April 16, 2014

Little Boots Takes the Discotheque Global With New Live Set

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Earlier this year, British singer Little Boots—real name Victoria Hesketh—released Nocturnes, the long awaited follow up to her 2009 glittering synthpop debut Hands. The Italo dance and nu-disco-inspired LP came after Boots spent a period of almost two years playing DJ gigs all over the world. Little Boots, with Dief & Baker, recently created the Little Boots Discotheque, a new production outfit and live experience fusing her DJ sets and live performances. We talked with the woman herself about the formulation of the LBD and its future plans.

What is the Little Boots Discotheque? What differentiates it from a Little Boots live set and a Little Boots DJ set?
Little Boots: It’s kind of a Little Boots Soundsystem. We strip the live band back to just a few synths and effects units and swap live drums for a drum machine. We’ve amped up the lights and visuals, and mixed all the tracks together so the music never stops. We’ve also reworked many of the LB original tracks or done our own edits, incorporated popular remixes, and also cover a few of our favorite songs in the mix, all with live vocals on top. For a DJ set, it’s just me on my own playing my favorite party music, no singing or live instruments. LBD is 3 of us and is very much live.

What is the live setup like? What equipment are you using during an LBD performance?
LB: We don’t want to give away too many of our secrets, but currently we are using a Dave Smith Tempest, Korg MS20 and Moog Little Phatty, TC Helicon Voicelive Touch 2 and Akai controllers and sample pads, we may include some drum trigger pads in the future also. We program and then live trigger all our visuals and lights from Resolume Avenue and Ableton 9.

Little Boots Discotheque has remixed Pet Shop Boys, Sally Shapiro, and even your own Nocturnes track “Motorways”. Are there plans for future LBD remixes?
LB: Yes, we are already working on more remixes, it comes naturally since we were already remixing and editing LB material to work in the discotheque set up and its something we really enjoy and hope to develop more in the future.

Before the release of Nocturnes, you spent a period of time almost exclusively playing DJ gigs. How did that affect the creation and sound of your last record?
LB: It definitely influenced it as I was a lot more aware of the dance scene and how/ why great dance records worked in clubs, but I had the direction of the album almost figured out before a lot of the DJing. The two kind of caused each other quite naturally.

Is the LBD a replacement of a traditional Little Boots live set or an extension? Will it be touring more in the future?
LB: It’s definitely not a replacement, we are doing a lot of headline live touring throughout the rest of the year, its just great to have another option that can work for the more club style gigs and festivals, for example we are doing and LBD club tour of South America soon which would be impossible right now with the full band and crew given the distances and venues involved.

You just began writing for your third album. Do you foresee LBD influencing the sound of the upcoming record?
LB: I think we work really well together so maybe we will try and write something together for it. Who knows?

Listen to Little Boots Discotheque’s remix of Sally Shapiro’s “This City’s Local Italo Disco DJ Has A Crush On Me” below.

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