Hey Doppel, thanks for jumping on board for a podcast, tell us a bit about the mix you have done for us?
Thanks so much for having me! It’s all my own stuff except for the last one which is a very special remix of one of my tunes by Thankyou City. Some of the stuff included in the podcast is unfinished or improvised and has never been released anywhere but I’m really happy with how it turned out.
You’re from Canberra, do you think the area has influenced your work in anyway?
Absolutely, in a few ways. Canberra’s a small place but there are so many people doing some amazing things here and it’s really a perfect springboard for creativity. It’s immersed in and surrounded by natural beauty and we have the luxury here to indulge in art and music more than many other places so it’s filled with some incredibly talented people. There’s a really healthy outdoor festival scene and a number of crews throwing really intimate and forward thinking events as well so despite a small population there are people really pushing it to new levels.
I don’t tend to book too many gigs playing my own music here because the music I write doesn’t align that well with a lot of what’s going on here, but I have received so much support from the Canberra community and some amazing promoters and I’ve been fortunate enough to have plenty of opportunities abroad so I’m very lucky. I also get plenty of chances to bang out DJ sets here and there which is always great. Although I try to play only my own music nowadays I started as a DJ and there is an art to DJing that’s unique compared to playing live or producing that’s just as satisfying and a little more loose and suits the more intimate underground bootleg style house party vibe that exists here in Canberra a little better.
What is your current production setup?
Currently writing on Ableton with an APCmkII and a midi keyboard. Pretty straightforward but I’ve played a number of instruments over the years and similar to how I went from drawing pictures with pens and paints to making digital art I was definitely drawn to having all of my tools in one box. I’d love to have a room full of analogue gear and bells and whistles but I just don’t have the money or room for it right now and having a space orchestra at my fingertips in Ableton is hard to go past.
Do you have any specific methods when writing tunes?
I’ve been using samples more and more lately but as synthesizers, I suppose. I find that I can create much more interesting textures and sounds by manipulating things that just can’t be easily synthesized and I get a little tired of the same old synth sounds. Having said that, I use 808 and 909 samples all the time because while I love organic sounds, I’m a sucker for that tech house rhythm.
I’ve still got a lot to learn when it comes to songwriting and production because I do have a tendency to get bogged down in details which can lead to me losing sight of the bigger picture, it doesn’t matter how great or innovative your sound design is, I think it falls flat if you haven’t written a good tune. I used to listen to a lot of music with very elitist cultures that revolved around technical proficiency and how complex something was determining its quality, and while there’s something to be said for someone being a talented musician, to me it doesn’t mean anything if the music they’re writing doesn’t make you feel anything.
I think the best piece of advice I’ve ever received has got to be “less is more”. To use the painting analogy again, it’s like the concept of broad strokes, it’s often better to use bold, distinct lines which create contrast and space because if you use a million tiny ones you can end up with a blob of nondescript gray. If details aren’t distinct it’s easy for them to be confusing or disappear entirely. Saying this does seem stupid when most of my tunes are heaped with layers of crap, but I do like things that are complex and detailed, just preferably not at the cost of groove and raw emotion.
I also have a serious tea habit which is a big part of my method.
We are super excited about your upcoming release on Open Records, tell us about how that came about?
This is something that is still totally unbelievable to me. Open Records tunes were some of the very first I ever bought off Beatport back when I started DJing and guys like SQL, Thankyou City, Funkform, Sun Control Species, Child, Antix & Fiord were part of the fundamental building blocks for what I’m doing today so it is literally a dream come true.
I had been booked for Bizarre Garden Festival near Byron by the legendary Webber along with Thankyou City who have been heroes of mine since the beginning, so I had the opportunity to spend some time with them over that weekend. They checked out my set and loved it which was incredible to hear and at that time we talked about them doing a remix for me or visa versa.
