Leaving behind his birthplace Buenos Aires to firmly establish himself in Berlin, mecca of electronic music and THE place to make it not break it in 2012, Argentinean live musician and producer Dilo is known for his exquisite audio. His productions that sound like crystalline experimental techno and house are, quite simply put, some of the most marvelous releases around, and as part of the smooth-sounding dream-cream pop band Monotax, he’s done an incredible job to get electronic music lovers into live band formats again. Regularly surfacing on various labels — may it be on his own imprint, Igloo Records, which has released material from the likes of Pinkler Ismael, From Karaoke To Stardom and himself, manifesting himself as the abstract yet fluffy Elephant Pixel –, he’s published music on Hope Central, Soma, Telegraph, Einmaleins, Trapez, LessIzMore, Esperanza, Adjunct, Minus, We Are, Dumb Unit, Clink, Unfoundsound, Leftroom, Romanphoto, amongst others. And it does not stop there. Teaming up with Los Angeles’s oddball [a]pendics.shuffle, their goofy identity Cascabel Gentz is ruff-shuffling the floors once more.
In 2009, Dilo released his first album called “Waheira” on his own label Igloo-Rec. Its title song pushed all the way into Beatport’s Top 10 and hit the De-Bug Magazine chart at number 2. This massive debut was followed up by a double release with remixes by Mark Henning, Agaric, Kate Simko, Someone Else, From Karaoke To Stardom, Elon, and many more. Now, three years down the road, he is about to give birth to his second longplayer, “Ethereal”, a true love child born in the hazy gap in between the floor and outer space. For those in the know, it is clear that his move to Berlin has played an important role in Dilo adjusting his outlook on music, life, and the industry in particular, working even harder to make himself heard. Recently playing at Barcelona’s edition of the ultra-established minimalist Mutek festival, he is now regularly accompanying his live acts with his own vocals, which he also lent to Fritz & Lang. Playing an important role in his current productions, his gentle voice is giving his often clinical and microscopic sound an earthen tone and feel, whilst paying tribute to his everlasting love to the Beatles and their colossal harmonics.
His Latin American roots gently shimmer through the cool and often grey Berlin summer vibes, making his MEOKO podcast offering the perfect soundtrack for this summer as well as offering a taste of what it means to be Dilo these days.
Hey Dilo, great to catch up with you again… tell me about the mix first..
I wanted to express my momentary situation, music-wise….what I’ve been listening and playing lately and which things are influencing me. I also wanted to express what it’s like to live the Berlin summer with its random weather and constant rains.
Where and what are you playing recently, what is being something you consciously dig?
Recently, I’ve been playing a lot in Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the Mutek Festival in Barcelona, in Switzerland, at the Black in Odessa (Ukraine) and I’m excited about what’s next: My Igloo Night at Chalet, the new club by the former Bar25 crew, Azora Festival in Hungary, and then my USA tour in September and South America in November.
How on earth was Mutek? Did you play as Elephant Pixel or Dilo?
I played as Dilo and did vocals live. I played tracks by Dilo, Monotax and Cascabel Gentz, my project with [a]pendics.shuffle.
It’s been a very good year for you, no?
So far so good…though you cant really relax. It’s work you do pretty much every day and you have to keep it up.
How does this challenge feel for you? Is this what you yearned for when you left Argentina for good?
I try not to think too much about the “challenge” itself. It’s true tho that moving here permanently was a clear challenge in the fact that now I have to play for the whole year and not just for four or five months. I’m glad that so far it’s going well! Truth is that bookings have been going well for the last eight years so I could have moved here before, I just didn’t want to do it. Now I’m sure about it.
So now, playing live has become a mayor focus?
No, I still work hard on the label and on making music. I’ve been working for nearly three years on my new album, “Ethereal”. I also have been doing lots of collaborations with friends in Berlin. I did stuff with my old friend and collaborator Nicolas Stofenmacher and his new project Fritz & Lang, as well as new songs with [a]pendics.shuffle, Justin Nabbs, Pipo Vitch, Shadi Megallaa, just to mention a few. I don’t know when it will come out as I don’t have a label bugging me about this, it will be done when it’s done and it will be on my label Igloo. It will be a double album delivery. Let’s say it’s double but it will be released in two parts. I love my label Igloo and it’s the label that most sounds like me so at the end it’s natural to be released on my own imprint. If this release will generate interest of other labels, that’s welcome too.
So… how does ethereal feel?
It feels like a lot of work. And it feels like tripping sometimes. In any case… better you tell me how it sounds! On each part of the album are around ten tracks which will be showing all my different faces, but everything will be signed as “Dilo”. So you get to hear Monotax, Elephant Pixel, Cascabel Gentz all together somehow.
How will they finally find together, what will be their faces? Will they all become one?
Basically expect dance floor tracks but not just that, let’s make it a double bet by adding some “songs” and electronic elements like IDM and ambient to it. A bit like how started off with my first album “Waheira”. The artwork was done by a wonderful artist i discovered when i was playing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His name is Antonio Failache.
Do you like owls?
I love nature and animals, I seem to have something with birds. Owls, penguins, albatrosses.
Last question of this interview before we’re off into the mix. Who is the night owl talking like a journalist in a taxi… at the beginning?
That’s a piece of an interview executed many years ago by a radio station from Munich – recorded at Aula Magna, Seph’s and Pablo Denegri’s studio in Buenos Aires.
Words by Katrin Richter