Productive Sydney based duo Matt Van Schie (Van She/Du Tonc) and Michael Di Francesco (Touch Sensitive) are Tear Council, their debut track “Anywhere” was well received when it arrived back in February with its 80s influenced new waveish sound.
Now they unleash the brand new mixtape aptly titled “Mixtape For The Heart”, this is on that 80s throwback vibe with a funky yet romantic sound for those long summer drives.
Be on the lookout for their second single release “My Car” which will be released in June.
Australian dance music trail-blazers, Future Classic, have teamed up with Le Coq Sportif to produce a line of clothing plus reissues and remixes from their back catalog. First up, Touch Sensitive’s modern-classic, ‘Body Stop,’ gets a MASSIVE dance floor reworking from the legendary, Derrick Carter.
As per their campaign, the only way to get these tunes is to buy the clothing item that has been paired with it… happy shopping!
This is important – Touch Sensitive and Discobelle have joined pizza forces to create the pizza patrol in order to bring you this very special exclusive pizza mix. Each of the twelve tracks included is like another delicious topping on an already hot and ready pizza.
This mix has a touch of golden sunshine and a whole lot of disco sheen; somewhere in here is a dance number across a light up floor with John Travolta and he may or may not be wearing bell bottoms and five gold chains. Touch Sensitive pays homage to his label with the leading track “Love Talking” by fellow Future Classic artist Panama. Hip gyrating and hand clapping moments are rife, especially during LIME’s 1981 instrumental version of “You’re My Magician.”
So have I convinced you that you need to listen to this mix yet? Stream it below. Also check out Touch Sensitive’s North American tour dates with Flume, kicking off on August 24th in San Francisco for real life pizza party times.
1. Panama – Love Talking
2. Masters at Work – Odyssey
3. KZA – Le Troublant Acid (Original Mix)
4. LIME – You’re my Magician (Instrumental)
5. Bo Boss – Teqilla (Dub)
6. Amin Peck – Coda
7. Le Knight Club – Cherie D Amore
8. Ladies Choice – American Man
9. Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Most Wanted
10. Jess & Crabe – F9 Riot Squad
11. Fantom – Faithful
12. Martin Circus – Disco Circus
Upcoming Tour Dates with Flume:
Aug 24: San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
Aug 27: Arcata, CA – Kate Buchanan Room
Aug 29: Seattle, WA – Neumos
Aug 30: Victoria, BC – Sugar Nightclub
Aug 31: Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Sept 3: Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Sept 4: Chicago, IL – Metro
Sept 5: Toronto, ON – Opera House
Sept 9: Montreal, QC – Telus Theater
Sept 11: New York, NY – Webster Hall
Sept 12: Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
Sept 13: Pittsburgh, PA – Altar
I first heard of Touch Sensitive last year when him and dream babe Anna Lunoe released their collaboration “Real Talk” on the always wonderful Future Classic. Those vocal stabs, the uplifting piano, that funky bassline, did I mention the PIANO? I was hooked from that moment on. Since then this Australian has graced us with this debut EP ‘Show Me The Pizza Guy’, where I was introduced to the world of pizza disco with the incredible slow burning “Pizza Guy”. It’s the type of track that makes you question the mysteries of life, if listening to that song doesn’t make you feel feelings then you must be dead inside. If that wasn’t enough, this elusive musical shaman recently released a killer remix of Hayden James’ “Permission To Love”, and is getting ready for his North American tour with Flume. He was kind enough to let us over here at Discobelle pick his brain.
Lauren: You’re gearing up for your upcoming tour with fellow Aussie Flume, what’s one thing you need to have while on the road?
Touch Sensitive: My in ear monitors because they also double as a do not disturb sign and ear plugs.
Lauren: How did you become involved with Future Classic, and what has it been like working with them?
Touch Sensitive: I’ve known the guys for a ages and “Body Stop” was one of their first releases way back in time so we’ve always spoken about working together it’s nice when someone offers to work with you, life’s too short to do something you don’t want to, all you have is time so if someone is offering theirs it’s a beautiful thing.
Lauren: I love your song ‘Pizza Guy’, the title is especially great. how did you come up with that name?
