Dorian Concept spends most of his time making weird beats with a microKORG. But he didn't start out that way - he was a musical prodigy as a child, and went to Salzburg to study acoustic engineering. So it's not surprising that he took his name from a musical scale that has been used in everything from Drunken Sailor to Billie Jean. Not that the Austrian producer's experimental hip hop really resembles either of those tracks. We speak to him ahead of his Red Bull Music Academy gig supporting Daedelus this Friday at Hidden.
So, I saw you back at that Brainfeeder show with Flying Lotus back in 2009 - great show! How'd that come about?
It seems like Flying Lotus always invites different people for the bigger Brainfeeder events and fortunately I was invited after we hung out at Sonar festival a couple of days before. It was such a good night! We met back in the days of MySpace and have been in contact pretty much ever since.
You didn't start out making electronica - tell us about how you begun making music.
I had piano lessons as a kid, but then gave up in my early teens, only to start once again in my late teens. Around the age of 16 I started to produce music on this freeware software called “buzz”, and jam over weirdly sequenced beats with this toy-keyboard from Yamaha. Nothing really changed; I just have bigger keyboards and slightly more reliable, flexible software now.
Are you still working with Jacob’s Salty & Bamboozling Ladder? If so, what kind of stuff do you make with them?
We haven’t really been playing much together as of late. Two of the guys in the band also have solo-electronic projects ('The Clonious' and 'Cid Rim') that they’re focusing on, so it can be hard to find the time. The output for me as an instrumentalist is really important though. It feels great to just be a part of a group instead of having to orchestrate every single track by yourself. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until we hit the studio again.
Last year you released your EP Her Tears Taste Like Pears. That's a pretty weird title. Does it mean something else in German?
I just thought of the title back when I was still studying in Salzburg. Ha ha. It doesn’t really mean anything in either language, I just thought it fit the track as it has a melancholy feel and, well, tears are a sign of sadness. As I don’t really incorporate lyrics, most of the time I just think of rather ridiculous names I suppose. It was a track that was on theNinja Tune 20 year compilation, but I always wanted to have it on vinyl as well so I was very happy when it came out backed with an additional three tracks.
You've been pretty quiet on Soundcloud lately - what've you been up to?
I’m still playing a couple of shows a month and working on new music of course. I’ve been getting new gear to work with, which has really helped me freshen up my approach to producing. It’s quite ridiculous when I look back on how long I’ve worked only with the microKORG. It feels good to have new toys.
What were you doing before this interview, and what do you plan to do afterwards?
I walked to this chair and had an avocado, and now I will finish watching an episode of The Wire.
You can see Dorian Concept at the Found: Red Bull Music Academy gig on Friday 8th at Hidden. For more information go to redbullmusicacademy.com