Chromeo Talk Their Guest-Minded 'White Women' and Potential Collabs with HAIM, Gonzales, FKA twigs
Published Apr 09, 2014Disco-funk progenitors Dave 1 and P-Thugg, a.k.a. Chromeo, may have already released the extensive guest list for their forthcoming album, White Women, including Solange, Toro y Moi, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, and Pat Mahoney (of LCD Soundsystem), but as David Macklovitch (a.k.a. Dave 1) reveals to Exclaim!, there were another handful of guests slotted to make appearances who either didn't make the cut or couldn't find time in their schedules.
"Illangelo came by and hung out," explains Dave 1 over the phone from New York. "We're going to do stuff with him in the future. Gonzales didn't stop by because he lives in Germany, but we were like, 'How can we get you on this album?' In the end it never happened. HAIM — good friends of mine, probably my favourite album of last year — we absolutely wanted to do a song with them, they wanted to, but we could never get the schedules right, so that's for the future as well."
According to Macklovitch, getting guests was all part of changing Chromeo's studio approach for their fourth record. "Instead of working in a vacuum, we were working in an open, more curatorial environment. It's harder to work and have people come to the studio, listen to what you're doing, and then integrate and synthesize what they say into the music than to work in a vacuum. That's what we tried to do as an artistic challenge.
"As that happened, it was like, 'Well, Ezra's coming to the studio all the time, we should get him on a song.' Toro y Moi happened because every girl I was hanging out with loved him and I got really jealous. I was like, 'All right, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' Girls love that kid. There are these unlikely partnerships that make sense once you hear the record."
The challenge of merging Chromeo's sound with guests is one the duo take seriously as they continue to refine their sound: "I think moving forward, we're going to do even more of those collaborations, because I think it can sound like Chromeo. Even if I put somebody like [FKA] twigs or Banks on a song, which we probably will, it'll sound like a Chromeo song. We bring them into our universe, the same way as how Kanye West puts Bon Iver on a song, but it still sounds like Kanye."
Of course, for now, the duo are focused on the impending White Women, which Macklovitch claims is "much better than Business Casual" before quickly rescinding.
"I shouldn't say that. We should let people who hear it decide. But I feel like we progressed more on this record, made a more ambitious, more accomplished, longer, more substantial album. It's also more disco," Macklovitch adds. "There's more guitar, there's more bass, there are string arrangements; it feels more alive to me. I'm really happy for that."
Macklovitch and partner-in-crime P-Thugg (a.k.a. Patrick Gemayel) are excited for the release of White Women, given the response they've heard so far from peers.
"I feel like the excitement that we've gotten on this record is unusual for album number four in a band's trajectory. In this case, there's more excitement, there's been a better response to this record than anything we've ever put out before. I guess the work paid off. We were hard on ourselves. It was like 'Look, what we've done before is not going to cut it anymore.'"
White Women arrives May 12 from Last Gang in Canada and through Big Beat/Atlantic in the U.S.
As previously reported, the duo are out on the road in support of the record, and you can see their upcoming dates here.
Read our story on Chromeo's new album here.