Sunshine & Chill

Interview with Dado aka Deedrah, Cypher & G.B.U

Author: Sam
Date: Apr 16, 2007
Views: 2702

Date: 16.04.2007
Text: Katja

Sam: I´m sitting here in Brazil together with Dado, Deedrah, Federico Baltimore, Cypher.. what other names do you have to offer?

Dado: Many different names, yes.

Sam: How are you?

Dado: I´m good, very good. We are in Sao Paolo here, you are catching me between gigs. I´m in the middle of a tour with one of my bands called GBU - \"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly\"

Sam: Are you the good, the bad or the ugly?

Dado: We shift.

Sam: Ah ok (laughter)
What does making music mean to you?

Dado: Everything. If I don´t make music I´m sick. It means expressing something I have to say and sometimes you want to say something but you don´t even know what you want to say. So I think to be a musician is to be able to express feelings in other shapes than just spoken or written words.
It´s expressing feelings.
I´m just in between feelings and tape and I have many ideas in my head, all the time many melodies, many stuff that I want to put in my music and I have to write it down or put it on tape otherwise its driving me crazy because I have too much stuff.

Sam: So you prefer to express your feelings or what you have to say by music instead of wordsï¿

Dado: Yes and that makes me sometimes a person that is very hard to understand, if I can´t be near the studio because hmmm... most of the time artists are really hard to handle because they are not going to react in real time, they suck all information and feelings and then they´re going to be able to express it through the use of music.
And that is what happens to me, sometimes, you know, you have tough stuff that´s happening to you and thank God I have this very easy way to evacuate all this with music and I found out that the more hectic and stressful my life is, the harder the music is. And when I´m very calm and my life is cool; then I make Federico Baltimore.
This album, I like it because it took me a lot to do it, some tracks are 8 years old and I put a lot of time and thinking into this album, because I had the time. It was always like: \"Ok I have this album done for psychedelic trance or this techno album is done.\" I don´t only do music for CD´s,
I make also music for games or websites so this is full work for me.
And Federico Baltimore is just to express myself and I just said to myself: \"No boundaries!\" Nothing has to be 4/4, nothing has to be in key or nothing has to be in time but everything has to be groovy.

Sam: So the first Federico Baltimore is out nowï¿

Dado: Finally!

Sam: ...which took 9 years or what did you say?

Dado: Well most of the actual mixing and production has been done the last year but I always collected files from long time ago.
I think that the next album is going to be even less electronic. It´s going to be more and more acoustic recordings.

Sam: The next Federico Baltimore?

Dado: I´m thinking about it a lot at the moment. It´s going to be some kind of Massive Attack mixed with some other stuff - a little bit darker but with a lot of real instruments. I don´t want to use too many synthetic sounds.
The first album got two synthetic sounds. One track got a synthesizer solo and another one got a synthesizer sound, but I just used it to make fun of myself. All the rest is only acoustic samples or acoustic takes that I recorded from friends that I met in Ibiza. You know you have a guitar player and he´s coming to the studio and I just left the microphone open.
Right now I have a very nice German microphone and its always on, connected, so anyone can come into the studio and I can record it quick, which is something really important when you work with real performance, its not like when you are working with a computer \"OK, I´m gonna sit down now and start a session\" and you can take your time. You have to be more reactive to be able to play or to record this artist. And I really like to play with drummers and real guitar players; it´s a completely different vibe. I turn more into a sound engineer at this time.

Sam: Federico Baltimore is a collaboration between many different people?

Dado: Yes it´s a kind of a virtual band. If the band would exist it would be called Federico Baltimore. Right now there are no concerts of Federico Baltimore, but there will be. In the future it´s going to happen, after the second album. I already started to work with a percussion player and I know already who is going to do the guitar, I need a bass player and I am going to do all the keyboards and maybe there is going to be a computer on the side but it is going to be only live music.

Sam: Is Federico Baltimore at the moment your favorite?

Dado: It´s always very hard to know what you´re going to do in the future. Lets do like a plan of 5 years and if most of my time is dedicated to Federico Baltimore, then I´ll be happy. I am not planning to do less psychedelic or less techno production; I´m planning to do more but I´m planning to be involved in less. I want to produce other people, help them and put them in the studio while I´m not there.
Not a label because I started a label before and it´s not working. I want to help people, to produce their music and to play it and benefit from my experience; this is what I wanna do. And then 90% of my studio time for Federico Baltimore and Iï¿m blessed!

Sam: So getting into Federico Baltimore, is this also \"getting older\"?

Dado: I think so. I think the older you get, the more you get into jazz and classical music because it is a very highly evolved art. And the older I get, the more interested I get in being excited by stuff I don´t know and its really hard for me to be excited by what I´m hearing right now in the psychedelic trance scene and in techno music in general.
Its happening, of course but what is really interesting for me is that I want to make computer, programming and all this digital work, I want to make it melt into what is being an artist and just playing because now they are more or less disconnected. I want to reconnect everything and this is what´s going to be Federico Baltimore.

