Giorgio Moroder on His Return to Popular Music at 73, Teaming With Daft Punk, Avicii
On April 18, Italian disco/synth-pop pioneer Giorgio Moroder posted a picture of two sound waves on his Facebook page, comparing the moderate volume and beats of his 1977 heyday with the louder sound and denser rhythms of today's EDM. "It's not funny anymore - we have to do something!" he wrote.
As it turns out, Moroder is doing something to bridge the gap between the genre he helped shape and its current, noisier form-and nearly three decades after his last charting single, Limahl's "Never Ending Story," went to No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. In May, Moroder appears on Daft Punk's highly anticipated "Random Access Memories," narrating the history of disco and his role in the movement in the appropriately titled "Giorgio by Moroder." The musical history lesson serves as an appropriate pairing to Moroder's appearance as a guest lecturer at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York, which will be capped off by his first-ever U.S. DJ set at Cielo on May 20. A series of DJ gigs in cities across the world is expected to follow this summer, all booked on the strength of his newfound cultural relevance.
"Since the publicity of the Daft Punk song, which is not even out yet, it's like everybody wants me now," says Moroder, who turned 73 on April 26 and is entertaining offers from two management companies. "I'm sure once I go with one I'm going to have a lot of work."
To better adapt to the demands of today's EDM culture, Moroder is collaborating with some of its biggest names-including Avicii, who gave him some pointers during a recent songwriting session. "He gave me some tracks and I put a melody on them and said, 'Look, you make nice money doing these shows, but one day you're in New York and the day after you're in Paris, then you're in Rio,'" Moroder says. "I'm not the youngest one. I may try and do the bigger events, one a month maybe."
Snagging Moroder for the Red Bull Music Academy was a big coup for Davide Borton, who has helped book the event for more than 10 years. "He's been this enigmatic figure in dance music, and we wanted to get him as a lecturer first and foremost," Borton says. "The whole DJ culture fascinates him, and even though he's relatively old and relatively wealthy, it's a great time for him to perform."