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dOP- Biography


dOP the Parisian trio of Clement Aichelbaum, Damien Vandesande and Jonathan Illel been on a tear since they burst upon the scene three years ago, riling dance floors with their strange, sexy, infectious brand of irreverently soulful house, and leaving writers scratching their heads at the same. The three musicians aren’t just great showmen – something their drunken live sets amply prove but also real musicians: before discovering house music, they played rock, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, classical, and African music, and they bring that wealth of knowledge to bear in their quest to turn dance music inside out. So while their music has plenty of slinky funk and dirty grind, it also explores far more diverse moods and grooves, from hot jazz to autumnal, orchestral folk

Two important people can be cited in the development of dOP’s music – Nicolas Sfintescu from Nôze introduced them to the idea of electronic music being more than just a DJ behind a console; or creating repetitive beats on cold machines in lonely bedrooms in the dark of the night. Nôze showed dOP that a dance music act can be entertainers in the same way that rock n roll musicians and hip hop acts behave on stage. They both also share the same idea of making organic dance music in the classical way of composing with real instruments and voices.

Another element of dOP’s work is their fondness for scoring soundtracks for film and how much they are influenced by it. Some of the richness of their debut album Greatest Hits can be credited to Emmanuel d’Orlando, a French composer and arranger known for his work in theater, soundtracks, and with artists like Sebastian Tellier. His arrangements, performed by the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra, lend much of the album the darkly cinematic feel of a Sofia Coppola film.

Jonathan Illel, meanwhile, is dOP’s distinctive voice. His lyrics are a surrealistic scrapbook of sex, death, drugs, despair, sex, cannibalism, God, love, cities, and sex; purring and wailing, he comes across like Baudelaire on the prow of a pirate ship, a knife in his teeth, a bottle in his hand, and a bulging baggie of lord-knows-what in his breast pocket. A tragic dandy, loveable tramp, his own worst enemy Jaw’s impassioned persona is the perfect foil for the group’s deeply thought-out music.

dOP’s songs are always different, depending on their feelings and frame of mind. It ́s essential for the band members to speak about experiences, moments, past or future. They also retain a passion to collaborate with artists across the globe – Nôze, Aquarius Heaven, Cat ́z n ́Dogz, Sety, Dave Aju, Khan, Guy Gerber, DJ Koze, Wareika, Guillaume & the Cotu Dumonts, Tiefschwarz, Mathias Kaden, or in projects like Enliven dOP Acoustics (Enliven Deep Acoustics) from North Thuringia, Germany, or as Armaberokay with friends from Kassel, Germany.