The final mix for the EDWIN Music Channel for 2021 welcomes Paris-based composer and producer Dang-Khoa Chau aka D.K., globally famed for his multidimensional releases on labels such as Antinote, Melody As Truth, Good Morning Tapes, 12th Isle, and Abstrakte Records.
№ 104 - D.K - The EDWIN Music Channel
Since 2014, D.K has been constantly releasing music in a number of stylistic outfits. As DJ Dee Kay he dropped some battle break tunes and as 45 ACP he published heavy-hitting house and techno music on labels such as L.I.E.S. and Russian Torrent Versions.
To this date, his leading moniker, D.K., and his records for the forecited labels display his compositional grandeur with an array of genres including abstract ambient, breakbeat, downtempo, house, leftfield grooves, synth-pop, tribal, techno, and trance.
Besides making and releasing music, D.K. established himself as a globe-trotting DJ, plying his trade in Australia, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam, and all over Europe.
D.K.’s current focus is Worship, his freshly launched record label. For its introduction, we have released a limited edition Long Sleeve T-Shirt, that celebrates the inauguration and its first release, “Gate Of Enlightenment”. AVAILABLE NOW ON THE WORSHIP BANDCAMP.
In addition, D.K. has recorded an almost one hour long absorbing mix for the EDWIN Music Channel, that displays his multi-faceted love for music with dubby zones, industrial concrete scratches, outer-national melodies, tribal rhythms, feverish breaks, and hallucinogenic grooves by artists like Bristol-based producer and DJ, Pessimist, Brooklyn-based experimentalist Ben Bondy, and his Paris-based homie Eszaid, as well as music from labels like Gang Of Ducks from Italy and Nyege Nyege Tapes from Uganda.
To accompany his sleazy mid-tempo multi-ethnic trip with some background insights, we sat down and chat with our host. Read below what D.K. told the EMC about his musical origins, his artistic drive, his new label Worship, and his evolution as a producer.
Q. Hey D.K., could you introduce yourself to us a little? What was your musical upbringing like and when did you decide you wanted to make a living in the music industry?
A. Hey, thanks for having me. My name is Dang-khoa, I’m a composer and producer living in Paris. I’m releasing music under the D.K. moniker since 2014. I started djing as a teenager, collecting mostly hip-hop records for a while before leaning into electronic music. To be honest, I never really thought I'd make a living with music, so I’m grateful it has been possible since I started touring after my first record.
Q. You've been releasing your own productions since 2014, what is the driving force of your creativity?
A. There’s so much good music out there that inspires me every day, I feel like I still have so many things to learn and explore, I just keep being curious and try to make the best release I can every time.
Q. So far you have released six albums on labels like Antinote, Melody As Truth, Good Morning Tapes, 12th Isle, and Abstrakte Records. In addition, you published several EPs on the aforementioned labels. How does the process of making an album differ from the process of making an EP?
A. Each record is a different and new project to me, so the process of making a long format allows me to dig deep into one concept that I have in mind for a particular release and see it through. Making an EP is more instinctive, direct, that’s why I’m using this format for club-oriented material mostly.
Q. Your music always flirts with touching melodies that dance alongside subtle grooves and rhythms. What is your take on melodies? What do you love about them? And how do you avoid the cliché?
A. When I started to make music, melodies were definitely leading my productions. It was all about making arrangements and layers of synths, and all the tracks had to have a hook on and the editing was built around it. Now I’m less into catchy songs, I get bored pretty quickly, haha. I still like to feel the melancholy of it but more in a subtle way. For the past few years, the main focus of my production process is the work on the drums and sound textures, using percussion, effects, and frequencies to create melodies.
Q. As a producer, what's your perspective on the relationship between music and technology, and what does your production environment look like? Do you work a lot with software or more with hardware or other equipment?
A. I’m 100% Ableton Live, LOL.
Q. What are currently your main compositional and production challenges?
A. The main challenge is that every release must have a strong and personal identity. I like exploring different styles of music, but I have an obsession to make it my own and it can be sometimes a long process.
Q. Recently you launched your new label Worship. What is the philosophy behind it?
A. It’s a platform focused on releasing music from friends, collaborations with artists that I look up to, and a place for experimentation for my own productions.
Q. The first release is music by you under the title "Gate Of Enlightenment". The recordings feature a lot of Asian leaning sounds, grooves, and tones. What was the inspiration behind the release and why did you decide to launch your label with it?
A. The idea of launching a label came through after I finished those tracks actually. I had no idea which labels to contact for this release so I’ve decided to self-release it. "Gate Of Enlightenment" is a hypnotic seven-track trip, inspired by artists such as Muslimgauze, O Yuki Conjugate, and Randy Greif...
Q. How do you buy new music? Digital, physical?
A. Over the past couple of years I have mostly bought digital music on Bandcamp, but since the lockdown, I enjoy buying records and tapes again, especially for home listening music, online or in local record shops in Paris.
Q. What’s the story behind your mix for the EDWIN Music channel?
A. It’s a collection of slow and half tempo sleazy beats modeled with a modern twist from, NyegeNyege, Significant Other, Pessimist Productions, Ben Bondy, Gang Of Ducks, Eszaid, etc...
Muslimgauze – Degage
Cub – Dream Logic
PVAS - ~~~~ (Laid-Back Rave)
Significant Other - The future doesn’t exist
HHY & The Kampala Unit – Catastrophism
The Untouchables – Culture Clash
Stigma – Listening now
Polido – Twig
Eszaid – Live Marsiho (Extract)
Gamba - County
HHY & The Kampala Unit – Mesh intensifer
Regno Maggiore – Astroveliero
Ben Bondy – Lith
Krikor Kouchian – While I heard You Died