Greek mythology, Victorian outfits and blended sounds make Daedelus a unique DJ
Innovative and experimental, LA-based producer Daedelus is not your usual DJ. Hardly will you find a song simply remixed. He
reconstructs and reassembles to give songs a new dimension. Born Alfred Darlington, he has become 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), jazz, classical, drum ‘n’ bass, techno and house. As part of a three-city tour with Wild City, an online music guide, he will be in town this Saturday, apart from gigs in New Delhi and Mumbai. Daedelus explains his carnival style 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.
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
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 tracks. 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. A wider array of feelings — from chaos to sweet melodies, all with a kick here or there makes it alright.
More on your Greek name.
Ancient Greek myth has Daedalus as the greatest inventor of the 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.
Your current favourite artistes.
Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Gaslamp Killer, Tokimonster, Nosaj Thing, Free the Robots, Goodnight Cody, Jonwayne, Busdriver…
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.
Three things you can’t do without when on tour?
Good coffee, tasty food, and an audience to play for!
Ten years from now you will be…
Call me crazy, but I’d like to be doing much the same. Travelling to familiar and new places, spreading sound, and perhaps inspiring more people to do something similar.
If not a DJ and producer you’d have been…
Dead. Music saved my life.
July 11, 9 pm onwards at
The Humming Tree, 12th Main, Indiranagar.
— Aakanksha Devi