Our Argentine music correspondent Guillermo has come up trumps with yet another fantastic interview, this time with Argentine musician, Dilo. And not only does Guillermo manage to find the time to do interviews with awesome musicians, but he is also one of the first to introduce current electronic sounds to Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires (One like Appleblim being next on the cards). So, watch the space... This is his latest interview, enjoy.
Tell us when you first thought of Elephant Pixel, and what was going on at that time.
Hello... I Guess I started thinking about it around 2003. After breaking up my project Lapse (since my partner was leaving the country) I decided to start doing stuff alone as Elephant Pixel. Even though I was experimenting with software like Cakewalk and Pro Tools for some years already, I had never got total control over it, it was always with other people operating, so this became a real challenge, as I had to do all by myself. That didn't stop me from calling some friends as guests, which I always loved doing. Usual collaborators are Pablo Heredia (also co-worker in Monotax), Nicolas Stofenmacher and Julie Amadeo. I like doing stuff with MC Phias (from Spektre) too, he's definitely the best hip hop voice in Argentina!
Unveil the mistery.. is there a reason for the name chosen?
The name has its origins on a concept I started developing one year before (2002), the album I did with Lapse was called "Elephant Dreams" (which for me back then being my first step as musician meant big/massive dreams). So I decided to keep this elephant thing, but added the "pixel"....Why?.. I have no clue... It just sounds great to me!
How would you describe the road trip by this elephant and his concept of music on this side of the world ?
The road trip of this elephant is quite busy/crazy. As I travel a lot, Elephant Pixel has a lot to do with this, so I'm always recording and doing tracks on the road or at home.. Tripping. So there's a bit of Berlin in there, there's a bit of Los Angeles and Zurich for example, and of course, Buenos Aires. I guess many different landscapes and moods are reflected in my music. I'm not sure if I have a concept of music, I just try to experiment with things I like, every album is a bit different and has its own world and creatures.
Talking about traveling, Ave Glitcha features "Regreso a Buenos Aires" ("Return to Buenos Aires") and "Always coming back home". Are there any moments in which this elephant feels homesickness? Which are the things you miss from BA when touring Europe, and which from Europe when touring South America?
Yeah, definitely. I miss home sometimes, for sure. I miss my friends, my cats, my house, my family, the food..but still, I love to travel and live a part of the year in Berlin and tour around Europe and America….I cant stay too long in the same place.
What about playing Elephant Pixel works live? I know there is an Elephant Pixel live band which supported LCD Soundsystem or Ladytron amongst others, how did the idea of forming a band come up? Have you considered presenting your new album in this format?
I was playing as Elephant Pixel some years ago, first alone, then Juan Tortarolo (imi) & Pablo Heredia (Zoeey) joined the "live band" and eventually we created a new project for us, Monotax. So I'm not really playing as Elephant Pixel "live" anymore.. I don't really have the time for it. Playing as a Dj/Live and producing takes up a lot of my time, plus I run my label Igloo-rec….so when its comes to playing live in a band format I just do it with Monotax. We are currently rehearsing and actually we play songs from both projects, so I guess if people wanna see Elephant Pixel live, they should go and see Monotax, we'll give 'em some candies.
Let's focus on Ave Glitcha, it's been a while since Estrellita camed up on Lomidhigh, tell us about the creation process for this 3rd album of the Elephant, and how did you feel when finishing the last details?
Like all my EP albums, it shows my many moods and experiences, good and bad things that happened to me. I think its more positive than Estrellita, which was quite melancholic and dark somehow; therefore it shows a warmer moment in my life.
I feel like this 3rd album has things of the 2 previous ones, I can hear the folk hop from Folk, Lisergia, Computers (example "Regreso a buenos aires" or "Run Wild") and the glitch idm pop of Estrellita ("Your eyes told me a story" or "Schönleinstr").
