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Ronson Trades Motown Soul for Daft Punk Synths

[In The Studio]
Album Title: TBD
Due Out: Summer

Rolling Stone IN Mar 10, 2010

Michael N Todaro/Filmmagic

Ever since he produced Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black in 2006, Mark Ronson has been known as the guy who brought Motown-style soul back to pop music. But last summer, while working with Duran Duran on their next album, Ronson developed a new fascination: “I got really into keyboards from working with Nick Rhodes,” says Ronson, gesturing toward the racks of synths surrounding him at Downtown Music Studios in Manhattan, where he is finishing his own new LP. “That’s a really rare one Giorgio Moroder used. The record kind of sounds as if a band in the Seventies got a Daft Punk CD from the future in the mail.”

Ronson’s last solo album, 2007’s Version, found the DJ-producer reinterpreting tunes like Radiohead’s ”˜Just’ and the Kaiser Chiefs’ ”˜Oh My God’ with help from singers like Winehouse, Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald and Lily Allen. For his new album, Ronson reunited with some of his Version collaborators (the Zutons’ Dave McCabe and Kaiser Chiefs’ Nick Hodgson wrote a couple of songs), as well as recruiting a few new ones: A young Atlanta MC named Pill offers the likely album opener; Rose Elinor Dougall, formerly of Brit girl group the Pipettes, contributes vocals on a vampy, Gaga-ish electro tune, ”˜You Gave Me Nothing.’ “I’m not a singer-songwriter who can sit down with a guitar and write 12 songs,” Ronson says. “I’m a producer. My process draws on the inspiration I get working with other people.”

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Ronson started on the disc in July, jamming in a Brooklyn studio with his band ”“ members of the Dap-Kings and Antibalas. “I ended up abandoning the horns and guitars and the organic Sixties arrangements,” he says. “At a certain point I had to draw a line in my mind and say, ”˜This is not the same thing I did last time.’”


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