hear?
Fred Falke’s bassline on a side project from Kris called Menace & Adam – 'Missile Test' (Fred Falke remix), this is the best bassline ever, you can't do better.
How have things changed since you first started making music? Do you think it has been for the better?
Well, we haven’t changed, but obviously the music industry has changed, and not for the better in some cases. At the time of ‘Discopolis' we were still selling vinyl records, over 30,000 copies were sold, and 50,000 CD singles. Beatport didn’t even exist when ‘Discopolis' was released in June 2005, Real Player and Shoutcast had been the streaming standard for 10 years and people weren’t as lazy as they are now, they were still going in shops to search for good music. Positive changes have been the opening of the electronic music market in America. In America, promoters are enthusiasts and want to get new DJs to play in their clubs, and more importantly: they don’t care about you being commercial or not, they just want to hear good music, because that’s what matters, right?
Besides yourselves, who should we be listening to for a high quality remix?
I love remixes from Jacques Lu Cont or Alan Braxe, they always sound fantastic.
How long do you reckon it will be before you collaborate again?
Haha, I like that question. Well in fact we're already writing the next one. There will be a little surprise for our fans in September/October, so stay tuned. So this time no big 10 year gap for the next one, we promise.
What else can we expect to hear/see from you this year?
Giorgio Moroder – '74 Is the new 24' Lifelike & Kris Menace remix will be out in the US June 16 on Sony Music and we’ll be on tour in the US around September/October. Besides that we’re working on a full length album. I will release my album before on Capitol and Kris will release his side project, Menace & Lord on Warner/WePlay. So there’s lots going on.
Anything you'd like to add?
Remember that hometaping kills music, if you love music, buy it!
'Ready 4 Love' is out on 15th June via Computer Science.