Giorgio Moroder has been making people dance for decades and he's bringing his big box of hits to Auckland. He talks to Russell Baillie.
For years, it was his sound that was Giorgio Moroder's trademark. The sound that propelled some of the biggest hits of the disco era and then some of the biggest movies of the 80s.
These days he's getting recognised for his voice, he laughs down the line from Melbourne, where he's on tour with Kylie Minogue.
That's because Daft Punk decided they would pay tribute to the disco maestro by having the Italian-born German-bred producer composer talk about his life over the track Giorgio by Moroder on the French duo's hit album Random Access Memories.
Now, his German-accented English - he was born in German-speaking South Tyrol and spent much of his early musical career in Berlin and Munich - has become a calling card.
"It interesting, because now people don't recognise me by my face, they recognise me for my voice. Several times I have been in a restaurant and they would turn around and say, 'Are you Giorgio Moroder?'"
But Daft Punk aren't the only reason for Moroder's renaissance which has seen him become a jetsetting DJ at a ripe old age - the title of that forthcoming album is 74 is the new 24.
He started getting requests to man the decks after being asked to do a short set in a 2012 Louis Vuitton Fashion show. Then Elton John's Aids charity got in touch, then the Red Bull Music Academy. Then clubs from Ibiza to Shanghai wanted Moroder to come and spin.
Now it's Minogue who Moroder is supporting on shows around Australia.
Their new joint track, Right Here, Right Now, is one of a number of collaborations on the album that will also feature Britney Spears, Sia, and this week's TimeOut cover star Charli XCX, among others.
"We are cooking!" declares Moroder about the Minogue jaunt in that voice that makes you wonder if he actually has something on the stove.
By the sound of it, they will be singing over the sort of Moroder machine grooves that propelled the mid-70s hits he had with the late Donna Summer, like the Love To Love You Baby and I Feel Love, tracks which helped turn pop music into club music.
But disco didn't last.
Moroder's propulsive synthesized style found a new home in movies like Midnight Express, American Gigolo (for which he produced Blondie's Call Me), Cat People (ditto on the David Bowie hit track Putting Out Fire), Scarface, Flashdance, and Top Gun. He won three Academy Awards along the way.
But as the decade wore on, Moroder's presence in movies tapered off.
"Disco went a little down, I changed record company and I was lucky to get into soundtracks. I had so many other things to do and - among other things - I built a car. I did some computer-generated art with some shows and I played golf and did a lot of things except music."
Moroder laughs when he compares the technical demands of his pioneering days with the there's-an-app-for-that present state of digital music creation.
"When I did I Feel Love, that was definitely a challenge. The computer was always out of tune. You had to stop the recording and redo it and even now I when I hear I it I go, 'oh God, this section here is a little off'. But at that time that was the way to work."
Not that he's critical of the easy access to music tech available today.
"I love it because if somebody is talented - and they buy a computer, a programme, a keyboard, maybe a guitar and a mic - they have a great chance to make it.
"In my time it was much more difficult, because you needed much more money. Just for a song you needed a recording studio, musicians technicians and now, by investing three or four thousand dollars or even less, you can work day and night on new stuff."
Moroder is also working all hours as a DJ.
He plays mostly his own stuff - tweaking up the tempos of his disco hits a little from the originals - with a few other current favourites and remixes.
Though he's happy to be part of contemporary clubland and getting the respect for his influence on dance music, he admits he's not much of a groover himself.
"I'm the worst dancer ever - and my wife can confirm that. I kind of feel the rhythm but I don't know how to dance."
Who: Giorgio Moroder, disco and 80s soundtrack supremo
Where: DJing at The Studio, K Rd, Friday March 27 with support from Murray Cammick