Dario Lupo is a musician from Salerno, Italy, presently based in Berlin, Germany. He creates ambient, chill-out music driven by huge reverbs as Chasing Dreams, Need a Name and Katahimikan. Chasing Dreams‘ music is made of slow, nostalgic compositions filled with field recordings, effected guitars and mellow soundscapes. Need a Name is based on deep, electronic sound design marked by synths, arpeggios, glitchy beats and evolving sequences. In 2015, he started Katahimikan: an ambient/drone project. It’s based on the sampling of his own music. Dario is a self-contained, independent artist, creating all of his work and releasing its respective attributes including the composition, artwork, promotion, recording, mixing and mastering through his own record label: Daze.
1: I spend too much time lurking on Reddit and Twitch. Yeah, I love videogames.
2: I thought I didn’t like cats, now I have 2.
3: 3 chained reverbs are way better than 1. Also, more decay and modulation, please.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
That’s something I often ask myself. I don’t think I’m certain, but probably the biggest has a lot to do with the extremes of my feelings. I’m not a very physically or socially expressive person when it comes to feeling extremely good or bad, and that’s when I find myself starting pressing buttons, moving knobs, playing with things… That’s how I express my really strong emotions. There are also other ways I bring myself to work on music: one is the workflow: trying a new approach, buying that new tool and make an EP or album around it… That kind of stuff. It’s like playing with Lego, but to be honest I didn’t play much with those. I used to be a Majorette and toy cars kind of kid. Sometimes I also try to challenge myself and please friends or fans. It works like this: today let’s try and make a track which that friend or fan of mine would like.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I was probably 14, but I’m not too good at placing childhood memories on a timeline. I remember I used to spend time on mIRC and one day an internet friend showed me a track he made using Fruity Loops (now FL Studio). That’s when I started playing with it and realize that was fun, real fun, too fun to stop! I didn’t know anything about music production before that day. I also don’t have any idea who that internet friend is anymore. But thank you whoever you are!
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
That’s a hard one, but let’s try and see what comes to my mind.
Hammock – Departure Songs
Helios – Eingya
This Will Destroy You – S/T + Young Mountain (sorry, 2 in 1. I used to listen to these as a whole album)
Ulrich Schnauss – Far Away Trains Passing By
Mirco de Govia – Chronoscale
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
So many smiles! And that huge feeling of humanity. It warms your soul. It’s peaceful and familiar.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Not sure I have one. My house, I guess. Or anywhere I can eat a good, real Pizza!
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Find any other way to express my creativity. Or maybe I could create music myself!
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Hammock – Mysterium
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Collaborating is interesting, but I wouldn’t really know where to start if I have to be honest. I tried different times but it always felt… different. If I had to pick, I’d obviously love to do it with some of my favorite artists, such as Keith Kenniff or Hammock. I think that could change a lot about myself and I could learn so many things. To tell you the truth, I’d probably enjoy just having a talk with them than actually make music together. Sharing points of view, see how they work on things and how they relate to life.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I don’t perform much live, but I enjoyed my last performance in Bologna, Italy. It was in 2012 and I opened for Apparat, who I met. It was a pretty cool experience!
As a spectator, I loved Ólafur Arnalds at the Babylon in Berlin, I think it was in 2013. I have fantastic memories of it. I also loved Nils Frahm, This Will Destroy You, Múm and Immanu El.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Very important. As I mentioned before, at times it really inspires me to work on something new. There is always that new tool I want to try. Having a computer is important, I never really tried to work with hardware multitrack recorders, but I’m pretty sure I’d feel stuck by a lack of flexibility compared to the way I work with DAWs. Also, I can’t really write music on paper, I didn’t study much theory and I mostly go with my ears. So, yes, technology is a necessity to lay down my ideas.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have 3 sisters and 1 brother. They’re not actively following my career as a musician, but they kind of know what do I do and they’re supportive about it. Or at least try to be!
Dario Lupo will appear at the Cinematic Ambient Festival Berlin on 17th December.