Hello. First of all, tell us something about you: who is behind d.notive and how did it all started?
I've been a musician ever since I was a little kid. My mother was the front-
Why d.notive as title?
It's supposed to be kind of ironic. I racked my brain for a substantial amount of time after I'd made the decision to go solo as it were; I didn't feel capable of moving forward until I had a working title for what my pseudonym would be. I had the idea of taking words with a “de” prefix, and dropping the e in with a period, to make a "d." since that wouldn’t substantially alter the pronunciation of the word. The word "denotive" came to me. Because to be "denotive" means one is definitive, or that one is capable of defining or naming something, and because I couldn’t define or name myself, I thought it was appropriately ironic, and it stuck. I dropped the "de" and used a "d." and I suppose the rest is sort of history.
Even though you come from the US, your music sounds quite "european" as you bring us a pretty interpretation of what is called Synth-
Oh absolutely! Even before I had my "awakening" as a teenager, stumbling across bands like Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Human League, or Erasure, I was listening to Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Back in 2006 I fell into the Futurepop and EBM scene, and discovered bands like VNV Nation and Beborn Beton, later on it was Covenant and And One… So yes, to say I listen to European acts a lot is a very accurate assessment.
Are there some albums that are decisive for your musical career?
Indeed. "Violator" by Depeche Mode was a huge game-
As far as being decisive, it probably wasn’t until I heard the "Skull & Shark" album by Lazerhawk in late 2013, that I really started paying attention to the synthwave or retrowave scene. There was something haunting and atmospheric about that album that really forced me to re-
Your album cover remind me of the aesthetic of the movie “Back To The Future” as well as of the album “Outrun” from the French musician Kavinsky. Some of your inspiring sources perhaps?
Of course! In fact, on the album cover there’s a subtle nod to "Back to the Future" itself on the movie marquee. As a child I watched a worn-
As for Kavinksy, I didn’t draw a ton of musical inspiration from him, but I definitely borrowed a lot of ideas as far as world-
What is the fascination of this decade in your opinion?
In my opinion I think the fascination is two-
One, I think a lot of people are fascinated with this decade because they couldn’t experience it for themselves. They’re just a little bit too young to have really been able to appreciate it for the first time. Many of the producers in this scene are in their 30’s and 20’s -
Second, looking back at the 1980’s, there was an underlying attitude of optimism and positivity when our culture reflected on technology. And I think the 80’s was the last decade we had before cynicism pervaded our cultural consciousness, before mass-
You can be seen as a part of the so called Retrowave or Synthwave, that reanimates the old futuristic style of 80s comic and movies. Why, do you think, is there still a need to revive or reanimated this decade?
Synth music died a very artificial and premature death in my opinion. And after it was purged from the collective cultural consciousness, it became a very geeky thing to be obsessed with. This left a lot of people, especially younger people, with a strong desire to revive it, or at least re-
Somebody told me some time ago, that the best pop-
No, actually. I think part of what made pop music great in the 80’s was how eclectic it was. There wasn’t a singular "Top 40" sound. While there were certainly career pop producers (Stock Aitken Waterman come to mind) you also had a lot of oddball, strange hits from a wide variety of genres -
There's also some kind of innocent in early electronic-
Yes and no. Even in current mainstream Pop there are some really great tracks being put out. For example, I think "1989" by Taylor Swift was a masterpiece from start to finish… Bruno Mars’ last few singles were spectacular, and I think even Nick Jonas is doing some really cool stuff. Hell, I’m even digging Fall Out Boy these days. I don’t know if "innocence" has been lost or not. All music depends on what you bring to it, what context you put it into. If anything, if pop music of today seems less "innocent" it’s because our culture has changed and become less innocent. We’re more cynical as a society, and we filter things through that lens.
At last a little look into the future: what are your next projects?
I’ve got a few unreleased Sentinel tracks that I need to finish. They were songs that just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album. Or songs that I just didn’t have the wherewithal to prioritize over others. So that should be coming quite soon. After that, I’m loosely slated to do some music for a cyberpunk webcomic as part of an art-
|| INTERVIEW: DANIEL DRESSLER | DATE: 07/11/17| CONTACT || READ THE ARTICLE IN GERMAN >
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