1883 Magazine
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Introducing Sylvain Dalido, aka Popular Computer. Under this technological guise, Dalido’s first dalliance into the electro pop music spectre was met with immediate praise and success. First he wowed Tiefschwarz with track I Can’t Forget You, who then promptly added the track to their legendary Misch Masch album.  Next, he went on to capture the attention of Kitsuné, with the famed French label releasing the mix as both a single and on the Kitsuné Fur compilation.

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Pretty soon, Popular Computer became one of the original Kitsuné artists and staff producers, with the DJ/artist releasing an impressive series of tracks via the label across the years. Such work garnered him a reputation for his slick mixing skills and in turn, saw him produce his take on the likes of tracks by New Young Pony Club, Mylo, Hot Chip, Pacific! The Whip & Japanese electro superstar, Shinichi Osawa.
Three years down the line and having now joined forces with Chilly Gonzales’ label Schmooze Recordings; Popular Computer is back with his second album outing entitled LiTE. Taking cues from time spent in Japan where he headlined the infamous Womb club in Tokoyo; the record embodies a distinctive Japanese feel fused with a fresh summertime sound. In the run up to the album release, here Popular Computer catches up with 1883 to talk changing labels, his links with fashion and playing the best gig of his life.

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What’s the backstory to Popular Computer?
I studied cinema in Brittany in the west of France. I started playing bass and when I was teenager and then began to dabble in music further. In the summer, I worked with computers calculating weights. Then in Paris, in the nineties, I worked in Theatres and Cinemas. I decided to make music on a computer when I realised that it was able and strong enough to work with a sequencer. The result of a song obsessed me.
How did working with Kitsuné and then Schmooze Recordings come about?
First I worked with Kitsuné a long time ago. It was really fun at this time because when I just finished a new track, I used to go at the Kitsuné office to share a listen… and that’s why I maybe released on Kitsuné about 5 or 6 tracks in 1 year!! Then I met Marc from Rise Recordings in Paris and he released my first album Senso Data with a single 12” and a beautiful CD.

Later, I met Eddie from Schmooze but via the Internet. I already knew a guy who used to work in the Schmooze team. Together we decided to make it alive again with a single Lointain and my album called LiTE which it was already finished and mastered etc.
Later I gave to them all the music I had, some new and old stuff. They really know well my work, and I trust them very much.
What is it exactly that makes you decide which tracks you’d like to remix?
To be honest, I don’t decide which tracks I would like to remix. I refused only once time to do one. Labels or artists come directly to me and I have been lucky because each time artists are really talented and respectful of my work. At the beginning, I worked with a French manager Olivier Linglet in Paris, who really helped me and most time people ask me because they wait for something special, I guess…
Where has been your most favourite place to DJ? What was it that made it so memorable?
In Tokyo, at the Womb club. It was my first time on stage as Popular Computer. We had a big dinner before without alcohol, just 1 saké. I did a special mix with 50 % of my music (Senso Data period), the sound was big and later I met Shinichi Osawa…
Having played around the world, how would you compare the music scenes in the various cities?
Woahh! You know I’m not an expert. I played in Korea, Japan and Paris…
What other music artists are you currently listening to?
I like French music of course like Jane Birkin and other old stuff.

Check these out: shortmix, minimix

You can download a mix with recent releases by other artists, just here:
popular computer mix 1


Having been featured in Dior and Versace shows as well as being included in a Chanel playlist, are you a big follower of fashion? What designers are you currently rating?
I’m not a big follower of fashion but I like the qualities of it … I’m still like a teenager when it comes to clothes but most time I like them to be elegant. I’m wearing some Agnes b. shirts and shoes right now. My wife knows everything about fashion so I know a little bit about Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake and we love Yves Saint Laurent…
Can you tell me a bit about the new album LiTE?
LiTE is firstly a sort of record for meditation. Really, my aim for it is light (sun and meditation) but also light (not heavy) with basic aesthetics of music production initially. It is not only about the summer and it is round like a sun (artwork), naïve and fresh, deep and strong. It’s like a sunny Christmas morning if you want a frozen chocolate. You must listen to LiTE while skiing :)
But it is also a spring-like album.
There are subliminal messages inside as usual, as that’s what I like to do. With Senso Data we were in space, with LiTE we are in the sky. But it is still like a holiday snap!! Each track is like a postcard. I always wanted to give a strong identity to my music.
Do you have any tours in the works? Are you going to be playing any festivals this summer?
We are still working on a tour to make it possible. I have already got some good suggestions.
How involved are you in all the various aspects of Popular Computer?
Akutou did the artwork.
The idea with the circle was inspired by a classic Mandala for meditation.
Akutou gave to us a basic (LiTE) digital Mandala images.
So it is a mix of a classic and a "digital" one.
About the video- Juliano, a friend of mine did it. He is exactly like me as he works on a cheap computer. He doesn’t really like “professional” video, so it was ironic but at the same time the Lointain’s video suits perfectly with the song. When we work on old computers, we quickly feel that we are living in the past ;) it’s paradoxical because a computer is still a really modern music instrument.
I think we were successful with the video because lots of people have looked at it but they seem to be perplexed about it because there are no comments! LOL
I’m really involved, like a control freak, as it’s my baby.
How would you sum up new single Lointain?
The Lointain single is a prefect mix of retro and modern sound.
What’s next for Popular Computer?
I’m making a new EP. I made a track with Lifelike, it should be released in April on his own label Computer Science… I’m thinking about a new LP, I have already got a new track called Vallie Dali Lalala…
LiTE is out March 5th via Schoomze Recordings

Words By Aideen Shannon

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