Lemaitre haven’t even released an album yet, but the two 20-year-olds, Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou, are already causing a stir in the electronic universe. Taking inspiration from an assimilation of influences ranging from Daft Punk, Röyksopp, Justice, Ratatat, Phoenix and Noisia, Lemaitre have reached number one in the iTunes Electronica chart in the USA and Canada, and number nine in the UK. They EP Relativity 3 was released at the start of March and Aesthetica speaks to the Norwegian duo about their work and future projects.
A: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you yet?
L: A mix between soft synths and melodies and hard hitting bass lines, at times glitchy and very sample based. Also Disco, house, electronic, indie and pop influences – pretty organic sounds.
A: You reached number one in the iTunes dance chart in the US and Canada without press or radio. How did you achieve that?
We reached number one on the iTunes Electronica chart in the USA and Canada on the last EP (Relativity 2) and stayed there for a week – without any promo. We actually just did two Facebook updates and one tweet for that EP. On Relativity 3 we were registered on the mainstream dance chart so it was a bit harder to get to number one, but we were number four in the USA and Canada, number seven in the UK, number two in France and top 10 in a lot of other countries, so we were pretty happy with that.
Our music has always spread through the internet and has mostly been for free download. Our following has grown, and people seem to buy our music because they want to support us, rather than because we make them go to iTunes. We haven’t had any strategy really, apart from trying to make our music as available as possible. That leads to people using your music for all kinds of stuff like YouTube videos. Maybe the ones who find music through the internet also are the ones who buy most on iTunes?
A: What inspires you lyrically?
L: Films, books, TV series’, news and all kinds of other writing. We write about all things except love and partying. There are already enough songs about that. There are some songs about some weird stuff. And they might seem nonsensical, but there are actually meanings behind all the lyrics.
A: You design and construct your own live set, incorporating light, visuals and sound. How important is the multi-media aspect to you?
L: We have always liked images and visuals to accompany music. A dream would be to score a Miyazaki film. So when we started playing live we decided to have something visual, also because we are only two people on stage. The visuals we have now consists of either one or three “sculptures” that we project animations on. How many we use depends on how big the stage is. It is an ongoing project along with the live performance.
You can see them in action here: http://youtu.be/kTP7FGaB9os
A: What is the best piece of advice you have been given so far?
L: Hard work pays off.
A: There are shades of Prince in some of your tracks, such as Fiction. Is he a big influence?
L: Yes, him and a lot other funk, R&B and disco artists. We make all the sample we use in our music from scratch. So we try to emulate the sound of that era. And that way we can recreate basically any style of music with the chords and melodies we want to sample.
A: What are your plans for the year ahead?
L: We are going to tour a lot. Now in the spring, mostly Europe, and after the summer more in the USA and Australia. Our remix of Mat Zo & Porter Robinson’s Easy will be out 14 April. We are also going to release more music that we are currently working on in-between touring. There will be something new out before summer!
Video courtesy of You Tube.