• SHARE

Frederic Holyszewski (aka Dado, Deedrah) was raised in the countryside of Fontainebleau, south of Paris. His parents handed down strong family traditions that grew out of a humble background. It was a charmed setting in which to grow up — Fontainebleau even has a castle. And music was a pillar of his family life.

From a very early age, he grasped the concept of combining sounds to make music. A violin at age 3 didn’t interest him. But by age 5, he had already learned to write music — even before he had learned how to print. And after mastering the transverse flute at age 7, he moved on to the piano. Success came so easily that he thought it was normal.

Young Frederic headed off for college with the goal of becoming a teacher. That plan evaporated when he discovered electronic music, and how much more fun it was than his biology and geology studies. Around 1990, Holyszewski bought a new instrument, an Atari computer. It’s been pretty much straight uphill since then.

Now, a dozen years and 200 released tracks later, Dado, age 33 and recently a dad, may yet become a teacher if one of his unique side projects comes to fruition.

“I want to make music for little babies,” he explained in an interview with The Japan Times, “Very soft, nonviolent melodies and combinations to see what gets their attention.”

Intrigued by studies on the influence of music patterns in stimulating learning and creativity from infancy, Dado has been creating “sounds and sonic landscapes” for his 6-month-old son, Leo. He consults with a pediatrician in his adopted home of Ibiza, Spain, to make sure that his son isn’t exposed to any harmful tones.

“I have to be very careful not to annoy him with hard sounds. I found out very quickly what kind of sounds he likes particularly and I’m developing tracks on this basis,” Dado said. Playing at low volumes has shown Dado new ways to achieve very dynamic sounds. “It’s cool. It makes the right balance with the dance music I do usually.”

2003 has been a much quieter year for Dado, who has stayed busy at home learning how to be a dad and working on the new Deedrah album, “Body and Soul,” which is being launched this weekend.

Playing music for his son, he added, “is very balancing and very useful for my work because it’s like I am cleaning my brain at the end of the day. Sometimes I’m going to bed with loops and break beats in my head — never ending — you need to train your brain to focus on other matters, otherwise you soon get stuck.”

Dado has been blazing electronic music trails since hooking up with Christof Drouillet to form Transwave; their first track was released as a single in 1994. “Body and Soul” is the third Deedrah album and Dado’s eighth overall. You may also know him as Cypher (1999) or as last year’s super hot Synthetic. And yes, he also makes “real music” as Federico Baltimore, with an album in progress.

What you are really going to enjoy about the new album, Dado said, are “your speakers.”

“The difference in the technology [since the last Deedrah album in 2001] is huge. I’ve hardly used any outboard gear, like real synths of external effects. It’s all internal logic audio and some plug-ins sound killer, believe me!”

This weekend marks Dado’s third trip to Japan since Crystal Skulls, back in January. If you caught his Deedrah set among the typhoon-shocked at Summer Arcade in August, then you have an idea of what to expect.

The lineup for Saturday’s launch party at Ariake Differ includes a live & DJ set from Tristan and DJs Dimitri DKN and Solstice’s own Ryo. It’s 5,000 yen at the door and starts 10 p.m.

“Artificial Frequencies,” Orion (released Sept. 4, SOLCD-023)

Dane Jean Borelli has been plenty busy the past couple of years. His trademark Orion sound — a cold, deep-space alien siren song — adorns several tracks, collaborative and his own, in my own library. 2003 is supposed to be Borelli’s big year. You can find him on releases from Tip World, Iboga, 3D Vision and Solstice. (For some reason, the dark Orion flavor reminds me of a heavy splash of cinnamon on top of a hot, frothy latte. It’s uncanny.)

Back in April, Orion landed the hot “Halluweird” track on the Solstice compilation “Holographic Memory” and Borelli teamed up with Ari Linker (Alien Project) for the Crunchy Punchy track “Enjoy.” (Just the right amount of cinnamon for that compilation.)

“Halluweird” was, in fact, the very first thing I thought of on first play of “Artificial Frequencies.” Imagine my surprise when I loaded up the waveform image of the first track, “Horizon,” and found that the two tracks have a more than striking resemblance to each other. Determined to see if this was a fluke, I made further comparisons and got similar results.

