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  Offworld Music
Record label catering to innovative music, artists and producers - from drum&bass to hip hop and electronic.

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  CUT COPY
 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

In Dan Whitfords pursuit of a producer for his debut album, Cut Copy's Bright Like Neon Love, he and label Modular Recordings hit on the idea of getting a more renowned 80s pop mogul to lend some studio flair to Cut Copy's synth-driven, melancholy, love song opus. As it turns out, the problem of the 80s was simply surviving them.

"We had a shortlist of producers who had done stuff back in the day. But pretty much every request came back and that they'd either died or were in rehab, or they'd become tired or a recluse," laughed Whitford. "All of these people had dropped out of the producing game for some particular reason. It was like 80s had destroyed them all."

A combination of Whitford's own studio machinations and the four-piece Cut Copy band, the Bright Like Neon Love's demo reel encompassed a variety of influences. From the obvious affection for 80s acts like New Order and Human League to melodies from the likes of the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac, it was still very much grounded to indie rock roots from Whitfords native Australia.

Whitford wanted to get a producer who loved music, in all its myriad and wonderful forms, as much as he did. He found an unlikely fan in Philippe Zdar, the French house don probably best known for his work behind Cassius and Motorbass.

"One of my favorite recent albums is by the French group Phoenix. We had found out that Philippe did the some of the mixing and production," Whitford said.


Cut Copy watch their video for " Future":
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Low WMA - Medium WMA - High WMA

While Zdars filtered disco touch is certainly heard on "That Was Just a Dream," Whitford said the Frenchman mostly made polishes rather than wholesale changes to Cut Copy's material. "He was quite mindful of keeping the spirit of it," said Whitford of Zdar. "He's obviously done dance music for a while, but the stuff that he was most keen to work on (with us) was the indie rock stuff. In his youth, Philippe was actually involved with French punk bands and rock stuff."

Not that Whitford was necessarily opposed to Zdars potential tweaking, anyway. Cut Copy's entire approach musically has demanded a certain amount of adaptation. "Half the record was written with the guys from the band Mitchell on drums, Tim on guitar and Bennett on keys and bass. The other half was written in the studio," said Whitford.

"There's a bunch of synths that we play live ... about two or three synths we take us all the time plus a sampler," he continued. "Two of the guys in the band are big fans of Sonic Youth, so there's that kind of thing going on."

Whitfords diverse musical interests has also necessitated expanding Cut Copy into an umbrella concept encompassing the band, Cut Copy Live, and his own dabbling into the realm of turntablism, Cut Copy DJs. "It's kind of confusing sometimes because people show up expecting one or the other. It can be kind of funny," he said.

Bucking expectations is par for the course for Cuty Copy, however. Or at least fitting in. "The majority of stuff in Australia is more on a rock edge, particularly the sort of the bands like the Vines and now Jet. We do have a good solid fan base in Oz, but I was hoping it was going to have a good solid release in Europe and America," he said.

Achieving that kind of success, hence acceptance, has also entailed Cut Copys open-arms policy with regards to gigs. "When we actually play live as a band, were not really playing with people exactly like we are," he said. "I mean, we make an effort to play with people we like, but they're not necessarily the same style as us. We've played with sort of hardcore bands. We also recently finished a tour with Junior Senior from Denmark. You shouldn't box yourself into one particular niche."

Whitford, in turn, can readily extol the virtues of the likes of the Steve Miller Band and ELO, and he'll also happily sell up Montreal electro house producers Chromeo. Whitford recently shared the decks in New York with Chromeo, who also provided a remix for Cuty Copy's first single, "Future."

In spite of the influences and the current vogue of 80s retro in music, Whitford said Cut Copy may be paying homage, but they're not, well, copying anyone. "I dont think theres anything I specifically try and emulate or anything. (Bright Like Neon Love) is quite a pop record. In the long run, it kind of makes things more interesting when you dont know what youre going to get."

You can get Cut Copy's Bright Like Neon Love album in stores right now.


- written by Yuri Wuensch


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