Electronic Music Pioneer Giorgio Moroder To Make His India Debut

11/12/2015 12:45 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Giorgio Moroder performs at KOKO on November 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Brigitte Engl/Redferns)

Even if you haven't heard of Giorgio Moroder, chances are you've heard his music.

The multiple-award-winning 75-year-old producer-songwriter-DJ who hails from Italy is the man behind many of the hits belted out by singer Donna Summer — known as the 'Queen Of Disco' — in the '70s, prominently 'I Feel Love' and 'Hot Stuff'. He has also won an Oscar for his score on the 1978 film Midnight Express, which featured one of his best-known tracks, 'Chase'. That apart, he also co-produced the score to the Tom Cruise starrer Top Gun (1985), best known for the hits 'Danger Zone' by Kenny Loggins and 'Take My Breath Away' by Berlin.

French electronica duo Daft Punk paid tribute to Moroder in their 2013 album Random Access Memories (the one with 'Get Lucky', yes) in a track called 'Giorgio by Moroder', featuring the latter's voice.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Moroder has worked with everyone from English multi-genre legend David Bowie to Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue. The latter collaborated with him on his most recent studio album Déjà Vu, released in June this year after a hiatus of 23 years.

Moroder is currently in Mumbai, where, on Saturday, he will be headlining 'Johnnie Walker - The Journey', an annual gig held at Bandra's Mehboob Studio that has previously brought down international artistes such as Bonobo, The Alan Parsons Project, and Snarky Puppy. This will be his first performance in India, where electronic music has become the de facto genre of choice for large sections of the urban youth. Aside from Moroder, American ambient music act Tycho and post-rockers Explosions In The Sky will also be performing.

HuffPost India had a conversation with the legend over email. Excerpts:

You were out of the scene for more than two decades (1992 to 2015), working on film scores and video game themes. What made you take that decision? Was it a desire to connect with listeners through other media instead of just through albums?

I didn’t do too many games — I have done 2 or 3. Interestingly, I did a game for Disney called Tron which was very challenging — it’s a whole range of different sounds, whole range of up-tempo and there I had to give the latest of latest sounds and it was quite difficult — and it isn’t even a 100% finished yet. I’m still working on it. Other than albums and media, I also love seeing people from different parts of the world react to my music live. I change the set based on their reactions. My music is influenced by my surroundings and its sounds and traditions. I’m glad I’m finally making it to India for 'Johnnie Walker - The Journey'. It is going to be very exciting. I’ve played some great sets on my travels — can’t wait to feel the energy India has to offer!

In the beginning of your career, you were a pioneer in using new technology to create sounds and a different genre of music. Now, with so much having advanced so quickly when it comes to digital music (in terms of music production software, sampled instruments etc), do you find it hard to adapt?

No, because I follow what’s happening, I have the new synthesizers which allows me to create new sounds but I use a lot of very good musicians who help me in finding the new sounds and songs which like you said have progressed so much that you have to be on top of it. But it’s very difficult to be on top of everything so...

What are the things you like and dislike about the way electronic music, particularly dance music, is made today?

I think the electronic scene hasn’t changed too much since 'I Feel Love'. I think it started a trend within electronic music — the bass line and the synthesizers are now much more improved but the influences are similar.

Did you ever foresee a day where electronic dance music would become this big a part of mainstream culture?

I like what is happening now — the sounds are getting so nice and clean, nothing is distorted. The analogue sounds are great too, but the new ones don’t sound like they did. But that's not a bad thing. If you listen to Skrillex or Zedd, [I think] they are absolutely great sounds.

Tickets for the gig are available here.

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