DISCO PUSHER is:
DAVID GREENBERG: Poet, Writer, Songwriter, Singer, Guitarist, Art Critic & Artist
SISKO: Producer, Remixer, Composer, Synthesist, Sound Designer, Mixer & Photographer
In the shadow of Manhattan’s skyscrapers, Disco Pusher -- the musical partnership of Sisko and David Greenberg -- are working feverishly on a staggering, ever-expanding canon of songcraft. Like mad scientists of sound, few can rival the pair’s inexorable work ethic as songwriters, producers, remixers and recording artists.
Counting remixes for pop icons (Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani), hip/hop’s elite (Lil Jon & Too $hort) and up and comers of every variety (Cut Copy, The Bravery, Santogold, The Editors, Scissor Sisters), Disco Pusher belongs on the shortlist of any new or established artist looking to bring its music to new heights.
Couple the aforementioned accomplishments with Disco Pusher’s songwriting and production credits for the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Au Revoir Simone, plus a promising future as recording artists in their own right--as evidenced by a remarkable, memorable new digital EP Trouble set for release March 5, 2009--and its safe to say that the duo is an unstoppable musical force.
Consider that Sisko and Greenberg have also extended their sonic reach into film (“Saved”), television (Fashion Television, Showtime) and advertisements (IBM, Pepsi-Cola & The NYC Marathon) while sustaining reputable, respective backgrounds in sound design and New York’s poetry and art worlds, and it becomes difficult to fathom when or if the duo finds time for sleep.
“There’s really no other way for us to exist,” says Sisko of their unwavering work ethic. “New ideas are always swirling around in our heads.” With a primary focus on writing and producing for other artists, the pair boasts a broad stylistic range that has allowed them to successfully collaborate with Clarkson, rock icon Patti Smith and a legion of others.
Brought together by New York music impresario Steve Paul (the man responsible for introducing former Modern Lover Jerry Harrison to the Talking Heads and also helped team Smith with guitarist Lenny Kaye) Sisko and Greenberg have forged a unique partnership. “At first Sisko thought I had great ideas but was a little insane,” Greenberg laughs. “And I thought he had chops and was remarkably sane. We wrote one song together and then one more and before we knew it, we had fifty! Slowly we started trusting each other more and more.”
Steered by the concept of the Third Mind, Sisko concedes “Most times it’s like we both have our hands on a Ouji Board triangle and we just have to believe that something is moving us.” Citing musical heroes like Roxy Music and Kraftwerk (Sisko) and The Smiths and Bob Dylan (Greenberg), Disco Pusher’s own music is as unmistakable as it is unmistakably great.
A distinctive amalgam of rock, electronica, folk and synth-pop, the pair’s new EP boasts warm, infectious originals that are steeped in the great traditions of late 20th Century pop craftsmanship. The irresistible, hypnotic minimalism that motivates “Trouble” leads the charge. Thriving on its Memphis Bleek/Queensbridge-inspired beat and a memorable vocal line, Greenberg says, “it’s based on a real-life incident and watching too much reality TV”. When pressed for lyrical specifics, the poet – who counts previous alliances with Allen Ginsberg, Jim Carroll and others – replies, “As William S. Burroughs said, ‘Never interfere in a boy and girl fight’.”
Elsewhere, the retro-synth allure of tracks like “Casual Disco” and “Afterglow” recall vintage dancefloor anthems. If the latter recalls the heyday of New Order, Sisko says, “We both absorbed Lowlife as kids but the real catalyst was our friend DJ Tariq and his Casual Disco party playlists.”
“As teenagers we both made mixed tapes, which is the genesis of how kids today listen to music,” the multi-instrumentalist Sisko adds, expounding on how Disco Pusher forged its way to prominence in the club, remix and commercial music arenas. Approaching remixes as if they were writing and producing an original song, Greenberg says bluntly, “we take them to places that we’d like them to go.”
Whether redefining the songs of others or writing and producing original material for some of the most distinctive artists on the pop landscape, the men of Disco Pusher have been driven by one admirable credo: “We follow our hearts and not necessarily the money,” says Sisko.
While Sisko and Greenberg have put their art first, the pair rarely performs out as Disco Pusher, sharing a mindset with studio-driven acts like The Postal Service. And while DP isn’t completely against the notion of playing out someday, for now they aspire to be world-renown for their recording and writing pursuits.
Its worked well thus far, with the duo prospering as they brings their specific individual talents and energies to a controlled environment. “It’s a Ying and Yang kind of thing,” Sisko says of their artful formula. “And in the end, it’s all about the song.”
As Disco Pusher moves forward, Sisko and Greenberg plan to follow up their new EP with a full album of original material by mid-2009, which will embrace the performances of outside singers and rappers. DP also expects to release an official collection of its many remixes. It also hopes to record a disc of its own songs with David singing, but only if the material and support is there. “Our primary focus is – and will remain – writing and producing for other artists,” Greenberg explains.
With an arsenal of material waiting in the wings – the pair have written hundreds of songs – and an endless stream of new and innovative ideas, Disco Pusher is an untapped resource waiting to collaborate with artists from an array of genres.
When pressed for a list of performers it would like to see interpret its songs, Sisko and Greenberg fire off the following names: Mary J. Blige, Theophilus London, Avril Lavigne, Sylvia Gordon from Kudu, Chris Brown, Ninjasonik, Paolo Nutini and Au Revoir Simone. “Just like a great iPod playlist,” Sikso says smiling as Greenberg nods approvingly. With that kind of scope, aspiration and determination, it’s evident that Disco Pusher – already a powerful creative force – is capable of conquering the music world.