By Jasper Gape
Italy’s own Dusty Kid is something of an enigma to us folks here in New Zealand, but for those with discerning taste for electronic music know that he can deliver on the good with his love for synths and musical journey’s.
In fact prior to this interview I took a listen to his last album ‘A Raver’s Diary’ which took his listeners on a road trip across the musical landscape of techno and experimental music and little emphasis on creating the next club banger and that to me is noble for an artist of this caliber.
Dusty Kid has also taken to the live aspect and has done an array of shows (complete with visuals from a fellow Kiwi who takes care of that for him) across the globe with rave reviews from some of his fans and media alike.
Beyond That Hill is Dusty’s newest album to date and we got to talk to Dusty Kid in this exclusive interview.
Hey Dusty Kid thanks for doing this interview with Nerdy Frames here in New Zealand, let’s start with the obvious question. How did you become a Techno producer who has a classical piano background?
When I was 11 I wanted to be a pianist so I asked for a little workstation (sample, expander, etc) and was able to make my own recordings of orchestral parts from famous piano concerts from Mozart, Chopin and so on. As destiny would have it, this little sequencer included some sounds taken from the famous Roland TR808 and TR909 machines, so all the orchestral parts became soon danceable for my ears (but not for my parent’s!) That’s how it all began.
Now I do have a question…..what’s it like working with Italian producer Marascia? Your name tends to be in reference to everything she does.
I don’t see any problem to answer your question, me and Marascia are very big friends since 10 years and more in the past that now we have lots of tastes in common about music, so making music together is just obvious for us!
I get this impression from some of the music that I’ve listened to from you tends to feel like you’re taking us on a journey, do you share that same sentiment?
Exactly. I think there are so many danceable dancefloor tracks in the market, but not all of them give you this feeling, so I like to give the listener a sort of trancey moment in which he/she can find his/her own mindtrip.
What’s it like to play live and do you prefer that over DJ?
Playing live means showing the people what I exactly do. Djing is fun for sure, but sometimes I ask myself “do people really care about the music that I like to play, today?” Selecting other artist’s records nowadays I think is losing its importance, and when you DJ, you and the crowd miss something. Playing live gives the people a different point of view of who’s playing, and they can realize what you’re really able to do with music.
Tell us how you produce a track and what elements do you tend to start off with? Most people if not all always have ideas or themes that they go with, is this the same with you?
Usually something goes around in my head for few days, then I start to reproduce it. Unfortunately I’m not able to do that all of the time, it’s quite complicated because it often happens that the sounds in your imagination doesn’t correspond to anything in reality, so you have to manage it and transpose it somehow with your equipment. This is a kind of challenge between me and the machines.
Who do you tend to collaborate with Dusty Kid, singers or fellow producers?
It really depends on what I want to do, but in general I’m kind of selfish and sometimes I feel like I have to do everything on my own, and this is one of the best sides of electronic music: you don’t need anybody else to make a song, you don’t need a guitarist or a singer, you can do it by yourself.
Of course I can’t sing like a woman so in case I need a female voice, I find a singer; in the last album I wanted a real clarinet playing a psychedelic solo, and since Im not a clarinet player I had to find one, and I ended up telling her which notes to play and when to play them, through mimicking.
How would you rate Italy’s electronic music scene Dusty Kid? I feel every year it grows from strength to strength.
I’m not into Italian stuff except food!
Seeing a photo of you in your studio on the internet what sort of gear do you have in your studio and what DAWs are you using?
I use both Logic and Cubase on a Macpro N.A.S.A.-equipped. I had tons of analog and vintage gears, but I sold most of them keeping only what I really like and I really need: SH101, TB303, Minimoog, Memorymoog, MS10 and MS50. The only things my studio is missing are an EMS Synthi and an ARP 2600. Just waiting for a good deal to buy them
Your new album ‘Beyond That Hill’ is out now and I took a listen to it and was impressed by it, so tell us about it and how long did it take to make?
It took a year or so. I’m quite slow when I work in studio and it takes ages for me to make things as I want them to be. In the end I’m pretty satisfied, I think its a good concept album, emotional and intense, and it makes me feeling quite naked when I listen to it, lots of private elements are floating all over the record.
If given the chance would you like to come to NZ one day to play out?
Of course! One of my best friend, which is actually also the guy who made all graphics and visuals for DK is from NZ! He spent a few years here in Sardinia and after a period in Singapore is now London-based.
Before we finish would you like to end our interview with some wise words?
Let the machines work for you and not the opposite.
And with that we thank you Dusty Kid!