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25 septembre 2008

Fresh Hot Chip: Covers, EPs, Shows, New Songs

September 24, 2008 , Katie Hasty, N.Y.

With a live EP, covers of Joy Division and Vampire Weekend, a slew of tour dates, a remix EP and a new record on the way, the members of Hot Chip have certainly kept themselves busy lately.

The group just released an iTunes exclusive live EP of six tracks recorded May 8 in Berlin. "I'm gonna be honest," Hot Chip founding member and multi-instrumentalist Joe Goddard tells, "I don't think I even knew we had a live EP coming out. All the better, though, it's nice for things to be documented, to have a piece of how things evolve."

One recent evolution was the addition of live drummer Leo Taylor; Hot Chip sparingly used a live drummer (LCD Soundsystem's Pat Mahoney) in the past. The London-based group has tour dates slated in North America through Oct. 9, then return to the U.K. for performances through November.

A one-off show last night (Sept. 23) with Vampire Weekend was a happy pairing, considering Hot Chip has recently finished a cover of Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," for a single due this fall. But the group didn't do it alone: the very man the song namechecks, Peter Gabriel, contributed vocals.

"We got to spend two days with Peter Gabriel, which was a massive, massive deal, as he's a massive influence on us. His use of rhythms and synths and world instruments, his songwriting structures ... made for a big hero to [singer] Alexis [Taylor] growing up," Goddard says. "When we were producing [the track] and [Gabriel] stepped up to the microphone, [group member] Owen [Clarke] said it was like watching someone turn on the Peter Gabriel Machine. We said we'd love to do more stuff with him in the future and asked him to contribute to the next record. So, we'll see."

Hot Chip also covered Joy Division's "Transmission" for War Child Music's benefit covers album "Heroes," at the request of Joy Division/New Order drummer Stephen Morris himself. According to Goddard, the group focused in on the rhythm, and ended up recording the sounds of clanging steel pans and live drums. The album is due Nov. 24 via Parlophone/EMI in the U.K.; Hot Chip says they plan to release the song in the States as a vinyl single sometime this fall.

In a month, the group will also be releasing a collection of remixes of songs from its 2008 album "Made in the Dark," dubbed "Remade in the Dark." Featured are a new mixes of "We're Looking for a Lot of Love," "Whistle for Will" and the title track by veteran producer Robert Wyatt. The band, in turn, produced a track on Wyatt's forthcoming Domino effort.

Then there's Hot Chip's work on new originals. Goddard says the group has already finished writing half-a-dozen songs for the follow-up to "Made in the Dark," due for release early next year. "'Made in the Dark' felt bold, but for me it was all over the place. This next one... won't have an A-side and a b-Side. It will be much more mid-paced, like a Fleetwood Mac album," he says. The band has already begun playing one new track, "Alley Cats," at its shows.

Taylor has already finished a solo record, "Rubbed Out," which will be a limited-released effort on London micro-indie label Treader this fall. ("They're sketches of new songs, short improvised pieces... a scrapbook in a way," says Goddard.) And Goddard himself is producing other artists, including a "pure pop" set for new artist Little Boots and rapper Dels.

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