David Macklovitch (Dave 1) and Patrick Gemayel (P-Thugg), known collectively as Chromeo, describe themselves as “the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.” All wisecracks aside, the duo have been making music together since they were kids growing up in Montreal, Canada.
After playing in a high school band together, Dave 1 and P-Thugg started producing hip-hop, and right around the same time Dave 1 met then-burgeoning producer Tiga at a record store where the two musicians worked at the time. By 2001, Chromeo was signed to Tiga’s label Turbo and the rest is history.
Dave 1 (who’s coincidentally A-Trak‘s older brother) takes on guitar and lead vocals, crooning modern day love songs (see “Tenderoni”) and channeling a Robert Palmer-inspired “neurotic Jew take on the loverboy thing.” He’s balanced out by P-Thugg on keyboard, synth and (most characteristically) talk box, which he demonstrates in the video above.
Drawn to “unpopular” electrofunk stylings borrowed from idols like Billy Ocean, Hall & Oates, Rick James and Marvin Gaye, the duo marries them with a robotic, synth electro explosion funneled in from the late 70s and early 80s, Chromeo’s emerged with a style that’s completely their own… down to the legs of their respective laptop and keyboard stands, which are fashioned with glowing fishnet-encased female legs that appear to be straight out of the 80s holiday classic A Christmas Story.
When they’re not making futuristic boogie jams, Dave 1 is working on finishing his PhD in French Literature at Columbia University, while teaching French language classes at Barnard. P-Thugg is a business accountant on the side, but they both agree they need the band to do whatever they want.
Their infectious persona also radiates through their “faux cinematographical” music videos, which they like to depict as mini movies. Take in some of our favorite music videos below and watch their Creator profile (above) to see how they take the "straight, square grooves" of the late 70s and early 80s and make them fit for the dance floors of today.
“When The Night Falls” directed by DANIELS
“Hot Mess” directed by Jérémie Rozan of Surface2Air
DJ Mehdi feat. Chromeo: “I Am Somebody”