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Julien Dyne

Julien Dyne

Interviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam
Monday 27th February, 2012 9:45AM

Julien Dyne has made a name for himself via a number of sources – collaborating with Ladi6, his work with Opensouls, and his solo music, which has gathered a fairly impressive international reputation. His latest solo album, Glimpse, has just been released, and he sits down to answer a few questions via email.

Why music in the first place - what got you into it?

My Dad (Paul Dyne) is a famous jazz musician in Wellington so I guess the combination of his influence and the instruments we had had home were the inspirations to start playing music . Also as a teenager I was really into skateboarding and the music surrounding that , me and my friends were influenced by the three chord /one drum beat ethos of punk rock and decided to give it a go.

You're super-prolific - how do you view the solo work in comparison to your other work (e.g. Opensouls, collaborations etc.)? Do the other projects help with the solo work?

Yeah I reckon , all facets of music making helps in terms of application to solo work I think. Working with Ladi6 and parks is a huge inspiration for me. I always take something away from a live performance or studio session.

The solo work is just another avenue for creativity really, sometimes it’s great having all the control and being able to steer things in any direction you like , other times you miss the joys / fun aspect of working in a collective or group.

Given your drumming background, do you find yourself constructing a song as a 'drummer' first and foremost (i.e. in terms of rhythm or texture), or is it just one of many ways of approaching your songwriting?

Yeah predominately I build from the ground up, mapping out the general tempo and style of the beat/ drums before adding the harmonic and melodic elements.

I’d say I’m more of a collage or assemblage artist than a songwriter per se, stacking and manipulating textures until I get something I like the shape of.

Were you surprised at the positive reaction to Pins and Digits? Did have much in terms of expectations with it?

um I’m not sure really , I’d road tested elements of that record in DJ sets so I knew I had some things that would appeal in certain circles but really I had no idea how I’d be perceived once it was out.

How did you end up on BBE Records? How helpful have they been? Has it also opened your ears up to a bunch of new stuff?

I signed with BBE records via recommendation from DJ Vadim who was a fan of my music. He introduced us and we struck up a deal shortly after.

I have been a long-time fan of the label (in particular their Beat Generation series and their compilations) so it felt good to go with them.

They have been helpful in getting my music out to a larger audience internationally which has helped a great deal. I’m also signed to Japanese label Wonderful Noise, who are really awesome in terms of organising tours , remix work and the like.

How did you approach Glimpse? I read that you said it's more of a listening album than a dance one?

I think with Pins and Digits, I was more conscious of how some of the tracks slotted in with other and what would work in a DJ set , with Glimpse I was more concerned with the overall vibe and its effect as a kind of musical suite.

Was it more difficult to make? Did it require a lot of time with the editing, getting the right sounds etc.?

Yeah potentially. I mean there’s lots of trial and error with this type of music , pathways that lead to the dead end , but you know it’s fun too , especially the honeymoon period of the track (in its early stages) being fresh and exciting to your ears , the editing and arranging can kinda dwindle that away and then it feels more like work.

Was it unusual for you not to use as many live instruments as usual?

It was a conscious decision to use less of an organic /live instrument palette. I’m still interested in the collision of acoustic real instruments against synthetic sounds but for this record, the found and or electronic textures appealed more to my senses.

Is it going to be more difficult to play live?

It would be if I was doing a live band kinda thing, but the presentation I opt for is more club/DJ set oriented so I use a sampler and slot it in with my regular DJ set up.

What have you got planned after the release?

Tours of Australia and Japan in March, some shows around New Zealand , gigs and recording Ladi6 + working on some artworks and new music at home.


Catch Julien Dyne's Wellington album release - see below for details.