In Conversation: Darko Esser Talks Tripeo
Following his debut album as Tripeo, the opaquely named ‘Anipintros’, Darko Esser talks to us about writers block, his sanctioning of lining up an all star cast for remix duties and his white label ‘Trip’ series, which is currently on its sixth outing…
First of all, congratulations on the success of your debut album as Tripeo. When you get into the studio do you go in with a specific mind frame or identity at the time? Do you go in thinking you’re going to be Darko Esser or Tripeo, is it a more organic process?
I just see how it goes basically, whenever I think “Oh I’m really up for making some banging Techno” and I end up making House or whatever, I just taught myself a long time ago to let it go and let it happen.
What processes did you have to go through to decide who made the final cut for who would be doing the remixes?
There were a couple of swaps I already had with Ben Sims and Exium. I did remixes for them and I was owed a swap from them. I used it for the album because some of the tracks I thought really fit their profile. Cadans is a friend of mine who used to be a well known Drum & Bass guy, I’ve known him for more that 15 years and he’s always been making Techno, that’s how I came to release some of his stuff. I think he’s going to reveal himself really soon, I can’t really say who it is right now! But he’s quite big in D&B. I love his Techno stuff so I asked him to do a remix.
His was one of my favourite of the remixes…
Yeah he’s very technical. If I tell you who it is, it would totally make sense!
I guess I’ll have to wait and find out…
I think he’s going to drop a tune with Randomer soon and that will be the moment. He’s got the same kind of sound. Like bass heavy techno, it’s very UK style. As for Blawan, he’s been a mate for quite a while, he said he loved the album and the acid track so I asked him to do the remix for it, which he jumped at the opportunity. Which was very fortunate, and James Ruskin was talking about working together on some level, this was the first excuse where we both had the time for it. Same goes for Mike Parker he’s going to do a release on Balans later this year. He’s a good friend, and I just kept it close to home, all these guys I consider my friends and I really appreciate their work and trust what they’re going to do.
When you look at the artists on the line up do you think ‘Fuck!’
I had to pinch myself as well actually, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. “Did this really happen?!”
It is an allstar cast. When you’re producing, who do you aim to please most? Yourself or the listener?
I am very egotistical when it comes to my production. So it’s definitely to please myself. Being egoistic is not always a bad thing, like when I’m in the studio, I’m in my own little bubble. When you’re DJing or playing live you’re also doing stuff to yourself, but it’s more direct because there are people in front of you. You have to kind of deal with that. If you want to make it enjoyable for yourself, you have to make sure they are enjoying it too.
Always finding a middle ground.
Exactly, but when I’m in the studio I don’t have to deal with that. So with that mind frame, I don’t have to think if it’s accessible or dance floor friendly. It’s just the way it comes out. I always thought if people like what I make, that’s just a bonus. For me it’s more important that I am having fun. I don’t even have to like the end result myself, but as long I’m having fun making it. Some of the stuff I like that much that I release it or send out and even if everybody hates it, I don’t care! You shouldn’t release music if can’t deal with critics. When I’m putting stuff out there, I’ve already dealt with that stuff and I’ve let it go. Bad reviews are still not the best to read.
Have you got over ‘bad reviews’ yet?
Yeah, I don’t think about it too much, I try not to dwell on the negative side of anything. It’s with the territory.
As long as it’s constructive I guess.
It doesn’t seem worth putting all that energy into negative stuff and focus on it.
Do you ever find yourself in a creative slump? If so, how do you get out of it?
Oooph, I’ve had many! Over the years, they’re getting less and less frequent. It’s also about letting go, because if you focus too much on the fact that’s you’re in a slump, you force yourself to get out of it and the worse it gets. It’s like a downward spiral. It’s just that mechanism, the worst slumps I’ve had it worked like that, like I really wanted to make tracks but I couldn’t. The best thing to do is to move away from it, sometimes even for months, can really help you get out of that rut. Some points you can get scared to get back in there, you have to sense yourself being free like ‘Fuck it! I don’t care’ before you get back in. Not think about it too much is the best advice. Which is the hardest actually!
For sure. Aside from Techno, what other sources do you gather your inspiration from?
Hmm, that could be anything. At home I listen to so much different types of music, it can be Hip Hop, experimental stuff, Rock music, Punk music, ambience, House. Whatever I feel like at the time. Classical music. My record collection is so varied and it’s kind of abstract the way that works you know? Inspiration you can get not only from music, but just having a nice conversation with a friend. It really makes you think, you go into the studio and something pops up, something from this conversation kind of pours into the music. Walking in nature or having a great holiday. I try to keep an open mind frame for everything.
Do you let that influence the music at the time?
Yeah, it’s like a snapshot of my life at that moment. Everything I make is a soundtrack of how my life went. No one knows this but me! For me I’ll listen to my music and think “Oh, this was that period and this was going on”. A soundtrack to my life.
It could well be a soundtrack to someone else’s life as well who may be listening.
Yeah, that’s amazing. Sometimes you get these comments or mail from people saying certain tracks played a role in their lives and it totally blows me away.