Finally, Digitalism have returned! Four years after the German duo released their debut album, Idealism, Jens and Ismail return to Manchester with new material.
At sixteen I was an avid Digitalism fan and so, having never had the chance to see them live, I jumped at the chance to review this gig. In June of this year the electro-house, Hamburg rockers released their second album, I Love You, Dude. While not overly keen on this new material, I was excited to see how they would balance their illustrious classics with the new and unfamiliar.
They started their set in Club Academy as they meant to go on. Immediately engaging the audience, Jens was an extremely animated and captivating lead man. Their unique combination of daring distorted baselines, electro-house beats and synth pop worked like a dream. They also managed to get a good balance between the new and the old, moving seamlessly from their landmark euphoric tracks, such as ‘Zdarlight’, to their more recent releases and then back again.
Their mix of electro-house, rock and pop generally blends together flawlessly however, it can occasionally catch you off guard. At one point I found myself shifting from dancing earnestly to ‘Idealistic’, to suddenly standing awkwardly as they abruptly mixed in what I can only describe as some jarring, distorted guitars. On the whole though, one can’t fault Digitalism for their highly experimental and generally successful blend of genres.
Overall, Digitalism are fantastic to see live. Despite their brilliant, if occasionally awkward, mix of rock and electro-house and their slightly bland new material they delivered a show that left me with a huge smile on my face. The German friends certainly know how to offer a memorable and exciting set.