Despacio, the acclaimed new pairing of James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem and the Dewaele brothers of 2ManyDJs/Soulwax fame, are set to be one of the highlights of the Sonar festival next month.
With their custom-built soundsystem, emphasis on playing vinyl, and move away from the superstar DJ set-up, Despacio are bringing something new to the table — and Sonar seems the perfect setting for one of their rare live appearances.
DJmag.com spoke to the 2ManyDJs guys about their forthcoming Sonar gig…
You're going to be extremely busy at Sonar this year with six-hour performances with James Murphy as Despacio, plus your own DJ set. How are you preparing yourselves for both?
“We’re in the middle of an intense exercise regime which involves eating raw food, drinking a lot of cold press juices and weight-lifting record boxes. We basically pretend we’re in a Rocky-style montage running up and down our studio stairs in a grey tracksuit occasionally shouting ‘Adri-an’! It seems to be working…”
Can you describe the Despacio experience for us, please?
“It is beyond a cliché to say you have to really be there to be able to understand it but in the case of Despacio it couldn’t be truer. The link between us, the music, the system, the sound and audience is designed to connect it all to make it all seem as one. Each part is integral and vital. Only once you stand on the sweet spot surrounded by these glorious speaker stacks and not just hear the music, but feel it through your entire being, you understand what the Despacio experience is.”
Despacio is set to focus more on the party-goers than being a 'live spectacle' — how will you achieve this?
“The focus is actually on the music and how to get that to the audience in the most immersive way possible. We wanted to get away from that front-facing DJ-centric experience and get people dancing with each other again, which is why we went for a circular speaker system with the DJs tucked away. The spectacle is an aural one rather than a visual one, but no less engaging. If anything it can make for a more intense experience. We love preparing visuals for our live sets but it’s good to get back to basics and make everything about the sound.”
Is there anything you'd like to add about Sonar?
“When we started this project, Sonar was one of the first places we thought would be perfect for this. Both James and us have had a long-standing good relationship with Sonar, so it would have felt wrong to not have Despacio at Sonar.”