When listening to music, there’s a duty of significance that each artist has to accomplish and that’s to take me on an unforgettable musical journey. As a listener, during each experience, I want to feel a connection or it is not memorable and I will not be a fan. Searching to find this music that feeds both my entertainment side as well as my spiritual side, I stumbled upon Darin Epsilon, an international DJ-producer from Chicago who has a unique combination of deep melodic Progressive and Tech House. Darin Epsilon’s music has the ability to speak to you without saying a word and it’s great music to groove to. For many years, Darin Epsilon has created music and you can tell by the prowess he displays in his sound. He has worked with many reputable labels including Renaissance, Hope Recordings, Sudbeat, Armada, Perfecto and Black Hole.
Last month, GrungeCake experienced Darin Epsilon live in action at Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland Music Festival in San Bernardino, California. I must say when listening to his music live and feeling the crowd’s energy and his energy was truly an amazing experience. Forthwith, after his set Darin Epsilon spoke to us about his musical influences, electronic dance music and his gear.
What are some of the things that influence you as an artist?
I grew up heavily influenced by Leftfield, Orbital, Underworld, Future Sound of London, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed. In my sets, I try my best to incorporate the aspect of taking the listener on a “journey”.
Too many DJ’s these days are just simply playing one banging track after another, but there is a real art and subtlety to DJing. Proper DJing is about layering sounds and taking the audience from point A to point B to point C. It requires a deep understanding of music, and to see someone be able to master the concept can be truly astounding.
What are your feelings toward the current state of electronic dance music and its culture?
We have always had these periods when dance music blew up and became the forefront of mainstream culture. It happens almost once every decade. I was the same way… when I was growing up, I was mostly listening to hard house, trance, and general rave music. Through the years though, as my attachment to electronic music grew, I started exploring more intelligent sounds.
The gateway for me was Sasha’s Global Underground Ibiza compilation. The first few times I heard it, I didn’t really get it. But after 3-4 times on repeat, I really started to get into these moody, groove-driven tracks, and then soon I was no longer able to listen to anything else. I feel that the same thing is going to happen to a lot of the new people who are hearing electronic dance for the first time this year.
I would think that as a creator of music yourself, you would be very particular with your music taste. With that said, who are some of your favorite artist, albums, etc.?
My favorite album of all time is Leftfield’s first album ‘Leftism’, which pretty much defined progressive house in the mid-90’s. My favorite group of all time is Prodigy, although you don’t hear much of their sound in my own music. The early Global Underground compilations are arguably the best DJ mixes of all time.
Are there any particular emotions you try express to your audience with your music?
Hopefully good ones, haha. As I mentioned before, I like to take people on a journey and leave them with a really satisfying, spiritual experience.
Right now (hypothetically), you’re faced with the job of creating a world tour with 6 stops. Who would you get to join you on this tour, what locations would make a stop and why?
Well, I would love to bring my label artists from Perspectives Digital with me. For sure we’d have to visit Eastern Europe and South America because that’s where real Progressive House is appreciated the most. Also, it would be a dream to play in exotic locations like Ibiza, east Asia, India, and Africa. That would really please the inner explorer in me.
Let’s talk gear. Which companies or products do you favor or recommend?
The first synths I bought were by Korg (MS-2000 and Electribe drum machine), and I had such a tough time wrapping my head around them that eventually I became 100% software-based.
I write almost all my musical ideas in Ableton and Reason, and then finish the final stages in Logic because of its superior sound quality. My preferred soft-synths are Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Rob Papen Predator, Synplant, and most of the VST’s by Native Instruments.
What was your most memorable gig of all time and why?
I’m very lucky to have played some fantastic gigs in my career so far, but my favorite memory has to be Planeta 357 in Omsk, Siberia, which was my first ever international gig. The party was held in a car garage, and they filled this massive space with approximately 2,000 Russians! Can you believe it? Another highlight has to be my performance at Nairobi National Park in Kenya last July.
What is next for you sir Darin? What should we keep our eyes open for?
My track ‘Red Matter’ will be out May 6 on Hernan Cattaneo’s label Sudbeat Music. I’ll also have several new releases on my own label Perspectives Digital in the coming months. The best place to keep up to date with everything that’s going on is my Facebook.
Listen to Darin Epsilon’s latest mix below by clicking here.