P-Thugg of Chromeo: “Working with Philippe Zdar was the first time I realised how the mixing process could be as artistic as the music”

“Before Zdar, I thought a mix was a mechanical thing.”

[L-R] P-Thugg of Chromeo and Philippe Zdar

Credit: Getty Images

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Electro-funk duo Chromeo have looked back on the transformative experience of working with producer and mixing engineer Philippe Zdar of Cassius.

Speaking in a new interview with MusicTech, members David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel share how the late Zdar – who worked on the pair’s second and third albums Fancy Footwork and Business Casual – was instrumental in the development of their sound.

Fancy Footwork was when we found our sound,” Dave says, “and he had a big role to play. With Philippe, we gave him really raw tracks – they didn’t have much processing. Our songs only had like 13 tracks of music, and three tracks of vocals, so he was able to give the music its space, and do his thing. It was a really beautiful process.”

According to P-Thugg, their time with Zdar helped him recognise the art of mixing: “Working with Zdar was, for me, the first time I realised how the mixing process could be as artistic as the music,” he tells MusicTech. “[Before Zdar], I thought a mix was a mechanical thing. When we received the first mixes [from him], I was like ‘Woah, this is a different song.’ There’s artistry in that. There’s kookiness.

“It made me look differently at the process of mixing and the process of producing. I keep that until today.”

Also in the chat, the pair discuss their upcoming album Adult Contemporary, which is due out 16 February.

“On this record, we did everything with P and me,” Dave explains, “with only one mixing engineer, one mastering person – two people we choose specifically for their sound, two people who only work with analogue – and it was a whole other musical adventure.”

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