Château Flight Keeps Things Eclectic
- Words: Peter Nicholson
Gilbert “Gilb’r” Cohen and Nicolas “I:Cube” Chaix are easy to tell apart–just ask Joakim Bouaziz, the fellow Parisian who’s had several releases on Gilb’r’s Versatile Records label. “Gilb’r has brown hair, I:Cube is a redhead. Gilb’r talks a lot and I:Cube doesn’t,” says Joakim via email when asked to sum up their differences. But perhaps most telling are their culinary tendencies. When asked which one he’d recommend as a date, Joakim said he’d choose based on what kind of food his friend preferred. “Gilb’r if she likes couscous, I:Cube if she’s into baked beans.”
Though Joakim describes the pair like oil and water, one would have to say it’s a bit more complex. The two met eight years ago, when I:Cube sent a demo to Gilb’r who, at the time, was a drum & bass DJ on Radio Nova. I:Cube’s “Disco Cubizm” (a breakneck house blend of jazzy disco, which included a remix by Daft Punk) became the first release on Gilb’r’s fledgling Versatile label.
By 2000, Gilb’r and I:Cube had moved well beyond the phased, glitter-ball swirls that initially gained them fame. Both their first full-length, Puzzle, and 2005’s The Meal covered a huge amount of territory, from hip-hop to ambient, which Gilb’r thinks may confuse some fans. “With the type of music we’re doing, sometimes I think people don’t get it because we go all over the place. We want to put too much information in every album,” he says over the phone from Israel. “Château Flight, for us, is really a kind of playground. We have fun with it–we don’t stick to a formula–so every time we hear some new music or we have new software or a new plug-in to inspire us, we try to include it in our music.”
That playground most recently produced the shimmering mosaic-electro of “Baltringue” from their Baroque EP on Innervisions, a special mix of which appears on their forthcoming DJ mix for Get Physical’s Body Language series. In addition to a growing number of live appearances (after some “unsatisfying” attempts at working with live musicians, the pair has developed a dueling-laptops performance), the Château Flight boys are busy DJs, and the Get Physical mix reflects their love of both brand-new cuts and obscure oldies.
Gilb’r doesn’t think that producing in Paris has particularly affected his music, but he does see one advantage: “It gives me more time! There is not so much going on here–the nightlife is not really exciting.” Gilb’r might also be colored by a conscious decision to live beyond the confines of dance music. “I try to take some time [away] from music,” he says. “I read, I watch a lot of movies, I check galleries and expositions. It’s very important to me to get my eyes and my ears around other things to get inspiration and not just be a nerdy guy checking on the internet for the latest 12-inch.”
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