After relatively inauspicious beginnings in the French underground, Vitalic (Pascal Arbez)
unleashed what was to become one of the biggest dance releases of the decade, the Poney
EP, onto the world in 2001. The four-song EP appeared on International Deejay Gigolo Records on the cusp of Fischerspooner fever and electroclash madness and became and international hit, establishing Vitalic as a towering figure in French Electro. He’s since been circumspect with live appearances and even more so with his release schedule, but that’s done nothing to diminish his reputation.
Arbez (b.1976) started making music as a teenager, and his first love was Belgian new beat of the late 80s. In the 90s he was inspired by Daft Punk, but fascinated with hardedge underground sounds. Using analog synths, Arbez began writing and recording as Dima
, and his first ‘nosebleed techno’ 12” appeared on the French label Choice in 1996. At around the same time, according to legend, Arbez became good friends with Michel Amato, a.k.a. The Hacker, who he met in the Rex club – home base of Laurent Garnier in Paris. The Hacker suggested him to send his new tracks to DJ Hell, head of Gigolo records in Munich.
Arbez did so, and International DeeJay Gigolo Records released the well known Poney EP in 2001 it became their biggest-selling 12”. It was remixed by (among others) Sven Väth
, which was also a hit with clubbers in the summer of 2001. It’s difficult to overstate the pervasive response to the EP; of its four tracks, three became dancefloor staples. Along with the dark, electro of 'Poney Part 1' and 'Poney Part 2', there was the pounding peak-time anthem, 'La Rock 01'.
While DJs from Aphex Twin to Richie Hawtin to Erol Alkan to 2ManyDJs to
Laurent Garnier to Tiga were caning tracks from Poney, Arbez was engaging in carefully choreographed PR moves, first by playing up his anonymity and later by concocting an elaborate biography involving a Ukrainian upbringing, animal fur trading, the fall of the Berlin Wall and male prostitution. Arbez was very selective with live engagements and applied a similar restraint with his output, issuing only a few 12"'s and a handful of choice remixes over the next few years.
There were remixes for French artists such as Elegia, Demon Vs. Heartbreaker, The Hacker and Bolz Bolz. Later, Arbez remixed tracks by Slam, Manu Le Malin, Basement Jaxx, Bjork
and cross-dressing techno diva Lady B
The new EP, Fanfares
, arrived late in 2004, with a heavier, less atmospheric bent than the Poney EP; just before Christmas in the same year, Vitalic recorded what was to be one of the last ever Peel Sessions. Spring 2005 saw the release of the single 'My Friend Dario', the poppiest Vitalic release to date. The key tracks were collected on the long-awaited debut album released in 2005, OK Cowboy
(Different/Pias). Just before Christmas in the same year, Vitalic recorded what was to be one of the last ever Peel Sessions.
Late in 2006, Arbez released a mix album Résumé
, on the label he founded in 2001 – Citizen Records. As a DJ, Arbez uses the moniker Citizen Crew. He’s also produced work under the pseudonym Hustler Pornstar
Over the years, Arbez has done collaborations: a cover of Detroit techno standard Shari Vari with The Hacker; To L'an-fer From Chicago with DJ Tonio; and, most notably, with New York singer and songwriter Linda Lamb, as The Silures – the All You Can Eat
EP from 2003 was the first time Arbez had worked with a vocalist. Arbez also works with Brigitte, apparently a speech synthesis program whose voice was featured in OK Cowboy.
, the first Vitalic live album, was released in 2007.
> Vitalic Website
> Vitalic on Myspace
> Vitalic live on Myspace
> Vitalic on Citizen Records
> Vitalic Forum
> CTM.08 > UNUSAL CONFIGURATIONS