Dynoo is pretty uncompromising when it comes to making music, as he appears to be about most aspects of his life. His output is both prolific and multi faceted, an eclectic array of contorted beats and breaks which defy categorisation. About a year ago I stumbled upon one of his random compositions on a typically epic YouTube journey and have been intrigued and excited by his music ever since. His dry sense of humour and command of English idioms is impressive for a non native, and in exchange for some unfamiliar cockney rhyming slang expressions, he happily dished the dirt on dynooo.
When and how did you start making music as dynooo?
I started doing hip hop when I was about 16, rapping and making beats in Cool Edit. Dyno was my nickname back then. The last few years production got a little more serious. I’m starting to hate my name. It’s probably the main reason why I’m making up alter egos all the time.
Tell me about your latest collaboration project with Cupp Cave – how did that come about?
I met Cupp a couple years ago and we just instantly clicked. Turned out we share a remarkably similar taste although he has somewhat of a different musical background. Crappy video footage, ugly decor and kitschy photography, first time I felt like I could share all that with someone. We do a lot of back and forth texting about new music (he lives about 2 hrs away). Guess it was only right we’d have to collab on stuff at some point. We work together a lot now – be it tunes, video, flyers or anything else for the label. Feels right.
Could you talk a little about the label surf kill – what led you to start it up? How is that going and is there any label vision/profile as such? what’s lined up for the rest of the year?
I guess we felt like we had so much to share. We didn’t really want to deal with finding the right label to put it all out, our whole ideology is to just do whatever and not be patient. All of us are pretty broke so it’s not easy but having worldwide distribution definitely helps. The whole visual identity is distinct and natural, we basically just do what we feel. Turns out people seem to like it. I think Surf Kill is as free as it gets, it’s the most exciting project ever to me and that’s what’s charismatic about it, its punk aesthetic if you will. Definitely getting it tattooed at some point. There’s about 3 more projects in the works, some very interesting pieces. We’re planning a couple of small exhibitions as well.
Does being in Belgium help you creatively? What is the scene like there and how is your music received locally…how does this compare with the reaction abroad?
It’s getting better, although I feel like there’s more interesting places to live as a musician. The scene is small to non-existent, and seeing as we’re such a small country it’s inevitable everybody more or less knows each other out here. I’m sort of a background type dude so I don’t do the whole networking thing all too well. I do think it’s pretty cool to be from a place that’s not ‘happening’. Makes you create your own bubble. It’s weird, it wasn’t until recently that I got more international shows so I’m excited to see where that goes, SK seems to be getting a lot of love abroad. It’s cool but I don’t really care to be honest.
Musical influences past and present?
Past: Shurik’N, 2 Unlimited, DJ Premier, Cobain, Wu, Guns ‘N Roses & Harold Faltermeyer. Present: Actress, Hype Williams, Waka Flocka, Peaking Lights, James Pants & Zomby. Right off the top. My friends’ music is a big influence to me as well. Happy to know some very talented people, give Ssaliva, Sagat, Cupp Cave and Dalcym a listen.
What’s your set up equipment wise?
Laptop, cheap Casio, SP-303 & midi keyboard. Nothing too fancy. Got a mixer, turntable and stuff up in the attic where everything is set up but after I moved half of it downstairs during wintertime I just work with what’s in the living room. I’m lazy. Plus I don’t like home studios.
Your sound is pretty varied, how would you describe it in your own words?
Littledom. I don’t know, I don’t particularly like to talk about what it is or what it sounds like. I’m very skeptical, I hate a lot of songs I did. It’s a curse as well as a blessing I guess.
Guilty pleasures? (musical and otherwise)
Cheesy shit. Chris Brown, R Kelly, Usher, Pretty Ricky. Slow jamz. B-movies. Putting fries in between my burger. Used to love eating Nutella straight out of the jar. I’ve also been developing a bikini fetish.
Impossible. Here’s 8. Total Recall, Julien Donkey-boy, The Breakfast Club, Seul Contre Tous, After Hours, Clockers, New Jersey Drive and Paris, Texas.
Loved ‘On The Road’. It was recommended to me a while ago and I must say it’s totally life changing. I’m finishing a Kurt Cobain joint at the moment. I’m slow, I’ll read 4 chapters, leave it alone for a week then read some more. Might dive into some Bret Easton-Ellis…and more Palahniuk.
Do you have a day job?
Nope but I’m supposed to be looking. Guess I’m investing all my time and energy in hoping this music thing will get picked up and eventually solve all my financial problems. I’d love to work for a really well known rapper. Carte blanche. Like, imagining Gucci on low-pitched psychedelics, or Wayne on some 80bpm Neophyte. Change the name of the game. Get beaucoup money.
Tell me a secret?
I have 2 nipples.
What did you want to do/be as a kid?
