Lithuania’s Deri Dako makes ethereal electronic music with a dark and haunting edge. His latest offering is the self released LP, ‘Low Motor’ which takes its inspiration from his own experiences of physical trauma. We caught up with Vilnius based producer to discuss this and more.
Deri Dako - The Interview
Hi Deri Dako, thanks for joining us at Minimal Mag. How are you and what have you been up to?
I’m good. Thanks for inviting me.
I’ve been trying to be less lazy and get back into shape – do more jogging and physical activities. Secretly preparing for the Barkley Marathons.
Also been developing a script for the upcoming music video from the new album, so stay tuned.
What’s something funny that we might not know about you?
I love sour cream – I can eat it with anything. Or on it’s own. And I think I prefer the latter.
Tell us about your name, is it a stage name, where does it derive from?
Deri Dako is the stage name, which has a personal connection to me. The source of inspiration for it was from the two words – which had opposing sides – Dear and Dark.
Most of my work is concept based – and they differ from project to project, so I didn’t want to have a name which would be another concept on top with specific associations, I wanted something which would serve as a blank page, rather than a specific meaning.
I’m not the biggest fan of gimmicky names like DJ Paypal – on one hand it would be quite fun to have a stage name like Federal Reserve System, but it feels a little misleading and is not for me.
What is your background, where do you live? How has this influenced your style of music?
I’m based in Vilnius, Lithuania. I was born in a smaller city Siauliai, grew up in a family of musicians, so I used to be surrounded by different sounds from an early age. Did some classical training, played clarinet and piano.
Later on I moved around quite a bit – lived in different places like Finland, Malaysia, Austria or the USA. I used to be an active participant in raves, going to music festivals and enjoying my time there. Probably the love for electronic music was born during those nights – being on the dancefloor and having a great time. I still do that, but definitely not so often as I used to.
My background is in advertising and design. I’m working as an art & creative director. Developing a variety of content projects, brands and our own initiated ventures. While working with ideas daily I have learned that a radically artistic and authentic attitude is more important than all stylistic categories or genres.
Deri Dako - Soundcloud
You’re releasing an album that has been highly influenced by a recent situation – please tell us about that.
Great works, I believe, all share one thing, and that is that they are supported by context. Ongoing situation definitely had some effect on us, and the album idea – which aims to explore our mental states, was inspired by an unidentified virus I contracted while living in Malaysia in 2013.
The unidentified virus tested my mental and physical boundaries and got me thinking about scenarios which we can and cannot control. Despite our best intentions, some things just happen.
There is a wide range of diseases that can instantly change our life trajectory. I wanted to understand those better, and that exploration resulted in this album.
Obviously, the virus theme is very relevant today – in the context of Covid. Even though everyone experiences it differently.
Each song explores a specific concept. Starting with, White Matter – which serves as a connector to our brain cells, transmitting signals, just like cables that connect everything in real life. Borderline explores borderline personality disorder – dramatic and unexpected mood shifts.
Plastos is about neuroplasticity – our ability to adapt to changes, Track Ca++ represents calcium – an essential mineral that’s found in all body cells. Track 268 MPH reveals the fastest speed in the human body – at which signals travel along alpha motor neurons in the spinal cord.
Mu Waves explores synchronised patterns of electric activities, Chasing Chocolate is about laboratory experiments with rats, when chocolate is being used as a bait, with the goal to understand our brain better.
Finally Medulla, a structure in the lower part of the brainstem will provide some quiet time – meditation and relaxation.
Musically, the album is about working towards raw, expressive, and less prescriptive outcomes, as is the case for artists who continue to create after brain injuries. The work becomes more abstract, symbolic and vibrant while growing ever less rooted in the real world.
There is a coding aspect of this album’s cover art – how did this concept develop and what was the thought behind it?
For this album I wanted each song to have it’s own visual representation. I reached out to creative coder Andreion De Castro, with whom we’ve used each song’s frequency and audio levels to generate unique visuals.
Concept came from “Automatism” which is the idea of bodily movements that are not subconsciously controlled. It resulted in a series of visuals – a graphical representation for each of the 14 tracks of the album.
The main album artwork, which is more expressive and bold – which depicts the human brain in action – making connections, was created by Rus Khasanov.
Where is your favourite place on Earth?
Nature. Especially the seaside – we have a beautiful sand beach near the Baltic Sea. That place is special.
But any second spent in the fresh air, whether it’s forests or lakeside is a time well spent for me.
What else can we expect from you over the next year?
Key focus will be working on new music, trying new ideas.
I also want to develop a conceptual framework for a future AV show.
As well as to continue to work with artists and directors on upcoming music videos and visuals.
Deri Dako - Links
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