A catalog full of ecstasy
Hot Chip’s discography demonstrates their totally fluid musical identity. Their
sound is, and always has been, an expressive melding pot of classic samplers, analog synths,
electric guitars, disco grooves, spoken word - the list goes on. Their diverse sound is, as
Alexis points out, the result of an open-minded approach.
With our band Hot Chip, we tend to be quite relaxed. What’s good about it is
that we like the music that each person listens to, but they’re not always identical.
Someone’s always bringing something different.
Each member of the band doesn’t just bring something new to the table; they’re a prolific
bunch. Beyond Hot Chip’s 7-album catalog, there’s a plethora of side-projects, solo
ventures, and collaborations. For Alexis’ latest project with techno producer Justus
Köhncke, Fainting By Numbers, he took Pigments for a spin for some sonic inspiration.
Music and lyrics; regardless of which comes first, Alexis emphasizes the importance
of making them compatible. But he also understands that in searching for that compatibility,
in trying to nail a musical vibe to match the words, you might end up somewhere entirely
With Pigments, exploration is the aim of the game - but it allows you to find new sonic
territory without ever losing your way.
When making the song, it’s important to me that the atmosphere created by the
instruments resonates with the mood and the feel of the lyrics - but I’m also quite keen to
explore sound and to take things away from their starting point… to see whether you can make
something more abstract sounding by removing certain elements that you’d normally rely on.
As mentioned earlier, Alexis and the band try to keep their approach relaxed and their
musical experimentation enjoyable. This ethos also happens to be at the core of Pigments’
design; a powerful instrument that’s fun to use, no matter what tweaks you make or which
sounds you’re looking for.
It’s helpful to be able to play around - that’s what I enjoy in music making.
Whilst there might be a serious vibe to some of the music I make, music making has to be
playful. That’s always been there in Hot Chip.
Further to this, the joy of playing with something new often leads you to a new creative
place. Alexis notes that if an instrument is unfamiliar to you, it may deliver results that
are unexpected, in a good way. And if it’s easy to use, then it might well lead the way -
and what’s the harm in that?
I often get inspired by a synthesizer I'm using - and sometimes not knowing my
way around a synth can mean I have happy accidents with what I'm coming up with. So far in
using Pigments it's very helpful in immediately giving you something quite playful to work