One of the UK’s foremost exponents of infectious, electronic pop music, Hot Chip are typically at the forefront when it comes to adapting to new technology. This year has presented new challenges, however. With regular touring on hold, the band – still riding the wave of the critically acclaimed recent record A Bath Full of Ecstacy – are set to perform an exclusive, globally-streamed live spectacular dubbed ‘Streamland’ at Margate’s Dreamland this Saturday 5th September.
The show will be performed in front of a socially distanced audience and will be the only live performance of the year for the five-piece. It will be streamed over three broadcasts taking place at different times to cater for different time zones. The broadcast will be available to watch via the DICE app, and tickets are available via streamland.co.uk.
The band say “To all the good people of Margate and around the world, we know it’s been a difficult year and you are starved of the sweet vibrations of live music. After all the cancellations, it’s become really important to us that we perform live and direct to our fans. We’ve teamed up with Streamland to play our only show this year – live with all the maximalist production of a full festival set. It’ll be streamed into your screens at high resolution. We’re pretty stoked about it and can’t wait for you to join us.”
We spoke to Hot Chip’s Felix Martin about what they have in store for those tuning in…
MusicTech: Firstly, how did COVID-19 affect your plans for this year?
Felix Martin: It’s affected our plans quite a bit. We had a massive new show last year with loads of production all related to the artwork and concept of our last album – we had a brilliant time touring and preparing the groundwork for some headlining festival gigs this summer but that hasn’t really worked out as we had planned! There are people in a much worse position though.
MT: You’re known for providing an extraordinary live experience, how important is live performance for you?
FM: It’s the bread and butter of what we do. It always has been really – providing exciting live shows full of instruments and playing and crazy lights and so on.
MT: The upcoming globally streamed show at Dreamland sounds like a complex feat, but it seems like a potential solution for this year’s live gig drought. How did you first get involved with Dreamland and what drew you to the idea?
FM: The idea came via our lovely management company Verdigris … they have been dreaming up all kind of things to keep us occupied…
MT: How have you adjusted your technology/live set-up to accommodate the additional streaming mechanics?
FM: Not at all really – it will be exactly the same as the festival set from last year, which is a good thing! Really nice lights and stage set which will be good to capture on video. I use Ableton Live to sequence MIDI and clicks that control various pieces of analogue synth equipment on stage. A Waldorf KB37 to play eurorack modules and Dave Smith Tempest for drums.
MT: When thinking about the band’s musical trajectory, it seems that both a spirit of fun, hand-in-hand with innovation, are hallmarks of your ever-evolving sound, what else guides you forward?
FM: Experimentation is always fun, combining different influences and playing around with new and old technology. That’s what keeps us going I think.
MT: Your last album, A Bath Full Of Ecstasy, was a hopeful and optimistic record, have you been writing new material during lockdown, and what are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?
FM: I’ve been working on stuff at home and a tiny bit at my friend Al Doyle’s fantastic new studio in East London. Lots of heavy electronic music, we’ll see where it goes!