Joining the ranks of Anja Schneider and Magda in the female powerhouse with releases on the best electronic labels, it’s no surprise she quickly blossomed into her role as the youngest female resident for Cocoon. Ahead of her visit to South Africa in June, we visited Dinkyland to find out more!
Where did your fascination with electronic music begin?
Modern electronic music came to me when I was only 12 years old. My sister was going out with Dandy Jack [of Perlon fame] and living in Berlin at that time. At a family dinner he gave me a CD and I got instantly hooked on this music. It seemed so futuristic for me, compared to what we had in Chile at that time. Thanks to both him and my sister, I would always receive goodies – music from Kraftwerk, DAF, and house tapes from Doctor Motte. And then later on, things like the early Plastikman CD. I was really lucky!
How did you get into producing?
I guess it came when I was 21 or 22, and I moved to New York. At that time it was really difficult to DJ because the police were really tough. There were no clubs, there were places shutting down, so if I was going to get into music I really wanted to produce. I asked for some advice from people; for example Dandy Jack convinced me to buy a MPC 2000. So I bought that at a very young age and I started to learn that and sampling; it’s a very basic thing!
I lived long enough on each country to find myself very influenced by the music of each . I was born and raised in Chile and lived there until my late teens , so I feel mostly influenced by my Chilean roots than anything. In New York I found House and some techno, so I have a big influence from that city as well , I was in body and soul every single Sunday dancing to house music. And finally in Berlin where I moved in 2003, I got very much influenced by German electronic dance music specially in Panorama Bar and Berghain where I have a residency.
You originally went to New York to study contemporary dance- have you always had an interest in dancing itself, and how did this lead you to electronic music?
I started to dance when I was around 10 years old , before that I was doing rhythmic gymnastics. I was very flexible and musical as a child and me and my family thought it was a good idea to start with dance. Dance did not lead to electronic music at all, they didn’t have much to do with each other for me back then but I used some electronic music for choreography .
You’re first record was released on Traum, and you’ve since released on some of the best labels in electronic music- Wagon Repair, Cocoon, Crosstown Rebels- a world first for any female producer, what made you want to make music?
I studied piano when I was a little girl so I always felt like composing songs or scores , I would read music or invent my own scores in the piano when I was little so I guess it was just somehow natural for me to start making music.
As a self-confessed gadget girl- what are your favourite new toys at the moment?
My acoustic guitar! Actually, I haven’t invested much in the studio this year because I have already at the moment all I need so I’m enjoying playing classic guitar mostly.
When producing, your music has been described as a beautifully intricate and layered work of art- a very evident aural expression. Do you have a strong visual tangent that goes with the sounds you create?
Yes I do ,Im very into esoterics and art , I actually also paint and I’m quite extreme when it comes to how my house looks in terms of decoration and space. I’m very visual. I also see sound as colours , I think that has a name in psychology but I don’t remember now..
You’re also an instrumentalist- you play the piano, guitar and strings- how important is being able to play proper instruments for you to ‘compose’ quality music electronically?
I think it’s somehow good for someone to know or to have the ear to play music , to makes music in tune or out of tune on purpose. I think when you start reading and recognizing music from an early age it never goes away (unless you never had the ear) but I also think there is no rules and maybe someone who does not know anything about harmony or pitch can be more free than someone who is subject to his or her knowledge and academic rules.
Who are some of your favourite producers at moment/ who’ve influenced you?
I really like Tensnake at the moment because I’m a huge fan of Disco music and his tracks are very different but with the disco roots.
Being resident for Sven Vath’s Cocoon party in Ibiza- some would say there are not many dj dreams bigger than that- how does it feel to have your talent recognised on this level and to become part of the Cocoon family?
I could not believe it when it happened in 2004 but I had my fears and some people were a bit… ehm… jealous. I was also much younger so it was all quite over-whelming , a mixture of excitement and fear at the same time! Now that I finally joined the agency and I am older it feels really natural because I been in contact with them for so many years and know them well … but yes it definitely felt huge back then and I was a bit unsure of everything.
Which has been your favourite night at Cocoon and who did you play alongside that night?
It was my first night, and it was with Miss Kitten, it was great, really great! I did the warn up and enjoyed it very much and even though it was around 2004, I think that was my favourite night.
Tell us a bit about the Cocoon club concept and why it has the reputation and following it has…
I guess is very modern and artistic but with a great concept of marketing as well. Sven supports music that normally would not get exposed because it’s very underground and sometimes experimental , so he uses his popularity and brand to expose very avant-garde artists like dj’s, musicians, dancers and designers. It’s a very visual and complete experience!
Dinky’s new album Musica Libre on Cocoon Recordings is available to download on Beatport. The album focused on intimate club, afterhour and warm up moments with a strong emphasis on atmosphere and features tracks from Damian Lazarus, Matthew Styles, Nina Kravitz, Daniel Stefanik, Motorcity Soul, Tensake and The Mole.