Always in search of the imperfect beat, Daedelus is a producer with whom few compare. Famously signed to Ninja Tune, but having released material on the likes of Plug Research, Mush, Laboratory Instinct, Eastern Developments, Phthalo, Merck, Big Dada, Soul Jazz, Stones Throw, Warp....
He’s done the rounds once or twice, and is onlne radio station, Dublab, is always worth a listen. He’s back in Shanghai this weekend courtesy of those cool cats at STD, much obliged fellas...
What got you into making and performing music originally?
It's always been music, not an idea of how I was going to make a living at it. I think my senses are, in order: hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, then seeing (maybe a sense of humor in there below scent). Performing was at first just a necessity, nobody else was going to play my music as I wanted to hear it so I needed to find a way, and I had played instruments for years, just not ones that were polyphonic... Electronic music needs more complicated ways, these Monomes I use are just that.
When did you start to experiment with sampling and beat making?
From my background with those instruments I was used to being in part of a rhythm section. One of the amazing things about sampling is you can feel like you are performing with the musicians you are lifting, and borrowing the studios in which they were recorded. The best players in the world, the best rooms by which they were captured. So I went right to sampling when I began messing with electronics.
Which artists were a big influence for you growing up?
In addition to Jazz legends and Classic composers, I found myself listening to a lot of Rave music pioneers, producers which may not be world known but set the stage for the current EDM explosion. Acen, 2 Bad Mice, Ray Keith, and many many others. I still find myself listening out for inspiration, be it these classics or peers making waves.
You've put out a lot of your own music and remixed extensively; to what extent do you analyze that once it's done and do you have any favorites?
Once an album is released only then does it really take life. While it is in production I have far too much say over what each song means, why this or that. I believe the life cycle of a song is mostly once it is in other ears. I try not to judge then too much, just make little prayers and wish my children live good lives.
How was the making of 'Drown Out' and how's it gone down with people so far?
It has been an amazing process. As I mentioned only when an album is heard by the public does it really come into it's own. As such Drown Out has had an interesting life. For me it isn't an album for partying times, nor is it for quirky introspection. I believe it is a deeper listen, and those that have encountered it like this seem to responded quite well. A newer release has been making headlines lately, as I made music for a video game called "Nidhogg", it is fun to try different formats to get into ears.
You've collaborated and remixed a fair deal. Which people and places have been particularly influential for you?
Thankfully I find touring to be exhilarating rather then a drag. Of course I miss home and my family there, but having the opportunity to take this music directly to people who know or don't yet know is wonderful! I find so much inspiration in that act of sharing. Of the places I've been recently La Paz, Bolivia was a highlight, such dramatic elevation in the city makes life hard there but such amazing people populate the city and make it so.
You must get to hear plenty of great music that doesn't reach the rest of us - who are some of your contemporaries that are moving in a similar musical direction to you right now?
There is quite a list I have of producers I look to for sound inspiration, people on similar wavelengths. A few like Modeselektor, Mouse On Mars, Flying Lotus, Machinedrum, have been around for a while and are still making interesting compelling sounds that we share in. While others like Canblaster, Cashmere Cat, Tokimonsta, Kaytranada, Rashad, are newer and have much to offer.
Any memories of your last visit to Shanghai? It's got bigger; surprise, surprise.
I'm not prepared, never can be for Shanghai, but I've given myself more then the 17 hours I had last time. If all I can do is play a show, eat good food, and drink a unique coffee I'll be happy, but I know there is so much more!
Daedelus is performing at Arkham on Friday 24th January. 50RMB on the door.
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