The plateaus of dense electrical fields foster the creative insurgency that’s necessary to occupy the attention of the worlds musical soldiers and the correspondence you’d exchange with yourself would dissolve into an acknowledgment of attachment. It’s these audible depth charges that rattle your consciousness and in turn give you a fresh vista on your own progress, something our guest this week incites facilely. He’s still harvesting the success of last year’s release ‘Shaman’s Path’ and rightly so – it was one of the albums of the year for us. During the course of the production sequence which has facilitated the furtherance on Prologue, he’s maintained a heavy club and festival schedule across Europe.
We dropped the touring confirmation at the start of the month – Dino Sabatini will be commencing his assault on Australia in March. We’re lining up the first show in Brisbane with the White Rhino crew. Anomaly in Sydney are fronting up the following night at One22 and closing the tour will be Billion Underground’s showing on March 08 in Melbourne. This addition to the mix series is an apt sequel to an evolving saga – the rolling drugged electronica mirrors the events that will transpire.
Kn: Dino you mentioned in the past you don’t like talking about yourself so apologies for dropping some of this on you. You’ve been involved in the music industry for many years, for the most part in Italy before your relocation to Berlin. What’s some of the more important things you’ve learnt about yourself over the years?
DS: First of all I would like to thank you for this interview, the question that you’re asking is very interesting but also very complex, that is, on the human side I learned a lot but at the same time I feel that I still have to learn a lot. The last few years in Berlin have been very important both in the professional field but even for my private life, here I had the chance to start a new life and get to know many producers and dj’s and I also had the opportunity to know better the music industry and everything that revolves around it.
Another important thing is that now I understand better English and German language and of course this has been a great encouragement that allowed me to learn things that before I would not even have imagined.
As far as my technical side the last few years have been very important because they were years of research and experiments which have created a well-defined and very personal sound and in all of this of course there is also the experience gained in the past years in Italy with the project Modern Heads.
Kn: A lot of artists are a little apprehensive about relocations. What were the pro’s and con’s of the decision and how did it balance in your mind to move forwards?
DS: There are many things to take into consideration when you decide to leave from your own country and I understand perfectly the shape of apprehension of the artists who think of taking this step. In my case maybe it was different because to find more inspiration in Rome wasn’t very easy for me, I knew that here I could not learn more than what I already knew. Then I don’t want to talk about the political disaster….
I don’t have to dig far to make a decision and considering that I am an EU citizen and I have the opportunity to live and work in a large community like this why confine myself only in Italy? Today I think I took the right decision even if I miss my family and some old friends.
Kn: The big news of the year was clearly Shaman’s Path. Massive release. I think Vision Quest is radiating from one corner of the house. Can you tell us about the process that the album lived in, what setbacks and ultimate successes were a derivative of the project?
DS: In Shaman’s path the process has been very long but I already had the idea of doing a concept album that gave a sense of the journey, which leaves the classical canons techno though I knew this was a risk but about this I was counting on Prologue and I was pretty sure that Tom would have taken that risk with me.
Regarding the side of creativity, in the album there are several moments of my life, some lived in the room of my study, for example, in “Prophecy” all the sounds were made with items I had in my room, (keys, latchbolts fingers, paper and all that I found around me) and other tracks were made while travelling to gigs, some I’ve done in rooms of hotels or plane or at the airport while I waited for hours.
In every place that I was a different idea came to me and I created several drafts which then I gave a certain order in studio slowly creating a path to which I linked my personal interpretation of tribal sounds then the mix I decided to give an abnormal line without cliché.
Regarding your last question, I can only say that my way of making music is very much linked to my emotions and my intimacy which can only live in the moment that I make music and feelings like these are the most important part of Shaman’s path.
Kn: We’ve featured a small handful of Prologue artists in the past. The imprint broadcasts the drugged drones that we associate with all good techno. What process do you personally undertake when you’re bouncing music back and forth with the rest of the crew to get material out there? (A lot people aren’t aware of the process)
DS: It’s funny because Gianluca Meloni and I have been working on this style for a long time, now it’s called Drones but if you listen to some works of Modern Heads such as Paper Toys EP on Elettronica Romana or Ordinary Madness on Dozzy Rec you’ll find this kind of technique because from our point of view techno music was boring without “Harmony” but we used to call these pads or even better harmonic carpets.
Of course Tom is still a big fan of Elettronica Romana sound and he has absorbed for a long time this style then he created the style that we know today as Prologue imprint.
However, I can not speak in this interview of the musical meaning of “Harmony” because it would be too long but the process that you mean is also linked to this concept, which is to decide on what key to move “Major or Minor or harmonic minor” and to give to some oscillators the desired tone, if you are skilled with harmonic theory it could be more easy to play it as chord on a keyboard of course.
Regarding a good techno drone atmosphere I prefer harmony in a minor key which is surely more sad&dark than the major keys but it’s always good for this style.
Then the sound synthesis. I often use a chain of oscillators in FM controlled in voltage by some sequencer in such a way to give always a different movement to the sound and I use convolution reverb to give feeling of distance to the sound but at the same time make it enveloping.
Then there is the most important part that is linked to the filters. The technique I use the most is to make long envelopes on cutoff and resonance on almost all parts in such a way as to obtain the maximum harmonic frequencies and a total movement within the atmospheres. But this is just one technique, there are a lot, you can easily create many patches to make drones which are available to thousands of synthesizers and some programs entirely manageable. Don’t forget that we are living in the period of open source and programming is entered on the logic of the DAW and not only ….(see Arduino project), it is sufficient thinking about what you can do with Max for Live, among other things these days. I had the opportunity to test Ableton Live 9 and I can just say that everyone will be able to make music.
Kn: We’ve dropped the bomb on the Australian tour commencing March 1 here in Brisbane followed by Sydney the following night and Melbourne the week afterwards. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re bringing out and after you leave us what direction you plan on going leading up to the European summer?
DS: At the moment I’m working hard on the live set, I would like this to be different for each situation. I am preparing more than one so that I can decide what to play according to the place or the type of event.
If you listened to Shaman’s path you can easily deduce that not all the tracks are suitable for the dancefloor as the project’s lead was not dedicated to this but of course the live set must have another type of impact and if possible, should be versatile so to be able to play in clubs but also in other situations, and in any case it will be a bomb!
About the DJ set, I’m selecting tracks that fit well in my sound so that I can choose wherever the type of performance you want to do and also play for 4 hours, sometimes I use make hybrid mix between live & dj set, but as I said before this always depends on the type of situation that I am in front of, and in any case I have fun like crazy.
After Japan & Australian Tour I’ll come back to Europe and it will be almost spring, that puts me in a good mood, I’ll have to find the time to work in the studio and to make new music and tidying up all the ideas that I will put aside during this long tour.