Totally independent of that meeting on the way home from the festival I got a message from Jesse from Open saying that he liked my tunes as well and wanted to do a release. Within a few weeks I’d received a remix of my tune back from the TYC boys which absolutely blew my mind. After that, Jesse managed to get Retza on board to do the second remix. Retza is someone I hadn’t heard of until a year or so ago, but he’s now one of my favourite artists and he’s writing some of the best music in Australia and he is an absolute gentleman along with everyone else involved in the project which is almost the best part.
Ultimately it was a pretty awesome case of the stars aligning, I’m really excited to get the EP out because it’s a combination of so many things that I love and I really couldn’t be happier with the result.
Local artists we should check out?
As far as Canberra local produce goes there aren’t really many people writing house and techno here as far as I know.
Definitely Eukali, really talented producer writing some super lush progressive tunes, I’ve remixed a few of his before.
Draztec has to be up there as well. I’ve written some tunes with him but we haven’t released anything yet. Ableton wizard.
Magnifik too, beautiful smooth soulful house. Humanizm, side project of Ed Disect. Fourthstate, talented producer somewhere between breaks and techno. Kazuki & B-tham of The Department of Late Nights are a crew here doing some cool stuff and writing some tunes too.
Other east coast artists outside Canberra I’m really digging other than those already mentioned -
Somersault, Sondrio, No Mas, Hugh Jass (Prowler Dub Sound System + Garry), Ord Rede, Me Again, Made In Paris, Concierge, Peruw, Viktor, Victor Y, Volkiene, Dino Bitch, Kodagraph & Datura.
I wouldn’t be doing any of this without Ziggy who goes by ZigMon, head honcho of Bassic Records. He booked me for my first interstate gig and my first release on Bassic and has looked after me ever since and I wouldn’t be where I am without him, he also happens to be a phenomenal DJ with his finger on the pulse of global house & techno.
The whole Bassic crew should be on this list too though a few of them aren’t technically local they are closely linked with the Aussie scene; Ark-e-tech, Gabriel Moraes, Mose Robert, Bass to Pain Converter, Rogibear, Storm, Matt Dwellers & Ken Zo.
On the same note my close friend Logan Zingus, he doesn’t play many gigs now but he’s the guy who taught me how to use CDJs and his taste in music goes beyond anyone else. Many of my greatest memories have been playing 7 hour b2b sessions with him. Will hopefully have a chance to drag him out to some gigs soon along with Peach and the other members of our small Canberra crew, Lotown.
I have probably forgotten a few people but these are just the names that came to mind.
Outside of house & tech there are too many talented people just in Canberra to name.
What’s up next for Doppel?
I have a whole heap of tunes that I’ve been sitting on that I’d love to release at some point, so I’ll try and find a home for them and probably release a few for free just to get them out there, but I’ll mostly be focusing on the gigs I’ve got lined up for Summer. Other than my EP which is due really soon I do have a few remixes coming out on Open, Bassic and other labels later this year as well.
Coming up in the near future I’m at Manifest in QLD on the 23rd of September, then Immerse in Coffs shortly after. Also playing Subsonic Music Festival and Squared Senses for the second year in a row, and my fourth Dragon Dreaming. I’ve been going to all of these festivals since their inception as a punter so it’s pretty amazing to be involved in these things that have inspired me so much. In between all of this I have a bunch of other really exciting bits and pieces up and down the east coast.
Not entirely sure what else is next, I’ve always loved making stuff and I never expected that other people would enjoy the stuff that I make so it really is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to share it with people, and anything else is just a bonus. Hope you enjoy the podcast!
Doppel - LIO (Original Mix)
Doppel - Behind The Sun (Original Mix)
Doppel - Afterglow (Original Mix)
Somersault - Sinking (Doppel Remix) [Bassic Records]
Doppel - unnamed
Doppel - unnamed
Doppel - unnamed
Doppel - Icarus (Original Mix) [Bassic Records]
Doppel - Melt (Original Mix) [Open Records]
Doppel x Draztec - Surreal (Original Mix)
Victor Y - Blueprint (Doppel remix)
Doppel - Melt (Thankyou City remix) [Open Records]
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