Who said disco was dead? Montreal duo Fabrikate are keeping disco alive in the constantly evolving dance music scene. Taking a trip back in time to the 70s where platform shoes, elaborate outfits, glitter and that four-to-the-floor sound dominated night clubs all over North America, Chuck and Francis are set to release their 11-track album ‘Made Me Feel‘ out on November 8th!
You both had a strong influence of being surrounded by disco music via your parents growing up. Which artists were some of their favorites, and how has this shaped your musical taste in the studio?
Chuck: I have vivid memories of my dad introducing me to songs such as Giorgio Moroder’s and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” and Ronni Griffith’s “Desire.” He always made sure to dissect every element of the songs he showed me, highlighting specific instrument parts to make sure I heard them. In hindsight, I think he particularly loved records that would include a solid synthesizer part, so basically the later evolution of disco. We used to blast some Lime and Harold Faltermayer in his car whenever we would go out for groceries or driving to my baseball games. I don’t think he meant to voluntarily educate me by doing so, he was just very vocal and passionate about the music that had shaped his teenage years and I truly felt that. He would always provide me with imaginative imagery of when he would go out and dance in Montreal’s biggest disco clubs to his favorite records. My mom, on the other hand, was all about the classics. She owned a bunch of K-Tel disco compilations records (even though we played cassettes and cd’s) and the top hits were her thing. Boney M, Earth Wind and Fire, the Bee Gees… you name it, she loved it. I think inherently I always associated disco to good and simpler times. I love a lot of different genres of music but nothing comes close to disco as far instantly generating a good feeling, and that’s why I do music. Because it makes me feel good.
‘We want people to come together through the power of our performance. That’s how we connect with them.’ – Chuck
Francis: Honestly, I really can’t complain. I’ve been surrounded by great music my whole life: Harold Melvin and The Bluentes, Barry White, The Beatles, and Rolling Stones…Specifically for disco Lime was huge for me, Curtis Mayfield and D Train…Its really shaped how I look at the track, and think of building it – like Chuck said, all of the disco stuff just has great vibe and feel and rhythm that really drives the track forward, so we try to follow that.
Disco culture was very inclusive, and non-judgemental. Why do you feel that younger generations should explore this genre and how can the music industry sustain the sound?
Chuck: The mere fact that disco originated from black funk and soul roots in a highly racially tense era in the United States, and particularly adored by the homosexual community, explains how disco got a bad rap from the get go. The disco community never saw colour, race or sexual orientation as a factor to being accepted within it. It always was about the music, the experience and that unmatchable energy on the dance floor. I think the younger generations are already exposed to the remnants of disco in its many evolutions, such as house and dance music, and kids are becoming more and more aware of how some of their favourite dance records are sampling or strongly inspired by disco.
‘The disco community never saw colour, race or sexual orientation as a factor to being accepted within it. It always was about the music, the experience and that unmatchable energy on the dance floor.’ – Chuck
Francis: Yeah, exactly. I feel the younger generation is slowly getting rid of the labels and clichés of disco being their parents old cheesy music, and are starting to truly appreciate the music for what it is and what it stood for back in the day. The industry doesn’t have to try to adapt, disco is already back.
On November 1st, you released the first single ‘Love Was Real’ off your ‘Made Me Feel’ album [which is set to release on November 8th], with 11 disco infused originals. What were some of your key inspirations behind the album?
Chuck: The title of the album, Made Me Feel, captures precisely what our mindset was when producing this project. We were constantly on a quest to channel our inner inspirations to create music that just felt authentic to us.
Francis: The more we felt we were trying too hard in the process of production, the more we knew we were going away from the original plan of making simple yet catchy music that brought us back to our house and disco roots. Expect lots of sampling of our favourite disco records, but remodeled into house inspired tracks.
“I think the key word here is authenticity. That’s what our project is all about. We’re always aiming to put the music first as we want people to fully experience the moment instead of staring at us Dj’ing.” – Francis
Music connection is such an important part of being an artist these days. Making the efforts to truly connect with your audience while performing, makes a difference in the vibe of the dance floor. How would you say you try to connect with your audience, for an authentic experience with Fabrikate?
Francis: I think the key word here is authenticity. That’s what our project is all about. We’re always aiming to put the music first as we want people to fully experience the moment instead of staring at us Dj’ing. We always try to provide the audience with a fully immersive visual and sonic experience so that we can connect with them through the power of the music.
Chuck: The music listening experience has become more individualistic than ever, with the possibility of having literally every single song ever recorded in our pockets playing though our earbuds. What we want to provide to the audience is the exact opposite of that. We want people to feel something that goes beyond individuality, we want people to come together through the power of our performance. That’s how we connect with them.