Daedelus x POW Takeover: An Interview

In anticipation of his forthcoming 'Taut,' Daedelus is taking over Passion of the Weiss.
By    May 24, 2018

Daedelus is one of the most innovative, prolific, and brilliant producers of the last two decades. With the release of his latest gem, tomorrow’s Taut, we invited him to take over POW for the day. You can pre-order Taut here

A Magical Properties Affair (Building Blocks)

Daedelus: Taut is a continuation of the story known as Magical Properties, a label enacted to unearth new sounds from the depths of this generation and various pieces of catalog under the Daedelus moniker. A building block for the beauty of electronic music and far beyond, the following interview opens another door to the label’s process and the mechanisms that stretch beyond the form of sonic creation to enrich the stories within. Below this interview contains sounds from Magical Properties that define roads leading to Taut and foreshadow the voyage that it will continue to travel down.

What type of space are you in creatively this year and how does that shine through on Taut?

Daedelus: Taut was made rediscovering process. I have many albums and each to me a unique statement, but I appreciate that there is something overall, overarching, that can muddy their distinct forms. In part the way we listen, in piecemeal, that distorts. More fundamentally, I find the way I was making created outcomes even before I had recorded a note. So, renewal. This Taut was made entirely in Ableton’s Live, unlike any album I’ve made before. A very different canvas to paint on, and I think it shares more space with the world that has largely embraced that software than my previous DAW.

I really love the multiple meanings you were able to associate to the title Taut and the connotation of the music in a conceptional form. Can you elaborate on these meanings and how they formed during the writing/recording process?

Daedelus: Tightly wound. Loose knots. I am tied to the mast of an imperiled ship (music as business) and am struggling against these confines, but also am the one holding the rope taut. Less poetically, it is the bowing in an orchestra, chords on piano, harpsichords, slap bass, and guitar strings. Needed tension to get the tuning right. This is the way I’ve been dealing with the world at large, relinquishing by making so. much. music…

You are well into your music career and have an abundance of releases. How would you sonically differentiate this from your other works? Any modes of creation or sonic identity that is similar to past works?

Daedelus: The tools of production is the instrument I’m playing. Still messing with collaborations, chance samples, big concepts snuck into just a few minutes (just look up what Monstrous Moonshine means to get my drift). I’m not deaf to what is circulating, I still thrill at the chance to DJ. In turn, I’m moved by tempos dancers are whirling to. You’ll hear far more 4/4 here than I’ve ever done before, but I dare not say this is house, or that techno. Those are traditions far grander than a producer tourist could just visit upon. Taut is my own take on a now old story of electronics.

What are some of the most inspiring outcomes of music creation for you in this era and on the Taut LP?

Daedelus: We are post-genre, specifically the box that used to be immediately associated anything with a singular tempo. Now our music can be contemplative, confrontational, confounding, and comforting. It doesn’t need lyrics to have stated opinion or a festival/rave to be loud. The power is in everyone’s DAW to process intentions into fad-fast reactions. They can so I don’t need to. So much creativity isn’t chosen as much as it just washes up onto our attentions. I’ve been the beneficiary of some of that, but largely I love how people need to seek out the sounds I’m part of.

Taut will release on your label Magical Properties tomorrow. What type of history has the label created and how do you foresee Taut extending this history?

Daedelus: Magical Properties was made of wild open ears, debuting artists, and creative freedom. While this is far from a first outing, I think Taut is a totally new offering, and contains all the promise of what it means to have an imprint in these late-teens. Unfettered invention in an era of the optimized playlist.

Where has electronic music gone in the 2010s and how does Taut fit into the forward progression of that timeline?

Daedelus: Recently discussing where the beat scene has gone after the aughts (or better said meandered) it occurred to me that the very LA signature of wonky was a summing of aesthetic freedom in some opposition to rigid forms of Dubstep and Electro (the french kind). Since the Beat Scene outlasted those, maybe it’s been rootless rather than a distinction from. Indeed, the cornerstones of that sound are equally in Mr. Oizo as J Dilla. Rather then disappearing, the Beat producers became the background sound of popular music with vocalists like Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and others shining brightly.

Just look at who Knxwledge and Flylo have produced. Not to mention the countless bands, labels, and night now based in LA chasing after some of the same magic that made that music epoch. I believe this Taut’s 4/4 offering here is cozy close to the Bass that was ever wafting in Low End Theory, but closer to their roots than what has grown from them.

How long did it take to write and record Taut and what type of environments were these processes undertaken in?

Daedelus: A period of a year, give or take, sometimes as the sole focus and also shelved for short moments of tour and longer weeks of just seeing if it would call me back to keep at it. The album was recorded and mixed here (and everywhere). That’s the songs, but the concept has been echoing with me for a long while in long rambling letters of intention. Looking for the right chance to express this feeling that doesn’t have exact nouns, but rather a verb with many meanings.

The light show extension that you explained about the tour side of Taut sounded absolutely wonderful! Can you elaborate on that in the written form?

Daedelus: Panoptes is the name of a many eyed giant of myth, and inspiration for a volumetric display as physical whirling onstage backdrop. Incite* (a maker of wondrous things, mostly production pieces for experiences) and I teamed up to create something tangible for stage. This follows my previous Archimedes, which was a wall of moving mirrors. For Panoptes it just so happens this effect is created by a spinning rope and becomes yet another intersection of where this word Taut has taken me.

What type of overall show do you want to create for your audiences in support of Taut?

Daedelus: I’ve many dates announced, both in N. America (many with fellow Brainfeeder, Lapalux) and overseas at Spain’s Sonar festival and S. Africa’s Wolfkop. I’ll be bringing these sounds with me, but as ever trying to do as much listening from the stage as possible. Blending everything into yet more results. The record doesn’t finish with a release, rather it’s a statement of intentions that continue at every show and continue growing.

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