Chromeo may be the only Arab/Jewish electrofunk duo on the planet. Let that mixture be a smooth metaphor for their unique sound, a blend of fancy synthesizers, a talk box, old computers, and older funk phrasings, torn from the days when the lords of the disco wore white suits and Jheri curls.
But even if Patrick “P Thug” Gemayel and David “Dave 1” Macklovitch, who met in high school in Montreal, unabashedly worship at the altar of Hall & Oates, they keep one ear to hip hop too, turning knobs on their drum machines the way they turn festivals into disco funk jamz.
But they’re not all hot nights and cool suits: until recently, Gemayel put his business school acumen to work as the band’s tour manager, and Macklovitch is earning his PhD in French literature from Columbia. Dissertation topic: “Theorizing the Pleasure of Reading in Eighteenth Century France.”
But right now, he’s all about the pleasure of getting down. In advance of their new album Business Casual, Motherboard visited the groove scientists at home in Montreal to sample their secret synth sauce, and see how it’s made.