Touch Sensitive: Nick (from Van She) had a night called Pizza in sydney and never invited me to play at it and I guess I was a bit hurt, so in the heat of the moment before the bounce I called it pizza guy and it stuck so it’s an ode to nick in a sense, he’s very pleased by this, so much so he participated in the film clip.
Lauren: Speaking of pizza, favorite toppings, go.
Touch Sensitive: Garlic and olive oil, to me if you get that right you don’t really need much else only a few things of high quality.
Lauren: Everyone has their own style of producing, what’s your music making process like?
Touch Sensitive: Depends, sometimes I just improvise and other times there’s a clear vision but it’s hard because I’m never really happy with them, they can always be better. Also with electronics ie a computer it’s easy to forget that lots of cool tracks are made with people manipulating the machines in real time and capturing the performance, it’s easy to forget that when you’re sitting at a computer alone looking at a screen expecting something to happen, to younger dudes the computer is an instrument but I still see it as a tape recorder or a sampler, who’s going to use a real sampler these days unless it has a specific sound etc etc and even then it’s a pain…….
Lauren: Do you prefer to work alone, or collaborate with others?
Touch Sensitive: Yes always working with people, if there’s nobody else around and I’m stuck I’ll grab a sample from something and treat it like it’s another musician or something to feed off.
Lauren: What type of music did you grow up on?
Touch Sensitive: My dad has impeccable taste in music, i thought he was the coolest dad ever when he bought home the black box record and I remember the guitar solo in “Comfortably Numb” as the first time I ever got goose bumps so I’ve been chasing them ever since, sometimes even when I think about a track I like I get them, I can’t explain it. I look like a plucked chicken when it happens, it’s very amusing to my friends.
Lauren: If you could pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Touch Sensitive: That’s really tricky, I’m not sure but “What’s Going In” or “In Our Lifetime” by Marvin Gaye are up there but a couple of songs I can listen to on repeat are “Paradise” by Change and “Paradise” by Gregg Diamond/Bionic Boogie.
Lauren: Any artists in particular that have currently been inspiring you?
Touch Sensitive: I really like what Pyschmagik are doing then Classixx, Isaac Tichauer, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Beautiful Swimmers.
Lauren: What are your plans for the near future?
Touch Sensitive: Finish some new tracks, finish some old ones do some exercise and work on my live show.
Hayden James is a Sydney based producer whose debut single “Permission to Love” creeped into our subconscious a few weeks ago and since then it has never left. A deep disco track, “Permission to Love” combines funky guitar riffs and vocal modulations to create a song that simmers with sensuality. Yes this is the one that will make you melt.
“Permission to Love” comes with remixes from Hayden’s fellow Future Classic label mates Touch Sensitive and Charles Murdoch. Today we bring you the premiere and first listen to Touch Sensitive’s take on the track. Touch Sensitive is Van She’s bassist/keyboardist Michael Di Francesco and also the man behind “Pizza Guy,” arguably the biggest track of 2013 so far. He breathes new life into “Permission to Love,” giving the track an upbeat disco house bounce.
The “Permission To Love” remix package is out now on Beatport.
TOUCH SENSITIVE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
June 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Private Label @ Lure w/ Penguin Prison
June 29 – Costa Mesa, CA – China Palace w/ Perseus
July 11 – Washington, DC – U Hall w/ Aeroplane
July 12 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
July 13 – Miami, FL – Bardot w/ Eli Escobar
July 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Saguaro Hotel w/ Anna Lunoe (DJ Set)
July 18 – San Francisco, CA – Popscene @ Rickshaw Stop w/ Le Youth
July 19 – Denver, CO – Norad
July 20 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace w/ Holy Ghost (Live)
Touch Sensitive Tour Support (Flume)
Aug 24 – San Francisco – Mezzanine w/ Flume
Aug 27 – Arcata, CA – Kate Buchanan Room w/ Flume
Aug 29 – Seattle – Neumos w/ Flume
Aug 30 – Victoria – Sugar Nightclub w/ Flume
Aug 31 – Vancouver – Vogue Theatre w/ Flume
Sept 3 – Minneapolis – First Avenue w/ Flume
Sept 4 – Chicago – Metro w/ Flume
Sept 5 – Toronto – Opera House w/ Flume
Sept 9 – Montreal – Telus Theater w/ Flume
Sept 11 – New York – Webster Hall w/ Flume
Sept 12 – Philadelphia – Theatre of Living Arts w/ Flume
Sept 13 – Pittsburgh – Altar w/ Flume
Last month Future Classic’sTouch Sensitive forever changed the way we feel about pizza with his single “Pizza Guy”. As if my love for the honorary food group (here code name: records) couldn’t be more intense, Touch Sensitive has gone ahead and taken it into outer space and churned out a truly intergalactic space jam (Michael Jordan reference intended). The track first appeared at the beginning of Goldroom’s Saguaro Mix 2013 and everyone was clamoring over the mp3 like it was the last slice. To continue the pizza-related enthusiasm, we’re happy to premiere today the official video for “Pizza Guy.” The video features cameos from Flume, Jagwar Ma, Chet Faker and Van She. Mikey (Touch Sensitive) himself is the pizza guy, delivering hot slices of vinyl in a faded blue 1985 400i Ferrari. Yum.
