INTERVIEW: Touch Sensitive, New RUFUS Remix On The Way
TOUCH SENSITIVE has come a long, long way since his debut live show supporting BICEP in a small capacity club in Sydney, especially considering that particular gig only took place less than one and a half years ago.
Since then, Michael Di Francesco has well and truly proved his worthiness as a live electronic solo musician by constantly touring Australia and the rest of the world. Ahead of his appearance at Splendour In The Grass, TOUCH SENSITIVE kindly took some time out of his extremely busy touring schedule to answer some questions for us!
Throughout your career so far you’ve collaborated on tracks with quite a number of different Australian producers such as Anna Lunoe, Ego and Hayden James. What do you enjoy most about making music with other people?
The most exciting thing about it is the fusion of what two individuals can do as one, one person is almost always better at something and vice versa. People almost always have their default pattern or chords that they go to, so collaborating can push you out of those comfort zones.
In particular, what was it like working with Ego and performing with him on stage in Melbourne for the #VJUKE project?
Awesome, I love him and hopefully we’re going to do something again soon, which reminds me I need to call him.
I remember you also jumped on stage to play bass with The Swiss at Elsewhere on the Gold Coast when you co-headlined with them. Did the three of you decide to do that on the spot?
Yeah, it was a last-minute thing we decided to do during sound check. We’ve always talked about playing together so it was the perfect opportunity to do it.
This will be your third time performing at Splendour In The Grass. Do you have any memories you can share with us from 2006 and 2008 when you played in Van She?
Yes, but none I’d like to commit to the internet though. The last time especially, it was my birthday and I had a little bit too much fun.
You’re playing on the Mix Up Stage in a prime time-slot between Art Vs Science and Hot Dub Time Machine at Splendour In The Grass this year. Do you think this will be one of the biggest crowds you’ve ever played to?
I’m not exactly sure what to expect, I think a small crowd makes me more nervous especially when I have friends there. In fact it’s petrifying. It’s a similar feeling to when you play something you’ve been working on to a friend and all of a sudden you hear it with different ears. In answer to your question, I hope it’s big and that lots of people come.
Apart from your recent track ‘Slowments’, can we expect to hear any other new material during your set?
Yes! I just finished a remix for Rufus, which isn’t out yet and there’s something else I’m hoping I can finish before Saturday.
Which acts on the bill are you most excited about checking out?
Skaters, Chrome Sparks and Wordlife.
Who thought of the idea in with the ‘Pizza Guy’ video clip, where you are seen casually walking on stage trying to deliver several pizzas before Flume’s set in Sydney?
Nathan Maclay is the brains behind the operation. At first I didn’t understand why we would do a clip but when he told me about the concept I thought it was cool so we did it.
What was the response like from the crowd when this happened? Was everyone very confused?
Yeah, there was a bit of confusion but they were very well behaved as in I was expecting to get pelted with bottles and glow sticks but it didn’t happen. I think it’s a fair assumption that Flume fans are nice people.
I noticed you managed to remain in character for the entire video. How difficult was it to try and not laugh?
(Laughs). I’m not very comfortable in front of a camera so laughing on it isn’t something that comes naturally to me, plus I did deliver pizzas in an Alfa Romeo for a short period when I first got my licence so I knew what to do.
Even though I’ve been loving your solo material, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Van She. I’m aware you’re currently all caught up doing your own projects at the moment, but do you think the band will reunite and hit the studio again in the future?
Who knows, we’re still friends and we do still hang out together in studios so it’s not impossible but I wouldn’t count on it happening anytime soonish.
What will you be up to for the rest of 2014 as Touch Sensitive?
Finishing some new tracks that will hopefully be out soon and making a Christmas disco record similar to the Salsoul Orchestra one but first I need to get the budget over the line.
TOUCH SENSITIVE‘s forthcoming remix of RUFUS’ track ‘Sarah’ will be featured on the Light/Dark Deluxe Edition of ‘Atlas’. To be released on the 8th of August through Sweat It Out, the double feature album itself will showcase everything we know and love from RUFUS, as well as a new remix album. Featuring artists like TOUCH SENSITIVE, THE PRESETS, CLASSIXX, MOTEZ and more, the calibre of this new release will be unlike any other.
Words by Tony Kingston