Friday, 15 March 2013

Week #11| DKSTR- Stomper

We're fast approaching the quarter mark, so this week we visited another new territory, Finland. Skweee preacher DKSTR delivers this week's track, get ready for some ass-shaking beats! Track is here.

WT: Could you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and how you first came into contact with the chiptune scene?

D: I’ve always been a fan of videogame, ever since the late 80s when I got my hands on my dad’s work computer. During the 90s when I got my first modem I remember downloading demos and thought they were cool but kinda forgot the whole thing. Around 2000 I got into making electronic music almost by accident. At my new school around 2004 or so my friend Ville (Keff) introduced me to the micromusic scene and some of its artists. As a teenager I listened mostly to just punk rock, hip hop and some metal. Bit still I had done very primitive electronic music with basic waveforms and rough sounds (Mr. Oizo’s Analog Worms Attack was a huge influence for me), so chip music and its raw sound sucked me in almost instantly.

WT: Which has been your favourite release to write and why?

D: Probably the Dry Ice EP, I did it in a 4 days pan, night and day, I didn’t think about anything else and spent the entire process alone. Very spontaneous and weird, which I like. I remember being up for the whole Thursday night and released it early Friday morning. It was written during my stay in Toronto. The original idea came from Randy Barracuda who challenged the whole Nation of Skweee to release a 7” in 6 month span. Me being chronically broke, decided to take the challenge and do an EP.

WT: Could you tell us a bit about involvement in the ‘Skweee Shanties’ compilations please?

D: Skweee scene is a small world of its own, so you get to know people fast. Tiburoni guys asked me for a track for the second compilation and I did one (or I might have just sent one in, ha). Then it happened again this autumn. Big up to Tiburoni guys, I’m sure most people who enjoy chiptune would get a kick out of their compilations.

WT: What’s the story behind your moniker, ‘DKSTR’?

D: Well it has a couple of different stories behind it, but in classic Finnish band naming tradition the roots are kinda wack. Being a video game nerd, I used Dexter in many games but changed it to DKSTR before I even did music. This was way before the serial killer show but after Dexter’s Lab though.

WT: Which are your biggest influences musically?

D: I guess stuff you like influences you. So for me that would be old school electro and hip-hop, roots reggae, ska, 90s alternative, punk and of course the whole international skweee scene. From chiptune, I always have like a lot of Swedish guys like Goto80 and Paza, they really stood out. My favourite song of all time is probably Ghost Town by The Specials. I like slow music.

WT: What went into producing ‘Stomper’?

D: I used Akai MPC 1000 and some pretty basic c64 samples, I’ve been working like this for some time now and I like it, I can make nice synths out of different samples easily. Voice samples are from some voicetoy samplepack. As for writing, I did the very loose beat first and then worked stuff around it. I wanted to do something very simple but still interesting; it is almost like a live improvisation with some structure.

WT: You recently played I/O, how did this come about and what was it like?

D: I spent 6 months in Toronto recently and naturally wanted to play some shows in N. America. So I got in contact with the I/O guys through some guys I know a little bit better and they welcomed me to play at their show. My flights got re-scheduled because of the huge snow storm in NYC so my stay was very short. Gog itself was cool and the I/O guys were really nice, I think my gig blended pretty well with other artists even though my tempo was probably half theirs!

WT: What’s the chiptune scene like in Finland from your point of view?

D: For live acts the scene is pretty small, there of course oldskoolers like 64Mula, Desert Planet, Tero64 and a couple of others like Keff, Fossa and myself. But I guess the amount of people who do chip music is probably a lot bigger, but they should get their names out there, play shows etc. since it’s very easy to be unnoticed on the internet. On a positive side, because there isn’t that many live acts, the few that play shows usually end up mingling with other electronic music artists. His usually gives nice results, and ‘underground’ producers outside of the chip scene in Finland use at least some amount of chip elements in their songs. I like having strict rules what is chip and what is not. Also, we organized for years a chip music monthly club called Lisäelämä, and always had a good audience, so people are generally receptive for this.

WT: And lastly, what are your future plans, any shows or releases being organised?

D: I have a lot on my plate at the moment. As we speak I’m in the middle of recording Dirt Tape II, a live mix of my weired stuff for Curios show on Also, I’m composing music for a game I’m making as my thesis for Aalto University Master’s program on Game Design & Production. And most importantly I just completed a very special release that is going to be released later this year. And of course I hope to play lots of shows now when I’m back on my home turf.