Artist – DYlab
Label – New York Haunted
Current Collaborative Release –
Melbourne based Acid producer/ technician, Dylan Davis aka, DYlab has taken some time out of his busy schedule to provide Revel with a wonderfully insightful interview into his evolution as an acid producer as well as insight into the more technical side of his creative process, from his favorite hardware equipment to his current method in creating.
DYlab provides a glimpse into the Acid scene over in Melbourne Australia with lots of names drops to check out, as well as the record label he is involved with, his radio show, collaborations, current projects, as well as his inspirations…..
Miff/Revel- Where did it all start for you regarding your passion for creating acid music?
Dylan /DYlab – I’ve always thought about making music and playing around with sound. I used to make sounds while my friend played instruments in the early 90s, it was synth, drum machine, lots of effects and bass guitar.
Later in the 90s, I picked up some synths and a drum machine of my own for messing around with, but it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I decided to give it a try and as acid house was one of my first musical loves I aimed to make acid house music.
Miff/Revel – What elements have you experimented with, both sonically and in regard to tech that has truly surprised and excited you?
Dylan /DYlab- I have experimented with lots of different tech and sounds, I like blending computers and hardware, the iPad was an interesting device to play with to control other synths and create sequences, I used to do radio shows where I’d jam using iPad software connected to computer-based FM synths alongside other hardware devices, and that was a lot of fun.
Usually, I work with different sounds and textures and listen for the types of sounds that are missing and look at ways to create and incorporate those sounds and tones.
Miff / Revel- What currently shapes and fuels your creative ideas for future production? What is your direction?
Dylan/ DYlab- At the moment it’s the machine and live jamming. I generally jam on the machines until I feel some kind of emotional response to what I have created and then I hit record. If I jam and don’t feel anything I don’t record. Then toward the end of the month those pieces that have an emotional resonance I finish off as best as I can on the computer, adjusting, arranging and modifying whilst maintaining the original feeling I had when I first heard the piece.
Miff / Revel – Who have you been working with most recently regarding remixes? …How best would you describe your approach to remixing?
Dylan /DYlab – It varies depending on what I get sent to be honest. Sometimes the process is a reductive one, I mine for one sound or one element then reconstruct a new track from that. Other times the process is adaptive when I add effects to existing tracks then add a new beat or a new sound or texture to it. It all comes back to how I respond to the material.
Miff / Revel – How would you best describe your evolution in making acid music?
Dylan / DYlab – I have learned a lot more along the way about music theory, production and how to work the equipment but the process in terms of doing what I resonate emotionally to is part of the core of how I work, so whilst my techniques have grown and improved and become freer, most of my work is now recorded and cleaned up, the core is the emotional response to the sounds the machines make.
Miff /Revel – What samples, sounds, and machinery is currently floating your boat?
Dylan/ DYlab – The DFAM is currently floating my boat hardware-wise, loving the sounds I get from it and the improvised nature of it for live set. Other than that, I’m using a lot more breaks in my live sets and also in my productions and looking to probably feature more in upcoming tracks
Miff/ Revel – Can you give us some insight into the acid scene in Melbourne, who are the instigators?
Dylan/DYlab -Melbourne has a rich history of techno and acid music, I’m a bit of a late arrival only getting there in 2000, and at that time Virus was doing the whole London Acid Techno sound. But people like Honeysmack, Voiteck and Zen Paradox have been doing acid and techno in Melbourne since the 80’s.
There are lots of crews putting on techno club nights, Bunker, Cat House, Machine, Tekno Mulisha are some of them that spring to mind. There seems to be a lot of local labels putting out interesting electro and acid-tinged sounds and plenty of live acts that incorporate that acid sound, people like ACM, Lou karsh/Reptant, Kettokai, and so many others.
Miff/Revel – In the summer Acid Slice released a super cool compilation tilted, 303% Acid Music which you are featured on, can you tell us about the Acid Slice collective and their fresh approach to creating acid music?
