Hip hop was a starting point for many of us who got embarked into this unpredictable journey around the realms of electronic music. And that’s no wonder, giving the fact that electronic music draws constant inspiration from the hip hop culture, more or less through heavy sampling.
Bucharest’s Vlad Dinu falls into this category: at only 12 years of age, he had a crush on hip hop while crate digging in a record shop in Philadelphia. Yet, the voice that called Vlad towards electronic music was Tim Sweeney’s, as he played a System 7 track on his world famous Beats In Space radio show. “The moment it all began for me was when I first heard System 7’s – Power of Seven album back in 2002.
I remember first hearing the song on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space radio show while I was traveling with my family in the US. I immediately went to a record store, bought the double LP and, after playing it for the first time on my dad’s turntable back home, I knew that electronic music was that one thing that’s going to help me get closer to the cosmos in a manner that even rocket ships couldn’t. Been riding that cosmic wave ever since.”
I personally met Vlad about 7 years ago, while he played alongside Sublee under the Stedi moniker.
As flamboyant as his DJ alter ego goes, sliding seamlessly from Pantha Du Prince to Model 500 or from Cab Drivers to Moritz Von Oswald, he turns into a very picky character when it comes to producing. More than 10 years of studio work and only a handful of releases, maybe because of his relentless search for generating only positive feelings on the dance floor: “My intention is to generate happy feelings . That is the basic and only rule I have when playing, just to see people smile and not give a damn about anything else than their state of joy.”
Maybe it’s because of his studio, packed with synths and drum machines, maybe it’s because of the endless nights spent jamming: Vlad Dinu is a perfectionist, but with rules set by his creative side, strongly grounded into the present moment, where the insiration flow is constant. “My personal life experiences are my constant source of inspiration. Whenever I feel the need to express the package of information I have been gathering, that’s the moment I get the urge to lay down some sounds. Sure, I also have a big crowd of artists that I listen to in order to get into the “zone”, but eventually, it all comes down to whatever is going on inside of me at the time I start jamming.”
I just let the music speak to me through my gear and we usually get along just fine
As of 2017, Vlad has signed EPs’ for Synesthesia, Generatia ’90 and Half Naked Dog. His sound is pretty difficult to confine into a specific electronic genre, reflecting the rich musical background and almost every time his state of mind at that moment.
“I am a big fan of jazz, therefore I always start out with whatever sound/instrument I am feeling fits my needs at the specific moment in time when I start jamming, whether it be a kick progression, some chords or even a 64 bar evolving pad, etc. I never set out on a predefined path, I just let the music speak to me through my gear and we usually get along just fine.”
Speaking of gear, only looking at the huge list of hardware below and you may say you cannot add anything else in Vlad’s studio.
* Elektron Digitakt
* Akai MPC 100
* Roland SP 404
* Roland MC 808
* Behringer Deepmind 12
* Korg M50
* Roland JX-3P
* Waldorf Micro Q
* Waldorf Microwave XT
* Soundcraft LX-7 24
* a bunch of delay and echo pedals
Unless you’ve got bitten by the analog gear virus: “I am exploring in order to get to the sonic frequencies that I am searching for. I intend to buy an Eventide Harmonizer – the Ultra Harmonizer DSP400 version, some more sound processors, a Moog Voyager and , maybe one day, an Alesis Andromeda. I’m sure I will get also a bunch of other stuff but it would take forever to list all the things I’d like to buy inbetween, so basically, when I will get to the point of owning my own “dream studio”, please be sure that I will invite you guys to take a tour :)”
True to the underground values, Vlad Dinu is far for looking for a material satisfaction for all his production work: “I’m a constant explorer of styles and sounds so I think my music will be in a constant shift . I don’t like to take restricted paths and so, as I’ve said before, it all depends on how I feel at the moment I sit down and start my gear . I don’t really know what the future holds for me regarding my musical path but rest assured, I am keen on finding out also.”
In the meantime, you can follow his own imprint, Mihai Bravu Records, and Plastic City: “my definitive all time forever and ever till the end of days favorite label”
We like to let the music speak for the artist, so we asked Vlad to build a short playlist with 3 tracks that have served as a constant source of inspiration: