G-Sounds 18: Dilby
New Zealand’s infectious groove…
New Zealand born, Dilby lives and breathes house music. From a young age Dilby has been obsessed with hunting and collecting music and has always been passionate about sharing these treasures with others. This is evident in his DJ sets which span genres and create an infectious groove on the dance floor.
Dilby was first introduced to underground electronic music through the rave scene of the 90′s. His excitement and passion for everything house grew until he began DJing in early 2001. Since then he has not looked back and continues to grow and evolve his sound and skills on the decks. Dilby has played the best clubs and festivals all over New Zealand including a sold out Rhythm and Vines festival with over 25,000 in attendance and has shared the stage with many of the world’s top DJ’s along his journey.
Dilby has taken his passion for house music to the studio and presented his creative and inspired productions to the world. His tunes champion a signature groove and attention to detail that sets them apart from the crowd. His music is crafted from a classic house and techno pallet but presented with a fresh, modern and individual aesthetic. They are full of rich musical influences; from dub to progressive rock, ambient and tribal rhythms, but rest assured, they’re aimed squarely at the dance floor.
Dilby works with some amazing record labels including Beef Records, Baroque Records, Soulman Music and many more. His original productions and remixes have been supported by top DJ’s ranging from legends like Danny Tenaglia to Nic Fanciulli to modern front-runners like Waifs & Strays and Karol XVII & MB Valence.
Since a child you collected music, what was the very first record you prized?
As a young kid I was really into the stuff my parents would listen too, which was pretty varied. Everything from Grace Jones to Pink Floyd to Peter Tosh. My first memories of being super into a specific record was Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s album “Rust Never Sleeps”. I remember running into the room whenever it was playing and singing along next to the speaker, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away, my my, hey hey”.
Which was the first track you played as a novice?
I’m not too sure to be honest. I learned to mix records from my flatmate at the time who had a really cool collection of Naked Music stuff and West Coast house jams so probably something along those lines. The first house 12′s I bought myself were Steve Lawler’s “Rise In” (Bedrock) and Halo Varga’s “Future” (Hooj Tunes).
Which was the first party you had been to that made you realise you wanted to DJ?
There was a big outdoor NYE festival close to the city I grew up in called ‘The Gathering’ which ran from ’96 to ’02. I went to a lot of them and would get really into it during the events, although I was pretty staunchly into rap and hip hop at the time. At the 2001 Gathering I saw Way Out West play and it blew me away. That was really the point at which I decided I wanted to start DJing house music, although it had been building up for a while.
Are you more into making the music or would you rather DJ?
I love both to be honest. I started DJing long before I ever dreamed about writing my own tracks but now I guess they go hand in hand. I love the feeling when everything is working in the studio and it feels like the music is just writing itself but I don’t think it could ever beat the thrill of playing to a nice crowd on a big sound system.
Coming from New Zealand, how did your music bring you to Berlin?
I guess it is all just part of the natural progression of things. As time went by I put more and more into music and realised I couldn’t really do it full time in New Zealand. I knew people who had lived in Berlin and it seemed like the perfect environment and opportunity to immerse myself in music and to push things on.
Where has been your most memorable gig in Berlin?
Playing at Sisyphos was really cool. There is always an up-for-it crowd there, it’s slightly off the beaten path and not as famous as some of the other places which creates a really beautiful vibe there. not to mention, it was great to play at one of my favorite clubs in Berlin!
In your perspective what makes Berlin the worlds electronic music centre?
There are so many clubs, so many great DJ’s and producers and so many punters. The intensity of the music scene in Berlin draws people here and I guess in turn it is the people that create the intensity.
What is your mind set when you go into the studio to make music?
I try to keep a pretty open mind. I have a wide interest in music and I guess different things influence me at different times. I try to just vibe and see where it takes me. If I’m doing a remix I usually get an idea in my head of what direction I might take before I start, but that usually changes somewhere throughout the creative process.
According to you, which is the best track you have made?
