Each year, thousands of budding musicians and producers vie for a place in the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), a globe-trotting workshop sponsored by a company better known for peddling buzz-inducing energy drinks. Over the years, the event has helped nudge a variety of artists toward wider success — the more famous alumni include Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Aloe Blacc and Katy B. But for Oliver Johnson, the Austrian producer better known as Dorian Concept, it would offer a vital break before he'd even taken part.

Johnson's friend and collaborator, Paul "The Clonious" Movahedi, was enrolled in the 2007 edition of RBMA in Montreal, and took the opportunity to slip a CD of unreleased Dorian Concept tracks to the British radio presenter Benji B. Clearly the DJ liked what he heard: By the time Johnson took part in the Academy in Barcelona the following year, he'd already had significant airplay, not just from Benji B but also veteran tastemaker Gilles Peterson.

Still, he describes the fortnight that he spent in Catalonia as a formative experience.