I wanted to be Michael Jackson. My dad once destroyed my Bad tape cause I was being annoying. I cried for days. I could also lie and tell you I’ve always wanted to be the next Aphex Twin.
Biggest life lesson learnt?
Dynooo downloads (new tracks!)
Two LPs worth of new material out later this year.
Othello Woolf. The strategic name change alone (nee Oliver) immediately conjures up the image of a well heeled London dandy and the reality is not too far off, not only in terms of his sartorial choices but his musical leanings as well. His debut single ‘Stand’, an enlightened neo-soul number got some outstanding remix treatment. Later offerings ‘Deep Water’ and ‘Doorstep’ are also full of promise, an indicator of a strong debut LP to come, to be released later this year. I asked him about those Brian Ferry comparisons and found out that in private, he’s giving Dr. Dolittle a run for his money.
I understand you’ve been compared to Bryan Ferry and Roxy music. My take on your music it is what i think new romantic would sound like in 2010. What style/genre do you feel most identified with or how would you describe your sound?
I get the Bryan Ferry comparison. It’s just the lazy journalist thought process, like ‘oh, English dude in a suit….Bryan Ferry’. But to my ears my music sounds nothing like Bryan Ferry or Roxy Music. Not to say I’m no fan, Avalon is a huge record and I’m always listening to it. Can’t say I really identify with any one genre. I guess Pop more than anything, but that’s so incredibly broad. I’d describe my sound right now as evolving – the earlier tracks were kind of my own style of funk and soul music but I think I’m moving away from that a bit. The songs I’m currently working on have heavier drums, more minimal guitar, maybe more synths. A tighter sound overall.
Musical influences growing up? Contemporary musical loves/references?
It was golden-era hip-hop in my teens – NWA, Warren-G, Biggie, 2pac, Snoop, Wu Tang, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Ice-T etc, that’s all I listened to really. Later I got into more guitar-based stuff like The Smiths, Talking Heads, Television, The Stones. And then always the big-hitters like Stevie Wonder, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Dylan.
Right now I’m still listening a lot to Kanye West’s latest, that’s a masterpiece. Drake’s album is cool. New Radiohead album is ok but not as good as In Rainbows. I liked Funeral and Neon Bible so got the new Arcade Fire album and that is truly one of the most boring records I’ve ever heard – don’t get the fuss.
Was music always an interest for you growing up? Did you always aspire to be a singer?
It’s always been a big part of my life. I don’t really see myself as a singer because I don’t have a particularly good voice, it’s a weakness and just part of a wider picture which involves song-writing, arrangement, production and so on. But yes, I have always aspired to create music.
Which part to do you prefer of the creative process: writing and recording or performing live?
Writing and recording I’d place together because they’re one and same thing for me. As I’m recording I’m writing the song, it all happens at once. Performing live comes way behind being in the studio for me, there’s no greater high than the feeling of making a breakthrough in a song and then wanting to listen to it over and over.
How have your live shows been received?
Well I’d say. It’s always a bit hard to tell, you never know what people really think. All I can do is try my best and that’s what I’ve tried to do with the live show, especially in everything being played live – no backing tracks.
I first heard you thanks to the Golden Silvers remix of ‘Stand’. How did that remix come about?
I was introduced to Gwil through a mutual friend and we’ve got a similar taste in music. I think I just asked if they wanted to remix Stand and they were up for it. Gwil’s working on a solo record now, which I’m really exited to hear. Alexis, who was the drummer in Golden Silvers, has recently been on drums when I play live, he’s a machine!
Does living in London aspire you creatively?
When you’re here it’s easy to take it for granted and feel like the city has no effect on your creativity. The effect it has becomes very apparent when you leave – things just feel different. Randomly I was in Winchester the other day, a real quaint English town with a village feel, and I just felt completely different. And it crossed my mind that if I was to make some recordings there they would come out very different. Probably less aggressive.
Worst job you’ve ever done? If you weren’t singing what would you rather be doing, and in fact, do you still have a day job?
Probably washing my parent’s car when I was a kid. If I wasn’t in music I would like to have gone into science perhaps, anything to do with space and the universe.
Most embarrassing moment?
Looking back, being in various teenage bands with the worst band names. Like ‘Still Movement’, which I joined on keyboards when I was 16. We did the worst U2 cover once.
Your biggest fear?
Worrying so much about the future that the present passes me by. Keep having to tell myself that now is to be cherished.
Tell me a secret.
I spend way to much time talking to my cat.
What’s in store for you/plans for the coming year?
I’m working hard on my album and right now we’re just figuring out who wants to put it out.
I may also be putting a record out with Bullion on Young Turks later this year, although I’m not yet sure whether it will be some tracks we’ve collaborated on, or a record of my own songs that he has mixed and added some of his own production touches. Watch this space…