The Van She electropop dynasty continues to unfold its synthy goodness, following up their 2012 album Idea of Happiness with formidable side project releases from Du Tonc (ft. the band’s bassist and singer Matt Van Schie) and Touch Sensitive (keyboardist Michael Di Francesco). The latter’s debut single “Body Stop” was one of the first releases on stellar Sydney label Future Classic, and helped to define the leisurely disco-house sound of the imprint.
Now, after collaborating with Anna Lunoe on the Beatport-topping 2012 single “Real Talk,” Touch Sensitive has finally released a couple of new singles under his own name, including the excellent slow-burner “Pizza Guy.” Surrender to a decadent melange of glittery arpeggios, fat funky basslines and chopped up vocals in this gorgeously produced track, described by a friend as “optimized for play when the sun is no greater than 10 degrees above the horizon.”
For a dj, vocalist, and producer who has put together sound pieces for major clothing brands, hosted her own radio show, released works on labels like Fool’s Gold and Future Classic, and headlined shows in some of the world’s largest cities, Anna Lunoe is a surprisingly down-to-earth person.
She’s a pleasure to be around with a relaxed demeanor, infectious smile and charming Australian accent.
Focussed on the personal journey toward artistic fulfillment, Lunoe approaches music production as if it were a muscle needing regular exercise; which helps explain the abundance of work she’s been releasing over the past couple years including a collaboration with Van She keyboardist and producer Touch Sensitive on “Real Talk,” which became Beatport‘s 4th highest selling indie/nu disco track of 2012.
Our interview takes place in a stairwell above Nashville’s High Watt club where she’s about to perform. There we sit, geeking out about dance music and sweating from the rising heat, occasionally pausing to enjoy one of the songs being played bellow.
Joseph: Having grown up in Sydney, why do you think Australia is such a safe haven for dance music?
Anna: That’s a great perception people have on Australian dance music. I think it’s because Australia’s largely a really positive country. We’re not talking about Berlin’s underground late night minimal techno sound, we’re talking music made for open-air bars and festivals with positive with hooks and synths. For the most part it sounds like summertime.
Joseph: There are a lot of Australians like yourself who’ve migrated to LA. Do you have a group of friends out there?
Joseph: The first time I saw your name was on “Love Ting” with Wax Motif and then I kept seeing you popping up on various collaborations throughout the year. What does the back-end look like when you’re working with someone?
Anna: Every time it’s different. Sometimes we’ll sit down in front of a blank Ableton session and work it out from scratch. We might intellectualize it before or we might not.
Sometimes it starts with one of us making a sketch or someone will come to me with an almost finished track and ask if I want to write a top-line for it.
Joseph: What’s a top-line?
Anna: So a top-line is a vocal line. When you see a Swedish House Mafia song with a girl singing on it, they’ll send that out to a bunch of different vocalists, get them to write lines for it and then they’ll pick the one they think is the catchiest.
Joseph: It’s good to hear though. I know it’s sexist but I’m always skeptical of whether some of these girl dj/producers are actually making their own tracks.
Anna: Well yeah, It could be any producer, not just girls. I could tell you a bunch of guy producers who have ghost writers working on their stuff. People you’d never think. It’s very common.
I’ll be the first to tell you though, a lot of people get help. I don’t think that’s always a bad thing, but I do think it’s not so great when no one talks honestly about it.