This is not to say that the individual tracks on “Artificial Frequencies” are bad, or even boring. On the contrary, nearly every one would stand up well in a compilation release. Borelli shows brilliance at every turn, toying with your imagination right down to the last track, “Ocean of Colours,” a soothing ambient piece done with Raja Ram. DJs will love this CD because it offers a lot of options.

It’s just that by No. 3, “Timeless Devotion,” the pattern becomes all too clear — it’s the same kind of brilliance, track after track. It starts to taste like too much cinnamon.

“Eclipse” and “Zero-1,” various artists (to be released Oct. 9, SOLMC-024 and -025)

You are all in for a treat next Thursday. Compilations like these two reaffirm my belief that — with only a handful of exceptions — all trance albums should be compilations (or at least involve more than one artist). Though not packaged that way, these two go together.

“Eclipse – South Africa 2002” starts off with Rinkadink, who is from Cape Town, South Africa, doing the ultra trippy “Kookykaboom.” It continues with a parade of hot sounds from last summer’s Eclipse festival, including yet another version of “Psychedelic Circus” by Soundaholix.

“Tuning,” by Droidlock vs. Shirkan, like every track on this compilation, simply begs to be played outdoors. A live mix of “The Honour,” by Wrecked Machines with Etnica (Gaby & Max), and “Get Ready,” by X-Wave & Melicia, round out a hat-trick of joint masterpieces.

“Zero-1” gets its name from a vocal that comes 50 seconds into the new GMS smash, “Animatrix.” This track slayed the Gathering crowd, as did a second GMS track on the album “Flashback.”

Riktam and/or Bansi, in fact, figure into five of the 10 tracks on this gem, the other three being the Juvenile remix of Deedrah’s “Hellsonic,” “Soma” by Zorba and “Fractal Explorer” by Soundaholix. The Wizzy Noise track “Multivitamin” is one that I hope to hear more of in a party setting.

In a situation like this, it’s best to not put yourself in a position where you have to choose between the two. Much easier to close your eyes and put the money down.

But I must enter a caveat here. I don’t know how the tracks on either of these compilations end — all the songs distributed in this round of review copies are cut to under 5:20. The track-to-track relationship is core to a compilation’s success. Part of that will remain a mystery to me until next Thursday.

This step obviously became necessary to prevent unauthorized copies from being shared ahead of their release. Quite understandable, but inexcusable for the creep(s) who screwed it up for the rest of us. Be smart and don’t pirate.

Report card: The Gathering, Vision Quest, Sept. 13-15

A-minus Vision Quest did a spectacular job with a compressed time frame. We can hope for a much kinder stage setup next year — dancing into the sun was brutal with the mountain skies so clear. RE-EX has great promise, but not much flat ground beyond the dance floor. Essential facilities were well provided. The artists turned in an A+ performance.

The only real blemish came right at the beginning: The overzealous security crew confiscated all drinks, including water, for the first 30 minutes after the gate opened and collected camping stoves for the first hour. Most people were able to get their stuff back, but it certainly ruined the mood of the first arrivals. What were these people thinking? It’s a three-day OUTDOOR party for crying out loud!

Planetary Nation, Nenoue Kogen, Oct. 11-13

The organizers of this event have done something so amazingly clever that it must be mentioned. If you’re one of those among us who inevitably make at least one wrong turn per rave, you have to check this out.

At the Planetary Nation Web site, they have included a video of the drive from the expressway to the Nenoue Kogen campsite, which while not terribly useful in the car, can prepare you ahead of time. Even in a small Gifu Prefecture burg like Ena, driving can be tricky.

Were it not for the strong possibilities from this choice lineup (X-Dream, Planet Ben, Organic Noise and Rinkadink a host of others), I wouldn’t even consider a drive that far out on the Chuo Expressway. (Those mountains were plenty chilly in mid-May; the thought of mid-October makes me shiver!) But Nenoue Kogen warms up nicely for a mountain party and the locals have plenty of experience in dealing with our special crowd.

Tickets appear to be 7,000 yen in advance, or 10,000 at the gate.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)