Vitalic OK Cowboy

Vitalic OK Cowboy
While we slowly watch our electronica heroes of yesteryear fail and fade right before our eyes, fans can rejoice for there is hope. Though he made a name for himself back in 2002 with the kicking dance/rock fusion of "La Rock 01,” France’s Pascal Arbez-Nicolas, aka Vitalic, has been off constructing OK Cowboy — his long awaited, highly anticipated debut album. Touted for the last couple years as the next big thing, Vitalic has the arsenal to prove the hype builders right. From the opening merriment of the vintage sounding "Polkamatic,” OK Cowboy wastes no time leading the conga line to the nearest dance floor. Three-year old "Poney” parts one and two are in the mix to ensure maximum enjoyment, as is the equally ripe "La Rock 01” — a song so tremendous in its build up and explosion that it may never lose its cool. The album showcases Vitalic’s rock side best though with recent single "My Friend Dario,” a head banging cocktail of pseudo-female vocals, a wild backbeat and the best guitars heard in a dance track since the ’90s ended. Embracing the familiarities of his country’s customary dance characteristics — disco, house and even a slice of cheese — Vitalic has stepped up and given us what we’ve been waiting for. Now it’s time to make him a star.

What took you so long to put out this record? After the Poney EP, I said I would do an album but I didn’t say when and where. I didn’t want the album to be released on [International Deejay] Gigolo and so I had to find the right label.

How do you record the rock portions of the music? It’s all made with synthesisers. The drums are made with drum machines, but instead of making them mechanical, I try to make them sound like a real drummer. For the guitars, I use a synthesiser too — an old fashioned one that with some effects can make a convincing guitar sound. The main thing with my fake rock’n’roll is that it’s more about atmosphere and energy than it is imitation.

How have you managed to turn music into a successful hobby instead of a career? For a long time I was a student and at the same time a live act. I was doing music and living in the UK during the week, and then I’d go back to France for the weekend to play. I got used to organising my life. Even now it is the same. There is nothing really stressing; it’s a normal life, kind of. (PIAS)