Ready to dance? Because Marie Davidson is coming to this weekend’s VISIONS festival and she’s got plans for your feet, head and hips.
The one-day festival of music, food and celebrity beer pong returns triumphant for its fifth year to Hackney today.
The line-up is large and the food trucks are ready. What are you waiting for?
One of the wild card acts on this year’s festival bill is the dark synthwave star Marie Davidson. Hailing from Montreal, she’s made a name for herself as a long-time member of Essaie Pas (DFA Records) and DKMD. But it’s her solo work – and her dance-friendly live sets – which have truly turned heads.
Since 2012, Marie has been working under her own name creating intimate solo work that harnesses a host of synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines to create some sublime moments of synchronized harmony, punctuated by vocals – half sung, half spoken – in both French and English. In other words, she can damn well create a mood.
But at VISIONS, she’ll be rocking the London Fields Brewhouse with a thick slice of her trademark sensual and hypnotic rhythms, complete with tightly sequenced basslines.
To learn a bit more about her influences as a musician we caught up with Marie before she packed her bags and flew into London. Talking music, we asked her to give us her top five influences and a track. And sure enough, from early Detroit techno to obscure Italian electronica, she nails it down.
The End – Nico
I first heard this album when I was 19 years old. I still remember when and how. It was at the house of my boyfriend, who was much older than me and already a full-time musician. He had a big record collection and we would listen to music every time I’d come to see him. He had the record in a CD version, when he put it on, I recognized the voice of Nico, the singer of The Velvet Underground but I heard something much more unique, strange and beautiful at the same time, disturbing. When the song You Forget to Answer came on, I listened in silence but in my head I was thinking ‘Here you go, it’s music like this that I wanna make’. About a month later, I dropped out of school to go make my own music.
Exotica – Chris and Cosey
Another record I picked up in this boyfriend’s collection was Exotica by Chris and Cosey. The record itself is great – but it’s the title track that is really special to me. It was just a few months after the Nico discovery. I heard these percussive sounds and I was fascinated. I would play this record every time my boyfriend would leave the house and dance like crazy. One day, I asked him: “How do they make these sounds?” He said – a drum machine. I said: “Drum machine???” A few weeks later I bought a drum machine. It took me a while to get into programming it, though.
Alleys of Your Mind – Cybotron
When I heard Alleys of Your Mind, I flipped. I had never heard something like that. I was really into Kraftwerk and other cold sounding electronic music – but I had never heard something that with soul like that. I thought it was very sexy, badass and genuine. I feel in love with the music, as well as the vocals. That’s how I discovered about the whole Detroit scene. I had no idea of what was going on there, but eventually it became a major influence. I started working with sequencers and stopped playing violin. I finally learned how to program beats on a drum machine, as well as think about music in patterns and sequence melodic lines.
Outline – Gino Soccio
But there has always been my love for disco music. My favourite disco record hails from the same city as me – Montreal. It’s a record by Gino Soccio called Outline, and the hit on this album is called Dancer. It’s a track that I always return to, and a very good one to play on the dancefloor.
Anahit – Giacinto Scelsi
When it comes to influences, it’s hard for me to only name five tracks. But I need to include a piece by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi. Words are not strong enough to describe how powerful this work is so I’ll let the music speak for itself. Good night and good luck.