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My 2013: Giorgio Moroder – November

Daft Punk's main man and the most crucial 73-year-old in EDM on the year he hit the decks

2013 was EDM’s year. It was also Daft Punk’s year, and it would have been Giorgio Moroder’s year, but Giorgio Moroder had his year 36 years ago when he invented electronic dance music with Donna Summer. Now in his eighth decade, Giorgio Moroder was pulled out of semi-retirement thanks to his autobiographical album centerpiece on Random Access Memories, the ensuing Dazed cover feature with his robot mates, and his first ever DJ appearances. In November, the German-born, LA-living pioneering synth hero announced that he was recording first his solo album since 1985’s Philip Oakley & Giorgio Moroder, a stream of production credits coming, and that he was booked for a Vegas residency. We spoke with Giorgio a couple of weeks after, and are pleased to report he sounds every bit as happy as a fabulously rich and successful musician in the midst of a triumphant creative rebirth should. Ladies and gentlemen: Moroder, by Giorgio... 

“It was quite a good year actually. I had my first DJ gig on the 20th of May and it was the same day as the album was released, so it was a nice coincidence, and, you know, it became a big hit. It was a little emotional because, first of all, I was hearing my own voice, and they cut a three hour interview into what can’t be more than a minute of music: that was quite interesting. The PR on that album was phenomenal, I was just talking to somebody at Sony and their manager and the boys came up with every aspect of the promotion – how to give out bits of information but not too much, and to show whatever 15 second little promotions on TV. It was brilliant. You know, if you have a good album, the promotion certainly helps and it became a groundbreaking album. I think it’s part of the EDM feeling, to go back to the disco time, when they had real bass, real guitars, drums. 

I love the fact that guys like David Guetta, Aviici and the Swedish House Mafia are using instrumental songs and vocals. I think having Kelly Rowland sing an R&B song on a disco track is almost going back to Donna Summer, where we had the R&B vocals with the dance background. I went to see Tiesto in Vegas, and it is amazing, his show, with the videos, the lights, the changing of the pace. You know when a good DJ knows how to get the people involved and in the case of Tiesto, I was there for three hours and the people were absolutely with him from one o’clock to four o’clock. As I said, I think the DJs are the big, new stars in entertainment. 

I start in about ten days with a recording of an EP project with a group called Class Actress from New York. I’m also preparing songs for my album. For now, I just have the songs, but the project would be drawing from all the teachers, the newcomers and maybe some more known singers. I was talking to David Guetta and Avicii, and I certainly will work with Nile Rogers as soon as I have the deal with the record company. Rihanna would be great, but other than that maybe some upcoming new acts would fit a little bit with my kind of music. I have one film, which has some new songs which I’m talking about. 

I founded my DJ career again in May in New York, and I went twice to Tokyo, Gettysburg, London, Vienna, Mexico, and I did a big gig here in Los Angeles, the Heart Festival. I’m going probably to Germany, a few festivals, and then in May I’m going to Sydney for a date at the Opera House, to some locations at the venue, and I’m in talks actually with a hotel in Vegas to do a residency there. My nicest surprise of this year was when I did my first DJ gig in New York and when I noticed that the young kids knew almost half of my songs, and that was a very interesting moment. It is absolutely incredible thinking that a lot of those kids were not even born when the songs came out, so I wonder how do they get it. The other day I was watching little pieces of my concert in Vienna and I see a girl singing the verse, not the chorus, the verse of Donna Summer ‘On The Radio’, with the correct lyrics. And it’s [laughs fondly] amazing.”