Dazed Digital


Popular Computer

March 7, 2012

The Parisian producer making waves with his essential optimistic summertime soundtrack LiTE

  • Text by Alexandra Plesner

Frenchman Sylvain Dalido has a brilliantly unique approach to his synth-addled new wave electro as Popular Computer. With a new album "LiTE" out on Schmooze records (also the home to Chilly Gonzales) Popular Computer works an awesomely stripped back and honest reappropriation of summertime, road trip electronics. It's blissfully harmonious and comes highly recommended. Watch out for Popular Computer's upcoming On Air mix for Satellite Voices too.

Satellite Voices: What was your first passion and how does this passion manifests itself today?
Popular Computer: It was music. I had a BMX, then I had a skateboard. I was seeking with young friends something good to do. We loved Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero... When I was really young on holiday on a little Brittany French Island called Houat, each summer I found my friends, Joel, Frederic, Yvonnick. And I remember that I lied to one of them. I told him that I started to play drums in a band. The following year, luckily my mother gave me the chance to start learning the drums with a good drummer, the dad of Pierre Buhé I remember. I think I cannot be more honest in my answer.

SV: What was your earliest childhood memory?
Popular Computer: Oh! What a question. My brain hurts me… The odour of the sea?

SV: What makes you happy?
Popular Computer: To feel that people around me, that I like, are well. But it’s funny, I started the new album with a little sound called Happy. I’m singing “happy happy happy” and the people in the crowd are happy to know that I’m going to play my new album on a stage? Maybe this is my dream?

SV: Where do you get inspiration from?
Popular Computer: I get inspiration in living and from life. I need a good balance between private life and work. But I need all people around me at this moment and share with them simple things. Birthdays, new experiences for children at school, parties and holidays. But when I’m working (maybe in a long period such as four weeks) I feel better alone, only with my wife and my daughter.

SV: Can you explain your creative process?
Popular Computer: I think we need time. I’m making music not every day. But I think of it all the time. It’s like we say in France: “C’est un sacerdoce”, a priesthood a vocation. It’s not because it is electronic music that it is not art. I can pretend to live the good and the bad of an artistic life in a romantic way. Sometimes I find a sound on computer that is exciting. I make a sound bank. And later I play on audio instruments for melodies. Or sometimes I have it all in my head and I need to put every idea directly into the computer. If I can’t work I sing everything on my dictaphone.

SV: Do you like to give a sense of a narrative idea with an album?
Popular Computer: I love a narrative. That’s why I’m not happy with the idea of not selling music as complete records anymore. The one thing that I regret with digital, is, if you buy only the tracks you like, it breaks down the narration of the LP.
 For my album "LiTE", most of the tracks sound really good as a part of the package. 
For me this new record could be an album for meditation.
SV: Can you tell us a bit about your new video?
Popular Computer: "The Lointain" video, made by Juliano was a way to share the track on blogs without giving away the MP3. My friend Juliano caught the aspect of the track being “out of date” and found some old images to put with the music. Then he worked the possibility to synchronise perfectly the video and the music... but the computer couldn’t. So the result was excellent for us. Not professional but original, retro and modern.

SV: What does Paris mean to you?
Popular Computer: The start of a story but not the end.

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