How Do You Do: Alexis Taylor Interviewed

Hot Chip, solo guises and clearing the dancefloor...

Alexis Taylor is the voice, the melancholic soul of Hot Chip.

Charged with pulling the band's myriad influences into a singular pop stream via his vocals, the songwriter has more than a few ideas of his own.

Recently hosting a solo residency at Dalston venue Servant Jazz Quarters, Taylor was able to indulge his rather more experimental whims.

With a re-vamped incarnation of About Group performing soon in The Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room, it's easy to view the singer as an experimentalist, as someone existing outside the dance spectrum.

Yet the reality is that Taylor pulls influences from wherever he can locate them. Set to DJ at the Kitsune 'Fremch Kiss' Valentine's Special in London next month, the Hot Chip frontman will prove himself as adept at digging the crates as he is at pushing back boundaries.

Clash tracked down the singer for a brief catch up…

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Hot Chip, 'I Feel Better'

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How did you get involved in Kitsune’s 'French Kiss' party?
I have known Gildas and the Kitsune label for a long time, as they released Hot Chip's first album in France. I have DJed with Gildas in Asia and released Fainting By Numbers' first collaborative track (before we had that name) on a Kitsune compilation, too. They asked me to DJ at this and I was happy to be involved.

Have you DJ’d with this line up before? Is there anyone you’re particularly looking forward to checking out?

What can fans expect from your set? Any surprises? 
New and unreleased material, disco, house, bangers.

You held a residency at Servant Jazz Quarters last year. Is there any more solo activity on the horizon? Will any of the material you played then be given an official release?
Yes, I will be at The Ace Hotel March 30th as part of The Local's new series of nights there, and I have more dates to be announced. I have new music on the way soon…

There is a wide gap between your solo work and DJ sets. Is it refreshing to move between those spheres?
You're right. They are quite different things, really. When I DJ I wouldn't want to play out some sad-eyed love songs and introspective ballads. I want to make people dance, in a bold statement of originality.

House is a massive sound right now, but do you feel its overwhelming popularity – through Disclosure, MK et al – has dulled the scene, slightly?
I don't really know about all that stuff. I tend to like Detroit and Chicago things more, and then some odd records that don't fit in so conventionally.

About Group are set to play the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. What can fans expect from this performance?
We will be playing only our third show with the new line-up of Susumu Mukai (Zongamin) and Rupert Clervaux (Sian Alice Group) added to the band, so we will be trying some new things out. We covered 'Sign O' The Times' by Prince at our last show. Maybe something new will appear at this one.

How does it feel to be bringing such left field music to the Elgar Room? It’s a neat reversal of the norm.
I don't know really – I heard it is a bit like a conference room. Maybe I need to work on my Powerpoint Presentation skills.

What’s in store for Hot Chip? There are rumours you’re back in the studio…
Yes we are. A new album is what we intend to make! …and finally. It’s all going wrong, you’ve cleared the dancefloor.

What is your absolute failsafe record?
'In The Bush' by Musique.

Musique, 'In The Bush'

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Photo: Steve Gullick

Kitsune's 'French Kiss' Valentine's Special takes place at London's Village Underground on February 15th – tickets
About Group play the Royal Albert Hall on February 26th – tickets

Find Alexis online

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