This week's blog post features an electronic musician by the name of Diogenes Alexander Xavier but everyone calls him Dax for short. Dax was so nice to let me in his studio to capture an environmental portrait showcasing his workspace and putting his passion for music, cassette tapes specifically, in the mix. Below is a Q/A session with Dax about his work, projects to keep an ear out for, a local music event, HISSSSSSS, and links to where you can hear his audible creations. Enjoy!
Can you describe the type of music you create? How you developed your style?
Instrumental hip hop. Psychedelic electronic. "Beats". "Jawnts". Sample based collages of audio snips re-imagined. I've been messing with audio programs since I was 15. Started off making horrible techno and drum and bass. I mean horrible. I believe that's where everyone starts. Just kinda kept doing it for fun, started listening to more and more hip hop and the samples that my favorite songs were from, which led me to love Jazz, Soul, Psyche rock, foreign music... everything.
Why tapes? What is it about that analog technology that you like working with so much?
Everyone asks me this question, like tapes are this archaic data machine from some ancient land, haha. MP3s are great for downloading, CDs are great if you own a car, records are great if you have a collection. Tapes are great if you want to do a limited release of your music but don't have the money for vinyl. I don't like CDs, they're flimsy and once they're scratched it's fucking OVER for that album... As far as collecting tapes, I just love the odd types of music you can find on tape, and the varying degrees of erosion they've gathered over the years.
What do you want others to know about the music you and your collaborators create?
It's music, and you can listen to it. If you really care about music, you will do the knowledge yourself. Find a band, google them. All the information of the universe is on the internet. I'd like everyone to know that music still exists in the multifaceted Seattle underground, and it isn't all indie rock and dubstep. There are dark corners of the city where some of the nicest people i know get together and make weird noise and amazing music. You just gotta dig a little.
What is HISSSSSSS and what do you want the community to know about it?
I have open slots for people to come with their own mixes or selections and play them. We have vendors selling their tapes and tape things, and t shirts and all sorts of stuff. Coldbrew collective is our awesome visual team who runs VHS's through analog signal manipulation boxes and they do some pretty amazing work, LIVE. it's a fun, weird experience. You don't even have to be stoned.
What are the next projects you are working on?
It's a long chaotic list, I have project with Graves33, Carradine Michael, Sendai Mike, my crew FFU (filthy fingers united) every month, I have a beat tape coming out as soon as I can finish it. We're playing Folklife, block party, all sorts of stuff. Sometimes you can find me at Cal Anderson playing beats out my boombox.
Do you go by the stage name Diogenes? Diogenes was a Greek philosopher who went against social norms and preferred the simplistic life. How do you relate?
I grew up in Leavenworth Wa, and spent most of my childhood outdoors. Also my name, Dax, is an acronym for Diogenes Alexander Xavier, which I learned only 4 years ago, when I changed my stage name to fit. Dax-0-tronic was feeling pretty adolescent to me at the time, and I thought it was time to step it up. I also have an affinity for Sufism and many beliefs that parallel the thoughts of Diogenes, the Cynic.
Lastly, what else do we need to know about you and your music?
I dunno man, it's music... what's to know? Go feel it.
To hear Dax, check out the links below.
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