Interview with Daniele Antezza of Dadub alias Inner8 for DJB made in May 2015 with images by Markus Werner. —
Daniele Antezza has proven his music production skills on multiple levels: He’s one half of post-techno alchemistic duo Dadub, an engineer of Artefacts Mastering and manager of the Undogmatisch music label. Dadub’s approach already reaches spheres beyond known and regular structures of techno and electronic music, but with his solo project, Daniele strayed from patterns of dance music and created a timeless record with powerful beats, where he implemented his socio-political thoughts using sounds and loops, expressive names and sampling. Thanks to his outstanding skills as a mastering engineer, he was able to fully express his opinions through his music, which is contemplative but also explosive and dense. DJB caught up with Daniele to talk about his new project, the self-tiled album and the processes behind its creation.
Inner8 has been around now for seven years, but you’re more known for Dadub and Artefacts Mastering. What took you so long to record a solo LP?
First of all, the decision to release a solo album wasn’t planned; it just happened. The first time when I produced sounds as Inner8 was when I was living in Rome in 2008 and attended courses on electronic music and audio synthesis. In that period, I was experimenting a lot, patching my own custom software synthesizers and collecting sounds. I’ve also always been fascinated by looping and self-generating sounds – that’s where the 8 as the symbol of infinity comes from. At that time, I was only using Inner8 as a signature for my production without any particular purpose. Coming from this sound design background, I later started creating music loops for Dadub. But a couple of years ago, I made several tracks that didn’t fit to the Dadub sound, so I decided to release it solo under the Inner8 moniker.
So the name Inner8 relates to infinity?
Yes, it comes from my fascination with looping and self-generating sounds, but it also reflects my philosophical view – in my opinion, we can see ourselves as a whole of structures, which means we can observe the same structures from the subatomic particles to a macro level. This is also similar to fractal geometry and it’s something, which in my opinion shows how we as human beings are used to behave in a certain way and reproduce certain kind of structures and mechanisms within the society. Sometimes, there are kinds of actions in art and culture which are the exact opposite of the issue itself. So the main thought for Inner8 was ‚If I think about certain kinds of structures, why do I use and reproduce their exact opposite?‘
Is the contradiction you just described one of the paradoxes in contemporary philosophy you mentioned as an inspiration for your debut album?
When I mean paradox in this context, I mainly refer to an approach. In my opinion, the so-called rational human approach is just full of paradoxes. If we want to analyze something we find fake or hypocritical, we just need to show the paradox of it. I’m fascinated by these philosophical approaches that research and analyze such paradoxes.
Can you name a specific example?
Our economic paradigm. The main economic thoughts of nowadays are ultra neo-liberalist, and they claim that if you leave the market free, then there would be a “natural” distribution of resources – bullshit. That’s just propaganda showing how it should be through mathematics, but it’s a paradox, because they talk red and everything is black. Another example related to my field: In the music scene, a following can happen: An artist or a producer starts to claim that he or she is alternative and not mainstream. But if we observe how this hypothetical person acts, then we would notice that the artist is using marketing to make money or to make his business grow. So I’m finding contradictory actions where the theory and the practice aren’t in consonance with each other. I guess that our own identity, our cultural DNA is based on a paradox.
You’ve described Inner8 as ‚experimental anarchist sounds‘ and in a recent interview, you also say that you ‚feel that sound is a way to make your emotions manifest‘. Can you elaborate on this?
I used sounds to talk about a specific approach, but I didn’t compose tracks following a precise intent. Regarding my approach, I like to think about myself as a music producer and listener on different levels, because art and music are also disciplines working on different levels. One level is the rational and intellectual one, when I could just be amazed by how a producer reached a specific sound and how this order of sounds can interact with my rational perception. When you listen to really experimental stuff, you can put your rational beliefs in discussion. That’s why I love music and art. But of course, I’m also influenced on an emotional level, because I’m a human being. My rational side is a tool, I could survive being just a sound engineer, but my rational side doesn’t lead my life, otherwise I wouldn’t be making music.
And then there’s a spiritual level. I’m not a religious person in a canonical way – I come from Italy, so I am kind of allergic to the fundamental religion. But I believe that music has a direct connection to something, it’s a medium which was given to people; that’s why I’m fascinated by shamanic culture. It’s a multi-action of influences. Rational, emotional, spiritual – everything’s happening at the same moment. When I produce music, I can’t decide if the spiritual or rational is in charge, it happens naturally.
What about technical aspects of production – what kind of musical equipment do you use as Inner8 and what is your live setup?
There’s one big difference from playing with Dadub and solo. With Inner8, I use much more hardware. Dadub is a complex sound design project, it has an engineering approach and we use a lot of experimental software since Giovanni has a strong background in programming. For live sets of Inner8, I use a lot of hardware and a computer for the loops, but I want to get rid of the laptop soon. I need a proper physical approach with Inner8, that’s why I use hardware; because I want to test my instinct in production and performance. If we return to talking about the spiritual level of music, it’s extremely important to me when I play live.
Let’s go back to Undogmatisch, where you released the record. What’s the story behind the label and party series?
Undogmatisch is an event which was formerly organized by Mirco Magnani aka TCO and his partner Valentina Bardazzi, who is taking care of all Undogmatisch artwork. Mirco was famous in the alternative Italian music scene and then he started running Undogmatisch events in Berlin about three years ago. We got in touch couple of years ago and I’ve started helping them out, but we kept it a secret until the beginning of this year, when Undogmatisch became a label. But it’s not only a label, it’s a platform – apart from the party series, we will also start hosting events in art galleries in autumn and in the further future, we plan to organize workshops and art exhibitions. We’re very happy about it, because at the end, we just had the need to create our space. So instead of complaining, we just do it.
Regarding the label, the next release on Undogmatisch is going to be an album by TCO and myself, as the first part of an experimental series. Later on, we’ll release an album by TCO. I’m preparing a more dancefloor-orientated EP which will be released on another label, but I’m already working on my second long-player for Undogmatisch. I have already six tracks ready. Lately, I’m kind of hyperactive.