Dinky mixes up a set of deep minimal (with a few surprises along the way).
Right place, right time: Alejandra Iglesias (aka Dinky) might just be the Zelig of electronic music. Born in Chile, she hung out with the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Dandy Jack and others in the mid-‘90s when she was first getting into dance music. Then, when she moved to New York on a dance scholarship, she got caught up with the Minus crew, just as Magda and Richie Hawtin were first hanging out in Gotham in the late ‘90s. After visa issues in the wake of 9/11, Dinky made her way to Berlin, where she has taken her career to the next level via relentless touring, a successful record label (Horizontal), not to mention a breakout hit on Cocoon in 2005 (‘Acid in My Fridge’).
Dinky was supposed to consolidate all of this with her debut mix CD, Get Lost 03, issued on Crosstown Rebels late last year, but after the distributor Amato went bust, so too did the fortunes of her CD, many of which sit languishing in a warehouse somewhere in England waiting for the legal red tape to be sorted. But Dinky is fighting back with an RA podcast, and a set which features many of the same artists as her Get Lost 03 mix, including Matt John, The Mountain People and Radio Slave. Elsewhere there are some classic selections from Arthur Russell and Dan Bell, along with a number of unreleased tracks from Sascha Dive, Tobi Neumann & Matthew Styles and Dinky herself. Oh. And a DJ Assault track. (We’ll let Dinky explain that one…)
What have you been working on recently?
I have been literally locked in the studio the last few months. I’ve just finished a mix compilation with only Horizontal tracks (my label) for release by a Japanese label. Initially it will only be available in Japan, but I’m intending to bring it out in Europe a few months later.
I am doing a remix of a Hector and Star track on Horizontal and a song with Matthew Styles for a Diamonds and Pearls compilation. I also just finished my album, which I was working on throughout the whole of last year. It was a mission to achieve with my heavy touring schedule.
Finally, I don’t want to say too much, but I’m collaborating with Big Bully and one of my DJ heroes from Chicago as guest singers.
Where was the mix recorded?
At home in Berlin. It’s a mixture of really old classic vinyl and unreleased files.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix, particularly the second last track DJ Assault?
Haha!! I knew that track was going to cause controversy (apologies if I offended anyone). Well, the idea behind the mix is to show the music I love from various stages in my life. Not too much thinking behind it, but to make a balance of the old tracks I really like and influenced me with the ones I’m playing now and the ones that some of my friends are doing which I found mind-blowing and people don’t know.
There’s also a couple of edits from me since some tracks are unquantized or have a lot of swing so I had to straighten them up a bit to mix them decently. For example the Indian Ocean track by Arthur Russell is from 1975! The Daniel Bell track is from around 1992, the Mathew Styles track and Tobi Neumman are just fresh out from the studio in 2008. It’s music from different times but still timeless, at least to my ears.
The DJ Assault track ‘Dick by The Pound’ is one of my favourite electro tracks, not for the dirty lyrics really but the whole track is great. Really simple idea but so deep and so funny at the same time. I miss the humour sometimes in this music, you know? The original is around 140 bpm! I’m playing at 125 so it was also a mission. I had to record it at minus 8 from vinyl put it on a CD and then still pitch it down minus 8 to mix it. I haven’t tried it in the club yet but I think it could work well in Panorama Bar… hehe…
A while back we read you were learning to play a theremin. Is this true? How is it going?
Yes, it’s true. I bought myself a theremin last year. It’s been a little tough because it’s impossible to find a theremin teacher here in Berlin. So I’m teaching myself. A Chilean friend came over to show me some tricks the other day—he was really good! It’s a great Moog instrument—some say the hardest to play in the world. Hopefully in a few years I’ll be able to play some songs on it but at the moment I’m just improvising, having fun and trying to control it so it doesn’t freak out on me.
What are you up to next?
I’m going to work on a remix for Pier Bucci and Argenis Brito’s Maluco project for Karaoke Kalk. In May I’m heading up to Japan to play at Womb and to promote my mix CD there. I’m really looking forward to it. Japan is one of my favourite places in the world.
I will also go to America to tour with the Rebels crew for the Get Lost parties in July (I also can’t wait). I will prepare a new live show in the next few weeks. I miss playing live a lot and I think it’s time to do it again.
This year I intend to focus much more on Horizontal. We have some great releases, party designs and merchandise planned for 2008.