Vitalic has recorded the original soundtrack to the film Disco Boy by director Giacomo Abbruzzese. The first taste of the OST, “Disco Boy (The Rising)” has been released on 21st March, a few weeks before the full album’s digital release on 13th April. The film hits cinemas in France on 3rd May.
Ten years after his first soundtrack experience, French producer Vitalic returns to the world of film but with a new approach. “For the first film I worked on, The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, I was given free rein to create whatever I wanted, and the director just chose what he liked. For this new project, working with the director Giacomo Abbruzzese was really interesting, with a lot of interaction. When I started, Giacomo gave me loads of ideas about the directions the tracks could take. Then, I read the script and worked while they were filming. There was even a moment when I was in Reunion to play at the Electropicales Festival, and Giacomo was filming there at the same time, so I was able to go down and watch. That’s when I composed the music for the section of the film set in Reunion, a track called “Disco Boy (Cœur des ténèbres)”.
For Vitalic, composing the soundtrack was a lengthy process. “It took me two years to finish the music for the film, during which I was also recording my double album Dissidænce. A huge amount of work on the music was done while the film was being edited, with a lot of iterations between me and the director. Giacomo explained the sort of sounds he wanted, the atmosphere, and also gave me very specific time constraints.”
While Vitalic usually in charge of his production schedule and time management, after five albums and numerous international tours spanning the past twenty years, this time he was completely dedicated to the director’s planning. “I’ve been approached several times in the past by directors wanting to soundtrack their films with Vitalic tracks, and always declined, but with Giacomo Abbruzzese, we had a connection that came from music and music alone. He had a precise idea of what he wanted, but also allowed me to experiment. It was a fascinating way of working. Also, Giacomo describes my music really well, and that’s what interested him – he says that I making ‘ascendant’ music, music that’s born of the earth, of rhythm, and rises towards melody, towards something cosmic. I agree 100% – my music has always been like that. While writing the soundtrack, as I was being guided, I looked for unusual sounds with more of an ambient side sometimes, whereas the tracks I make for my albums are more pop, with a more immediate techno construction style.”
Vitalic describes Disco Boy as “powerful”. The feature film tells the story of two young men with seemingly very different destinies: Alex, a Byelorussian, who signs up for the French Foreign Legion and goes off to fight in the Niger Delta, and Jomo, a young Nigerian revolutionary fighting the oil companies that have devastated his village, but who dreams of being a dancer, a disco boy. Their lives and dreams will intertwine (the film, selected to compete at the Berlinale, recently had its world premiere there). It received the Silver Bear for best artistic contribution, awarded to director of photography Hélène Louvart.
The film’s soundtrack is just as powerful as its story and images. “The music is a character in the film. It has a strong presence and can be listened to like an album. It has depth, and navigates between different atmospheres.” Fans of Vitalic will gravitate to the soaring techno and heavy kick drums of “Disco Boy (The Rising)”, “Vladimir 92” and “King Burger”, with their trademark Vitalic touches, but there are also more intriguing, cinematic tracks like “The Swamps”, “Lost Times”, “La Guerre” and “Winter Is Coming”). You’ll also find darker tracks that emanate strength and evoke emotion powerfully, with only rare swathes of rhythm (“Helicopter”). The track “Disco Boy (Cœur des ténèbres)” is perhaps the most surprising, with a second section that combines African percussion with a guitar-like synth and striking melody.
With nine tracks on the soundtrack, Vitalic reveals a new side to his mastery of machines with brand new sonic landscapes, and shows the ease with which he can contribute to a captivating film project.