Greek mythology, Victorian outfits and blended sounds make Daedelus a DJ you cannot miss this weekend
Innovative and experimental, LA-based producer Daedelus is not your usual DJ. Instead of just remixing songs, he reconstructs and reassembles them to give a new dimension. Born Alfred Darlington, he has sealed himself as a regular at festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza and SXSW. The multi-instrumentalist’s music is a complex blend of hip-hop, bossa nova (a Brazilian style for the uninitiated), jazz, classical, drum ‘n’ bass, techno and house. In India for a three-city tour with Wild City, an online music guide, he will be in Bengaluru tomorrow, apart from gigs in New Delhi and Mumbai. Daedelus explains his carnival style and sounds before you see him dressed as a Victorian dandy (his signature outfit) performing on a walnut wood panelled audio controller called Monome, which faces the audience to get them involved.
How would you describe your music?
At best I’d say the music is romantic. Not in the conventional sense perhaps, but rather the sickly sweet feeling when falling hard for someone. Maybe that’s just what I’m trying for.
Tell us more about starting out.
Starting on double bass and bass clarinet—I always loved low sounds—I played classical and jazz. But somewhere along the way I lost faith in performing other people’s music. At that time I couldn’t imagine what sound I’d make, but I knew it had to be in my voice. Electronic music is such an amazing canvas to paint on. All the frequencies, especially those same low ones I was so in love with, are available to express.
Any early influences?
Many of my heroes came from hip hop, but were making music much deeper than just an instrumental track for an emcee. Madlib, J Dilla, Carlos Nino and more became champions, and later friends, even if I was making more electronic sounds myself.
What creative inspirations have had an
impact on you?
Bass (or body) music is a movement that is supposed to be felt, no matter the BPM. I find that as that scene has expanded and diversified it has allowed me to expand my own expectations of what is possible in a night out. A wider array of feelings—from chaos to sweet melodies, all with a kick here or there makes it alright.
More on the Greek name.
Ancient Greek myth has Daedalus as the greatest inventor of the ancient age, a creator of wax wings, and labyrinths. This character is an aspiration of mine. I don’t think that I’m such a great inventor myself, but someday perhaps I’ll be worthy of using the name.
Any plans on Indian
Yes. I but I haven’t found them yet. There are so many great records I’ve encountered, with incredible players and composers. But since this is my first time here, I want to hear in person everything that’s happening now.
How do you switch your set around for different venues?
The sounds change, the goal is moved, even the way you can act on stage. But I always believe you should look into the crowd’s eyes, and at their feet, and follow them. As much as I’m loudly leading, I’m also looking for clues on where we can go.
Your current favourite
Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Gaslamp Killer, Tokimonster, and others like Nosaj Thing, Free the Robots, Goodnight Cody, Jonwayne, Busdriver, and many more.
Purist or experimentalist?
I’m a maximalist—
nothing is taboo for creating sound.
July 11, 9 pm at The Humming Tree. Details: 9886618386