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Breaking Artist: Digitalism

July 25, 2007 6:54 PM ET

Who: Jens Moelle and Ismail Tuefekci, a German electro duo who met as bored coworkers in a Hamburg record shop, began remixing indie-rock records and DJing, then hit the studio to craft their own DIY sound.

Sounds Like: Dancey, glitchy synth-punk in the style of Soulwax, the Klaxons, LCD Soundsystem and Cut/Copy -- clubby tracks that rockers and ravers can embrace.

Three Things You Should Know:
1. Their Hamburg studio is actually a former World War II bunker.
2. Moelle's grandfather was a professional opera singer.
3. Though they're most often compared to Daft Punk and French DJ duo Justice, Digitalism started out as hip-hop DJs.

Get It: Digitalism's debut full-length, Idealism, came out May 21 on Astralwerks. The pair will hit eight clubs across the U.S. for a brief tour in October.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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