Sam: It would be time to reinvent Kraftwerk for the 21st century.

Dado: (Laughter) Exactly. But we are doing Kraftwerk music for 10 years.
German psychedelic trance is 95% people that reinject Kraftwerk music into their music without even knowing it. Even me.
I never been such a fan of Kraftwerk and I listened to it 3 years ago and then I was like: \"F**k!\" This is some synths, lines and even the melodies - I just did them like this, and that´s subliminal.
To me these guys shaped psychedelic trance music mixed with Chicago House and everything. And then after them who shaped psychedelic trance music of now is X-Dream. This Hamburg band; they came and they changed everything. And then they left (laughter) to something else, which I think is really cool. But right now what you are hearing in 99% of the psychedelic trance parties is an edition of remixes of X-Dream music.

Sam: Because of the bassline?

Dado: One day they came with \"Psycho machine\" and changed everything. In \"Psycho machine\" you have all the elements of any psychedelic trance track of now.
You listen to it - you have everything. The break beats are like now, the bass is like now, the mix is like now. They came, set up the standard and then they left. So it´s kind of saying: \"So what´s happening: are we stuck?\" Yes we are stuck right now.

Sam: We need another X-Dream?

Dado: That´s what\'s going to happen. Who is the next X-Dream? But there are artists I think like me that are not playing this kind of X-Dream remixes. The reason why its been so successful - this style: this kick and two shots of bassline is because its easy to mix - because the bassline is not playing with the kick and you don´t have to take care about, I´m talking as an engineer now, its very hard to have a good kick and bass mix.
And when you don´t mix kick and bass then it´s easy to do, so it´s really hard to have a powerful mix with just the \"dumm dagga dumm dagga dumm\" or the \"dubba dubba dubba\" (making bassline sounds with his voice)ï¿
I always used to say that there are just 4 types of basslines possible in techno which are: (making bassline sounds with his voice) The minimal german \"duppa duppa duppa\", the psychedelic trance of \"dumm dagga dumm dagga dumm\" and the \"due dagga due dagga due\" of X-Dream and then you have the one that is more groovy which got this so called \"African shuffle\" and goes like \"dum ba ba, dum ba ba\" and that´s it.
Then you have combinations of these basslines. But there are just these because 99% of psychedelic trance is monotonic which means its only one tone.

Sam: Repetition.

Dado: Its a repetition of loops but also its just one tone, most of them you have the bassline which is playing one tone and all the synths and all the melodies are just playing one tone of octave or one tone of harmonics... and I think this is really boring but thatï¿s the only stuff that most of the people can program because you have to be a musician to escape from this tone because if you are not a musician or naturally induced to understand music, then you don´t know that this key goes with this key and that key is going with that one or that one - and that´s the basic of music.

Sam: So you think the reason why trance music is so monotone is because people are not real musicians or because trance music needs this monotony to work?

Dado: Well I think it´s a mix of everything. When you are listening to psychedelic trance, its got trance inside and this monotonic stuff is a mantra that is going to put you into a certain mental way when you are dancing and then you find out that even if you take no dope, you feel good, you´re not tired anymore just because the music is good and the beat is good.
And its a combination of this but I say why not combine this trance monotonic stuff that is coming from an ancient time.
This is psychedelic trance. I always combined these with some other elements because I believe that you should never use the tonic when you compose, so even if my track is in F, when I start to put the sound I never use the sound in F, I always use a sound in a different key. So that makes my sound really messy and its going from one key to another and there are a lot of melodies, but that´s the way I work and I found out that many artists, even if they open one synth or one plugin or one sample they are going to try to keep it in key with the bass.
And I think that is a mistake and if you listen to all mixes, even in pop, you listen to a Depeche Mode song and all the samples are in a different key and then the singing is not in key. It´s in tune but not in key.
And I think that this is the key also to a good track because then it´s less monotonic.
But you are right to point out that psychedelic trance is like this because it has to be monotone since its a mantra.

Sam: So yes, last but not least. In 2007, what do we get from you?

Dado: I´m right back to Ibiza to finish the album of Chrome Angels with Dino and Shanti and the album with Cristof / Trancewave. We just released a \"Best Of\" compilation called \"Backfire\" and then we asked friends to do remixes of \"Backfire\" so its going to be \"Frontfire\" which are remixes of the classics. And then it´s going to be the new album that we are doing right now. First of all we started to do our new live show with 10 new tracks but then we realized that we wanted to have the album in a different style from what we play on stage so we have to write new music, so basically we have 20 tracks to write for Trancewave.
And I think that I want to release a new Synthetic album before the end of the year and then it depends on the record label if I can start writing on my Federico Baltimore. And then another GBU so it´s all never ending.

Sam: Thank you very much for the interview!


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