Dylan /DYlab -The Acid Slice compilation is a bunch of tracks from people that have played live sets or DJ’d at acid slice events over the past year and it was our (the organisers) way of saying thanks for playing, we appreciate it and let’s showcase the music you make both as CD and digital release.
Miff/ Revel – Can you give us some insight into the Dutch label, New York Haunted and its ethos? and when did you first become involved with the label?
Dylan/ DYlab – The label is Vince Korman’s label and he runs things there. It’s a very much a family feel to it though and have done a lot of cool project and releases, things like for the Bees and Vote Acid are some of the cool VA projects. He releases music he likes, and it goes from extreme noise stuff to the melodic techno acid and pretty much everything in between. There is a good ethos and he tries to showcase so really diverse and incredible talent from all over the world. I think my first release was about 3 years ago and I got in touch with him either via email or social media and sent him a few things that resonated with him and it went from there.
Miff/Revel – Tell us about your monthly radio shows with FNOOB and Seance Radio.
Dylan/DYlab – I’ve been doing these radio shows for a while, it’s a good way to showcase new tunes I’m working on, or do a live set for an hour or have guest mixes to showcase other people I meet. Both FNOOB and Séance have been really supportive of my music and put out releases on their respective labels, with Séance releasing a CD album of my tunes,
Miff/Revel – Aside from your hardware live sets and acid production, what kind of energy and experience do you strive to create and provide through your DJ sets.
Dylan/ DYlab – I don’t DJ. I can’t mix records that’s why I play live. Even my radio show mixes are all lined up audio files in Ableton then rendered out.
Miff/Revel – Have you ever gone off on an unrehearsed tangent during a hardware live set?
Dylan/ DYlab – My sets now are improvised so the whole thing is a tangent tbh. I have a mix of patterns and the DFAM & TR8 is fully improvisational so yeah, the whole set works as a pick and mix, and it goes in whatever direction I feel.
Miff / Revel – When did you first start to tinker with analog machines, how best would you describe your relationship to machines you own? Do those machines really take on a life of their own? Who bosses who?
Dylan /DYlab- I got my first synth and drum machine around 1997. The sh101, mc202 and a 606. I synced them together and made some attempts at music with them. When I started making music again, later on, I revisited the whole set up and things have grown and now my setup is pretty full of a diverse range of sounds and machines.
The machines tend to have a life of their own but saying that turning on a 303 and a 707 the sounds you hear would lead towards acid house because these sounds have been established and that’s the language created and in memory, so it’s interesting to work outside of those ideas or pre-existing sounds. I really enjoyed the freshness footwork brought, combining rave, jungle and dub music with just about anything made for very exciting possibilities at the time.
So sometimes it’s good to work within existing confines as it gives you a blueprint and sometimes it’s good to work with stuff that sounds uncomfortable because you aren’t used to it yet.
Miff/Revel – Where has been the most electrifying parties/clubs you have played or aspire to play?
Dylan/DYlab -The latest version of my live set up is pretty free and the open provisional format has made it really enjoyable to play, so the last few gigs I’ve played have all been great fun and very positive, enriching experiences, I just hope to keep having fun, having people invite me to play and have people dance to the music I make.
Miff/Revel – Do you have any plans to tour either the UK or Europe?
Dylan / DYlab- I have been invited to play in Europe but it’s a question of funding, so looking at grants and thing like that to get overseas, and hopefully, play there.
Miff/Revel- Who are your inspirations?
Dylan/ DYlab- Probably some of the first live set acts I saw like Crystal distortion and 69DB from old spiral raves. Then obviously Jeff Mills for his live set and also Shawn Rudiman. Then outside of that, there are so many people making live electronic music with whatever they can afford it’s a very inspiring time for music-making, people coming on stage with cheap synths doing great things, laptop sets where people really making great-sounding music that resonates so well.
So, I find everything I see and hear a source of inspiration, people like Neybuu goes great live stuff with her electron gear and sounds like stuff I’ve never heard before. So, anything that exposes me to new, diverse sounds and practices is inspirational.
Keep up to date with DYlab’s projects on the links below.