German duo Digitalism blur the lines between indie rock and dance music, alternating between flashy, energetic new wave and brash, glitchy electro-house. Mashing garage band attitude with pumping electro beats, they emerged during the mid-2000s, regularly featuring on compilations released by the stylish French house label Kitsuné Music. Their acclaimed debut album, Idealism, appeared in 2007, and the pair remixed songs by Daft Punk, Bloc Party, Depeche Mode, and dozens of other acts. In addition to their renowned DJ sets, the duo established a band for performances, featuring modular synthesizers and a live drummer. Digitalism have continued issuing ambitious, genre-traversing full-lengths such as 2016's Mirage and 2019's JPEG, while saving purely club-driven material for EPs like 2020's Reality 2.
After meeting in a record store and joining forces as a DJ team, Jens Moelle and Ismail Tuefekci decided to create a dance project that acted as a band and dubbed it Digitalism. Sounding like Daft Punk with a real live drummer, the single "Idealistic" introduced the band in 2004, first as a white label and soon after on Kitsuné. Follow-up singles "Zdarlight" (2005) and "Jupiter Room" (2006) gained them more fans, and as indie rock's dancefloor presence was increasing, the stage was set for their much-anticipated debut. Idealism arrived in 2007 and was licensed by Toshiba EMI in Japan and Astralwerks in the U.S. After a world tour, Digitalism returned in 2010, back on the Kitsuné label with the EP Blitz, and in 2011 they joined the V2 imprint with their album I Love You, Dude, which featured a guest appearance by Julian Casablancas of the Strokes. Their volume of !K7's DJ-Kicks mix series appeared in 2012.
Following a few non-album singles and EPs, Digitalism's third full-length, Mirage, appeared on their own Magnetism Recording Company in 2016. An extensive string of club-tooled EPs and singles followed, including 2017's 5KY11GHT and 2018's Zdar C1U6. Fourth album JPEG arrived in 2019, recalling their previous record's blends of gritty electro-house and indie dance. Digitalism surfaced on Gerd Janson's Running Back label with the 2020 EP Reality 2. JPEG_complete, an expanded reissue (and belated vinyl pressing) of their 2019 album, appeared in 2021. ~ David Jeffries & Paul Simpson