Probably “I Went Back” featuring Lowqui, which came out last year on Beef Records. It has a deepness and emotion that I really value in music. It was also awesome working with Lowqui who is a total veteran of the Drum & Bass scene, not to mention a good mate. We have just started work on a follow up so watch this space.
When composing your music, how do you choose the elements to make your sound unique?
That’s a hard one. I think creating a unique sound is a combination of your workflow and techniques and finding original sound sources. Follow your heart, not the charts.
When working on collaborations, how is it done – do you just amalgamate your ideas, or does one make it and the other re-edit it?
It totally depends on who I’m collaborating with and the level they are at in terms of experience and technical know how. I have found that it is generally always a lot slower working with others though. I have a record coming out later this year on Escapism Musique that I wrote with a good friend of mine, Bastian. He hasn’t done a great deal of studio work but is an awesome DJ, super creative and has played drums and piano so had a lot of input to give but I do all of the engineering in that partnership. He also did some vocals on the record we did together which was awesome and brave. I’m also working on something at the moment with a buddy from Berlin, Carlo. We have similar levels of experience so we just kind of share the engineering and creative process. The hardest thing about collaborating is finishing things you start!
Having an eclectic taste in music, only broadens your own style, do you agree and why?
Oh for sure. I think it is really important to have a wide interest and knowledge of music in order to progress as a DJ or producer. Variety is the spice of life.
It is known that your music is made for the dance floor, what is the trick to keep us dancing?
Drums! You got to have good drums. Create a good groove and hook that grabs people and locks them in on the dance floor.
Your latest mix named Secret Recipes 001 – Burgers and fries is a banging set of tunes, but mostly it is intriguing that you have called it Burgers and Fries, why is that?
So Secret Recipes is the name of my new podcast series. The whole name is kind of a joke, because I hate to take myself too seriously. I am really into cooking and food and just decided that the naming theme would be a different food for each episode. There will be some guest mixes coming up too, so the guest DJ will choose their favorite food to name the podcast. Secret Recipes 002 – Spaghetti and Meatballs will be served up in February.
Today we are flooded with DJ’s and party people are rather spoiled with so much music, according to you, what makes you stand out and bring something fresh?
That’s a hard one. If anyone has an answer to this please email me! For me, I just try to make and write music that stays true to myself and that I am passionate about. I’m not super interested in riding the crest of the next big thing’s wave. I just do what I love.
Being supported by some big names like Danny Tenaglia or Nic Fanciulli is a big deal, tell us how did you first get noticed?
I think mostly that is down to working with some cool labels that do good promotion and work hard to get my music into the hands of the right people. Thanks to all the labels that peddle my music. I love you all!
Which is your favourite DJ and how has he/she inspired you?
There are so many amazing DJ’s and producers out there so it is kind of hard to pick one currently but the most important influence would have been my old flatmate who inspired me and got me into DJing house music, thanks Zac!
The most important thing about music is?
To listen to it and dance to it and enjoy it. Regularly and religiously!
If the world were to end, which 3 tracks in the whole world would you play?
Van Morrison – “Moondance” and Al Green – “Let’s Stay Together” because they are amazing songs I’d just have to hear one last time and then Leftfield – “Open Up” because it is the perfect soundtrack to the apocalypse.
Please tell us the one song or track that would define you?
Impossible! There are too many awesome tracks out there and I would hope that my answer would continually change as music continually evolves and, hopefully, so do I.
And lastly, what are your aspirations for 2013, where can we find you to shuffle our dancing feet?
Just to continue to work hard in the studio really. I have lots of exciting releases coming up including releases on Beef Records, Escapisim Musique, Form and Function, UM Records, Gartenhaus and lots more. I plan to be DJing more this year after taking it easy in 2012 to focus on studio work. I am working on dates for later in the year in Netherlands, UK and lots more but you can catch me playing around Berlin for now, check my Facebook page for dates and details.
Dilby | Facebook | Soundcloud | Beatport | Mixcloud |