Joseph: Well I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “help,” but it’s not always transparent as to whether somebody’s name on a track means they did it, you know?
Anna: Yeah. It’s something that trickles down from pop music. Obviously Rihanna and Beyonce aren’t writing or producing their own music and their name’s all over it. They are the brand.
It’s a very grey area but If I wrote it with someone, I’ll tell you.
Joseph: So do you have some tracks you’ve made on your own from start-to-finish?
Anna: Ya! The track “Up and Down” off of the Fool’s Gold release was me start-to-finish. And plenty more coming out next year.
Joseph: What kind of sounds are inspiring you right now?
Anna: Right now I’m really going against the loudness of everything. All the songs I want to make are really stripped back, or maybe just not so heavy.
Joseph: I feel like a lot of Australian music is headed that way as artists continue to change and grow — but I feel like there’s something missing between the super pumping “EDM” and all the casual disco and deep house out there right now.
What happened to the fun, gritty, vocally-driven dance sound that surfaced around 2007 when all of this was just taking off? Is there just not as much good indie-pop to make awesome remixes? As an Australian, what do you think about all of this? [laughter]
Anna: I have so much to talk about on this!
So basically, 2007 was when I first gatewayed into this type of music as well, so I can personally vouch that it was really exciting.
And then the EDM thing started to build and we all got channeled into this huge beast and it all kinda just blew out.
I think a lot of people feel the same way, like “hold up, we’ve lost something here.”
The other problem is, since no one’s buying music anymore the labels are pretty much only going for short-term pop turnover to pay the bills and not focusing on developing artists.
In this climate, one bad album gets you dropped. Think about what that would mean if a band like Radiohead got signed today — we mightn’t have Ok Computer, Kid A or The Bends because their first album only had one crossover hit on it.
In the long term, this might be costing us albums that unite a generation. I’m not saying, ‘things were better before,’ because there were problems with the old system too. My point is, the way we consume music has changed.
Some things about that are really exciting though, like seeing underground producers getting big pop opportunities — like Diplo working with Usher and Lil Wayne or Santigold being sampled by Jay Z.
I love the access it gives artists. You can make something, upload it and if it’s good, people will spread it. That’s cool.
I guess the downside of having more listening platforms is that our attention is more divided. It’s rarer for an alternative artist to make a really big impact — like a generationally uniting impact. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but it is rare.
photo: Justin Vague & Studio Das Monk
Joseph: As an artist in this generation of music business, how do you keep from getting jaded?
Anna: At the end of the day, I’m just fortunate to get to do the thing that makes me happiest right now, which is making music in as many different situations as possible.
I had a few years before I really started working on music where I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t know how to action it and found myself getting pretty frustrated — especially because I wanted to do everything myself and not ask for help.
Joseph: I think a lot of people considering music production go through similar processes; and end up kicking themselves for not starting earlier.
All these kids…
Are there no more normal, late-20’s producers? Do they all have to be 15?
Anna: Ya, if you’re not 15 forget about it! [laughter]
Don’t let all these young producers scare you.
When you think about all of the sounds your brain has been consuming over the years — whether you’re a blogger or a DJ — that gives you a unique view to bring to the table.
I met this awesome 60-year-old parks and recreation guy once and I’ve never met anyone so empowered with dance music in my life!
He was making techno! He was making house music! He was making disco! He knew everything about every software. If you can keep learning as you move through life and continue to move forward artistically, that’s the journey right?
Good on you young producers, you’re very inspiring but you’re also scaring everybody! So the message here is, if you’re over the age of 21, you’re not dead!
Don’t worry about it, just fuckin’ work!
Joseph: This’ll be the last one because I know you have to go. Have you ever considered yourself something of a role model to aspiring girl producers?
Anna: I don’t think anyone thinks of themselves as a role model but I’ve always looked up to the strong, idealistic women of the music industry. I still love Bjork, Fiona Apple, Annie Lennox, Robyn, Sheila E, Ladybug from Digable Planet — any woman who’s doing something different. People who go with the grain and do things that are already there and do it well, that’s cool too but for me it’s all about contributing something. That’s what inspires me. I don’t know if I’m executing that just yet but that’s the goal I am working towards.