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Photo by Serge Leblon

Aeroplane Flying Solo

The Belgian duo might have split but Vito continues on the project alone...

Formerly comprised of Belgian duo Stephen and Vito, the latter has recently been left to carry on the good ship, er, Aeroplane alone. Mixing up pop melodies, relaxed disco beats and Italo whatnot, Aeroplane have made a name for themselves for bringing summery vibes via remixes for the likes of Sebastien Tellier, Breakbot to Friendly Fires' epic 'Paris' track featuring Au Revoir Simone vocals. Before the release of the new single 'We Can't Fly', Dazed have words with Vito De Luca to find out where he'll be flying next...

Dazed Digital: There's some pretty epic vocals in the new track, how were they done?
Aeroplane: It's actually people singing. It's a gospel choir I recorded in France. When I wrote this song, from day one, I knew there will be a gospel choir, the song needed it. It's ten people and something like 12 layers. Should be around 120 voices.

DD: What can we expect from your first album?
Aeroplane: Songs, real songs. Half of it is instrumental. The other half is with collaborations. Au Revoir Simone, Merry Clayton, Sky Ferreira, Nicolas Kerr from Poni Hoax... It's deeper into Aeroplane's influences, without the dancefloor pressure of the remixes. Of course there are some disco tracks too. Hmm, it's actually quite hard to describe, the only thing I can say is that there are two years of my life somewhere in that album.

DD: Is there a decent music scene in Belgium and if so did it affect the way you produce music today?
Aeroplane: There is. I don't know much about the actual scene because I'm not often that in Belgium anymore, but it's quite large. Lot of rock bands and venues. Also some really good clubs, some really horrible too. There is a great musical history here. Artists out of Belgium are never average. They always have a twist. Thinking of Telex for example, or Soulwax. I don't really feel it influences me more then anything else that surrounds me. Or maybe it does but not consciously.

DD: What does inspire your music?
Aeroplane: Music inspires music! I'm really influenced by the old music I'm listening to, from all eras. And then I grab things I love in all of them and put them together. Most of the times it clashes and it's horrible. But sometimes you have a little miracle. Music is made of miracles. And a bit of work. But to drop some names let's says Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Lucio Battisti, Italo disco (the cheesiest one...) some 80s funk too, drum machines music and also pop music in

DD: You were invited to do the 500th Radio 1 Essential Mix, was it difficult to make the choices for what went in?
Aeroplane: Not really, It's Aeroplane's all time classics. The hardest was to mix them together and to make it work!

DD: How did the remix for Grace Jones come about?
Aeroplane: An e-mail. There was no time then to do it. But it's impossible to say no to Grace Jones. So it was done in one day, with some synths we borrowed from Soulwax. Then she rejected it. The people blogged about it, forcing the label to play it again to her. And then she loved it. But the truth is that the first time she didn't really listen to it, it was on a huge pile of 30 remixes she had to choose from.

DD: Your remix of Breakbot's 'Baby I'm Yours' was pretty banging - was this an intentional move from the floaty Italo stuff to do something a little more full on, or do you feel that's just another branch of what you do?
Aeroplane: I have no idea. That's what came out working on it. It's quite high-energy. Closer to the Sebastien Tellier one then from any other remixes we've done. Maybe I felt the pressure of releasing something on Ed Banger? I don't really know. It's actually quite a "cliché" that remix. It's typical of how borderline Aeroplane stuff can be. Just at the frontier of good and bad taste.

DD: What do you try to achieve with your DJ sets?
Aeroplane: Well even if they are structured the only goal is to make people dance I guess. And put smiles on people faces. Nothing too dark, too banging. Just a good feeling and some disco. But after all this time spent deejaying, you get some experience, and even without "heavily" structuring it, you know what track will work with another.

DD: Can you recommend some new artists?
Aeroplane: No, I mean music today is different. One track can be genius and then that band will make shit for the rest of their career. Bullion comes to my mind. It seems far from Aeroplane but it's not that far. I really love him. I discovered Gipsy & The Cat recently. They write really good songs, they have an album on the way. I know only two songs, but they are both really good ones!

DD: What's next?
Aeroplane: The release of our album "We Can't Fly" in September. More remixes and DJ Sets. Travelling the world and most of all writing new music!

The new single 'We Can't Fly' is out 5th July, available to buy online at Juno Records. See the August issue of Dazed & Confused for more on Aeroplane...