I'm glad that some of my usual collaborators are also playing in some tracks: Pablo Heredia ("Ragazzo Sfortunato" "Your eyes told me a story" and "Time for a chance"), Sebastian Cohen ("In The Sky"), Seph ("Dive"). This album was recorded between Buenos Aires and Berlin, and took 2 years of work. We'll see what happens with the next album!
So you're thinking about the next one?!
Yeah, slowly starting to think about the next one, I have some ideas already, its going to have some relation with the planets, universe and robots.
Tell us how you decide under which of your aka's will the works be released? We know there's Elephant Pixel, Dilo, your band Monotax, and your collaborations as Swave or Cascabel Gentz. Do you already start working on new music thinking in a specific name to be released, or is that a final decision once the work is done?
To decide what goes for what, I usually do first the initial idea, a simple draft. Then think what to do with it, which is the right project for it and also if I don't like it enough, don't do anything with it, just go on with the next one. Sometimes I also have an idea before doing the track, and that's probably the best way, because I do it very fast, its like a moment, a flash.
We noticed a lot of instruments in Ave Glitcha, which makes it more organic in a way, are those recorded by yourself? Are there songs that started from a guitar?
Indeed there are recorded instruments: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, some percussions (like shakers and claves) and glockenspiel. I played all these, except the bass which was played by Pablo Heredia in a couple of tracks. I start some songs with a guitar, for sure. "Ragazzo Sfortunato" is a song I wrote around 10 years ago or more, I did it with my school band, and now decided to re-record it, same with "in the sky", which I wrote maybe 10 years ago or so and now decided to record it, they are guitar driven. Regreso a Buenos Aires and Dive are also driven by acoustic guitar.
Checking your song names from Folk Lisergia & Computers, Estrellita or Ave Glitcha, we can catch a lot of pictures in them, and you already mentioned landscapes, worlds and creatures. What kind of landscapes or images do you see when creating music?
All kinds of landscapes: cliffs, beaches, mountains, lakes, solar systems, parallel universes, black holes, Chemical images.
All the Elephant Pixel records have been released in physical, first CD, then 12" and now back to CD. Is this something that you specifically look for? We know you love to collect records.
Yeah, you are right, its all physical. Well, I think its a bit of a mix of things: me wanting it to happen and other people also interested in doing it.. I love to buy records indeed! I have mostly CDs but also vinyls. I have a very decent collection, especially rock stuff, I'm a freak of the 60's music, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Stones, Doors, Dylan and all that.
Talking about influences, do you have a role model? If there's one, which aspects made you want to follow his footsteps?
My role model? Brian Wilson. I've been following him since I'm a little kid, and I still keep listening to it a lot, Beach Boys and Brian. He's a genius and the phoenix bird. Beatles & Stones too for sure.
What were the hardest things to overcome as an up and coming artist?
The Fight/struggle with the argentinean scene, when I started to play rock, I thought about the scene: "oh my god this sucks" then later started to do electronic and I thought it was a bit better but still not so cool, there was too much ignorance and envy and everybody was just trying to do their own thing. But as time goes by it's gets better but still, I would like many things to change. I wanted to change that, and I did try and it worked quite well for me and my colleagues. Fortunately with Europe and USA it was a very different story, where I must say I had and have a very good experience.
Which things would you say are neccesary to improve scenes like your local Buenos Aires or South America?
More knowledge and research, more open minds, more clubs, more open air places. And especially: be more serious, work more together, make a better scene.
Thanks for everything Dilo, as a last question we'd like to know what your plans are for this year?
This year plans are: Tour a lot (as Dilo), I have to play gigs in Brazil, Mexico, USA, Europe, it's looking really good. Releasing new albums of Elephant Pixel, Monotax & Swave (my duo with N.E. Stofenmacher) and a new EP of Cascabel Gentz (my duo with [a]pendics.shuffle). I also did a vocal collaboration for Kate Simko's album that will be out on Hello! Repeat. At last, I'm planning a very busy year with the release schedule of Igloo-Rec ! I'm very excited and motivated.
*If you like the sound of the above you are free to check out what else Igloo Records have to offer, click HERE