Knowledge _ Interview with Dadub
I read an old line from you guys where you said, “To be wild and innovative is the only way to survive in such a competitive and fast changing world”. You were talking about developing your sound and about how Stroboscopic Artefacts are different from other labels. Is that still the case, in regards to your career and with the new album?
Giovanni: Yeah, I think the only way for us to work and be part of the professional music business is trying to push the boundaries between different types of music and not feed into an already existing category. Trying to give more importance to our instinct and what we want to express. We don’t want to make a techno track because we are on a techno label or play straight kick techno because we are playing in a techno club. I find it quite boring. For me, not only in music, but also life in general, I like when people manage to go beyond the expectation and surprise the audience the audience and people they are around. Music is quite depressing when a producer makes a track because he wants it to sell or that it’ll work for his promotion and bookings. Music is much more than making money or about being a cool DJ traveling around the world.
Several years ago, I remember an artist who had just released an album saying how he was going to change all the gear and get a different sound. Do you ever feel like that yourselves and get restless with the tools at your disposal?
Giovanni: We always try to push our limits but not in the sense that we buy new gear or try out new plugins. We try to use the tools that are used by everyone, but use them to make mistakes and use them in a way that is considered wrong. Now everyone can buy a laptop, download software and sample packs from the internet and unless you try to use the tools in a different way, the music that comes out, even if it comes from a strong personal point of view will sound like everyone else. I use Max/MSP sometimes, which is a modular software language. Using this in combination with Ableton, VST’s and hardware machines gives me the possibility to have an infinite palette of sounds and functions. I don’t feel stressed by using the same software or plugins for years. Each time I use it I try to start at the beginning. I don’t like to use presets or repeat the same way of working.
We don’t need to change our equipment every year or so because we don’t like to use the default sounds. When we make a beat, maybe we’ll start from a dry basic sound, but we’ll process it a lot. This gives you a wider palette of timbrical or rhythmical opportunities. We don’t like to use the classic 909 / 303 sounds at all.
If we buy a drum machine or use a plug in..
Daniele: We’ll make ambient music.. haha
Giovanni: Yeah – we’re going to change the sounds so much that we’re going to be able to use it for 10 years and it’ll always sound different haha. Post processing is a big part of our sound.
Well that’s good value for money right there then! Haha
Maybe from the outside, people have a picture of us like “They must be rich” – or whatever.. but we are fucking broke. We get the most out of almost nothing haha.
Now that you are getting more established and more people know what you do, is there a danger of being cut off from reality, with everyone telling you that you are great? How do you keep yourself grounded?
Giovanni: It really depends on why you are making music. If you are making music to make money and get cool and famous, then It can be dangerous to have recognition and have people coming at you in clubs. I don’t think it’s a danger for me. I’m not making music to find confirmation. I’m really interested in immaterial communication between people. Education that doesn’t go through the normal channels of words or life. I really like when music creates connection on a really deep and unspoken level. When people come to me and say, “yeah, I really like your music..”, I’m really happy, but I don’t think that now I’m a big star.
We live in Berlin, in Neukölln. We decided to come to the worst part of the city in a way because we didn’t want to be surrounded by people who are coming to Berlin for the hype. Things are changing fast, but if you walk around, you are surrounded by people who are really poor. People who trying to survive every day with no money. It helps to keep the perception of reality. It’s necessary and is something that I really need. If I had the choice to live in the centre, in the cool part of the city, or the part of the city where people are real, I will always choose to live in the more fucked up part. When I walk around I feel a closer connection with reality and truth.
Daniele: Our profile is not constructed because of a particular aim. Our life has not changed in any way compared to what we were doing years ago. Perception has changed in the eyes of people due to the album and Stroboscopic Artefacts, but we feel our profile is linked to something else. It’s beautiful when people recognise this and when they do, it’s inspirational for us as well.