Dapayk Solo, Berlin-based producer and veteran of the minimal techno scene, recently announcesd the forthcoming release of his 10th studio album ‘The Calling’. The 12-track LP will be the minimal techno producer’s first solo album since 2015 and will be available via his own label, Mo’s Ferry Productions, on April 6th.
Dapayk Solo concentrates on a futuristic theme throughout the album, telling the story of Zoe, a young survivalist searching for answers on a digital pilgrimage in the year 2118. The result is a digital, ultra-modern epic, providing the soundtrack to an avant-garde journey.
We had the chance to talk with Dapayk Solo to talk about his latest LP, ‘The Calling’
Electronic Groove: Hi Dapayk, thanks for your time to chat with us. ‘The Calling’ is your 10th album release. What makes this album different than your previous LP’s? Are there any specific points of inspiration that drove the creative process?
Dapayk Solo: Thanks for having me. This is the first time that I have incorporated a “synth-open air feeling” into my work, which I believe that it will be a surprise for some people. I generally enjoy changing directions and keeping people on their toes. For ‘The Calling’, I was left with three completely different albums after wrapping up the production process so I had to decide which way I wanted to go. The deep, warm, summery feel of the album was something I hadn’t done before, so I decided to do it.
EG: Can you tell us a little bit about the thought and production process behind it?
Dapayk Solo: For me, producing while I’m on vacation trips has proven to be the time when I’m most productive. Throughout the past few years, my wife and I have been spending a couple of weeks in a little house in Provence during the summer. It is where I find the peace and quiet to experiment with new sounds. I’ve always felt that my surroundings have a big impact on my productions. Another thing that helps me with getting into a creative mindset is to take up a new machine and play with its functions. When the idea came up to release a new solo album, I started producing and collecting tracks in any direction I could think of. After about 6 months, I had produced around 30 tracks and three completely different albums: one deep house, one rave-techno-ish, and one that became ‘The Calling’.
EG: Can you embellish a little on ‘The Calling’ being a concept album?
Dapayk Solo: It has always been important to tell a story through my album. That’s the beauty of putting together such a complex body of work. You have the time and space to reach deeper and dive into a story. For ‘The Calling’ as well as most of my other album releases, the direction wasn’t clear right away. I had a few good loops and some finished tracks that went into the selection. I singled out the tracks that stuck with me the most and really drew me in, then I chose the story that I want to tell and where I want to take the listener. The main story I wanted to convey was that of a journey.
“The deep, warm, summery feel of the album was something I hadn’t done before,
so I decided to do it”
EG: What’s the story behind naming the opening and closing tracks ‘Zoe’s Intro’ and ‘Zoe’s Outro’ respectively?
Dapayk Solo: If you ask me, ‘Zoe’s Intro’ and ‘Zoe’s Outro’ are the most important tracks on the album. The first one takes the listener by the hand and takes them on a little journey with me, and the closing track sends them out into the world. The name Zoe is rooted in ancient Greek and can be translated as “life”. ‘The Calling’, like my other releases, marks a time in my life where I was both a musician and an artist. I know, the concept of the album is quite strong. The main idea behind it was to create a strong picture of a journey that could be anybodys. Some of the tracks have a score-like feeling to them and I used Zoe’s story to highlight that. At best, when you listen to ‘The Calling’, you’ll get a picture of the movie rolling when you close your eyes.
EG: How much do you think music has changed since the release of your very first album, ‘Impulsion Parasite’, in 2006?
Dapayk Solo: Back in 2006 people were more open to different styles. Then, when “digitalization” took over and a flood of music hit the market, people were looking for tracks that sounded like one that they already heard and liked. The “minimal techno” wave in 2004-07 was a good example of that. At first, it was new and exciting but after two years you would hear the same sound on every dance floor. However, the crowd didn’t seem to mind. It definitely got better within the past 3-4 years. It seems like all genres have found a way to coexist. Techno, deep house, minimal, etc. all found their place, time, and audience. I’m still waiting for the return of the “chill out” floor from the 90’s.
EG: What prompted the decision to incorporate vocals into some of the tracks on the LP?
Dapayk Solo: I love to work with vocalists. I met Vars, Komplement, and Mental Bend, the vocalists featured on the LP, within the past 2 years. I met Mental Bend touring in Japan, Vars at a Dapayk & Padberg gig in the South of Germany and Komplement at the Superbooth synthesizer fair in Berlin. They all have a unique style and special voices, which gave the tracks a more organic feel and a bit of an 80’s twist.
EG: Are there any tracks on the album that you have a particular affinity for? Why?
Dapayk Solo: I obviously like all of the tracks, otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen them for the album, but if I had to choose one, it would be ‘Slow Tinnitus’. The track was entirely produced with the Korg Electribe 2. It’s a simple, but funky track and always puts a smile on my face when I listen to it. It only took 2 hours to build and record it. Sometimes all the puzzle pieces fall into place, that’s what happened here.
I obviously like all of the tracks, otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen them for the album, but if I had to choose one, it would be ‘Slow Tinnitus’
EG: Which labels, in your opinion, are ones to watch in 2018?
Dapayk Solo: Besides our imprints, Mo’s Ferry Productions and Fenou, definitely would be Enfant Fenou! We started this new platform to work with bands and release more of the listening electronica that we love so much.
EG: Can you name a couple of artists that you believe have shaped your career?
Dapayk Solo: When I started producing my biggest influences were The Prodigy and Matthew Herbert, a bit later on. I have always admired their versatility in sound and I like when I can’t figure out how a certain sound has been created. Nowadays I don’t really look to any particular artist, instead, I get inspired by sounds that are now or rare and stick out from the masses.
EG: What are your most exciting plans for 2018? Musically? Personally?
Dapayk Solo: I will start touring with a special new live set in April after the album drops. I will be playing a lot of cities in Germany, including Berlin, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. I’m looking forward to playing festivals like Sonne, Mond & Sterne, and Sacred Ground this year, as well as across the borders in Istanbul, Leeds, and Lausanne. I also started working on a new Dapayk & Padberg project.
Dapayk Solo’s ‘The Calling’ will be out April 6th. Grab your copy here.
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