The latest from Dog Solitude is not just another track, but a masterfully conducted temporary excursion. Released on the same label named after the artist, “Eschaton” is modern wizardry etched with vintage tones. It spans decades, drawing inspiration from Leftfield and the Future Sound of London, weaving them together in an artful sonic tapestry.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Where do we find you today?
Sat in my home studio overlooking the Bristol Channel.
Can you describe a moment or experience that initially sparked your passion for music and how it continues to inspire you today?
Music has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I think the thing that made me decide to start producing music was when in my early teens I first heard Nine Inch Nail’s Pretty Hate Machine and discovered that it was the work of a lone producer, Trent Reznor. It was eye opening to learn that a single person could create such amazing music, and thus began my quest to do the same.
Can you tell us a bit about your new record and how it came together?
I wrote Eschaton originally during lockdown, but wasn’t happy with the mix so parked it and revisited it earlier this year; fine tuning it until I was happy. I’m a huge fan of early 90’s dance music, particularly the breakbeat hardcore and rave scene in the UK, so I wanted to pay homage to that era by only using vintage hardware to create the track. Everything you hear is coming from either an old Akai sampler, or a vintage synth from the 70s, 80s or 90s.
How do you maintain a balance between staying true to your artistic vision and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the music industry?
I don’t even try to adapt. My music is unashamedly retro. I make tunes I would want to dance to if I heard them in a club, if others like them too, awesome, but I’m not interested in trends or changing my style to fit in. That probably puts me at a disadvantage on some level, but for me the artistic vision is all that matters.
What role does improvisation play in your creative process, and can you share a memorable instance when it led to an unexpected breakthrough?
Improvisation is definitely important to my music. A key example being the lead-line toward the end of Eschaton. That came from me playing a Yamaha CS60 synthesiser over the part of the track I’d recorded already; just trying different melodies and phrases out until I got something I liked. The end result is both somber and uplifting and it really completes the track.
How do you approach the challenge of translating your recorded music into engaging live performances, and what elements do you consider essential for a successful show?
I’m not currently performing live, mostly because my reliance on vintage hardware would make gigging a logistical nightmare and I wouldn’t be content to push buttons in Ableton and call it a live show. So for now, I’m studio based only, but who knows, that might change.
Can you discuss the impact of technology on your music, and how you see emerging tools and platforms shaping the future of electronic music?
The history of electronic music is inseparable from technological advancement, and as a gear head I’m always keeping an eye on what new tools are emerging, but I try not to adopt something just because it’s new. While I often use vintage tech to recapture the sounds of yesteryear, I’m also always looking for ways to get new sounds out of old gear. The limitations old gear can impose on your workflow often result in creative decisions you wouldn’t have made with newer tools. Take the Roland TB-303 line in Eschaton, it grooves with the beat because both my TB-303 and Akai sampler were being triggered by MIDI from the computer, resulting in imperfect timing. Once I’d printed the audio from both instruments into my DAW I tried aligning both so they started on the downbeat and the groove was lost, it sounded flat and static, so I reverted to the imperfect timing coming from the hardware.
Todays artist chat, we welcome Dog Solitude to talk about his life and music ahead of his “Eschaton” release.
How do you stay motivated and inspired during periods of creative block, and what strategies do you employ to overcome them?
I get creative block a lot. I think it’s probably quite common for producers to find themselves staring at a 4 bar loop wondering how on Earth they can turn it into a full tune. One of the techniques I use is to back-engineer tracks I like and look at how they transition from one part to the next, then implement a mixture of ideas to help me get out of a slump. Sometimes I upload the results of these back engineering efforts to YouTube (https://youtube.com/@dog_solitude) so maybe they can help other producers.
What’s a project or collaboration that you’re particularly proud of, and what did you learn from the experience?
I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with Future Self. I’ve done a couple of remixes for him that I’m proud of: ‘Starting Again’ and ‘It is What it is’. What I like about collaborating with Future Self is the feedback and input into my production, which helps me grow as a producer. He’ll often spot things I’ve overlooked, subtle changes that can improve the vibe or the mix.
Are there any non-musical influences, such as visual art, literature, or personal experiences, that have significantly shaped your work?
Absolutely! I’m kind of obsessed with the movie Blade Runner. I have two replica neon signs from the movie adorning my studio walls, and the aesthetic of the film along with the amazing Vangelis score have deeply influenced my music. In terms of personal experiences, living close to the sea has had an influence; whether it’s the seagull sample in Eschaton or the pelagic themes of my last EP: Fathoms, the sea calls to me and finds it’s way into my music.
Are there any lesser-known electronic music artists you feel deserve more attention, and why do their work resonate with you?
I’ve already mentioned Future Self, definitely worth checking out his stuff including the work under his alter ego Slow Assembly; just beautiful production, very slick. There’s some wicked UK Garage coming out on Bandcamp from Gothic Rapunzel, I find his tunes to be a breath of fresh air, a little different, not constrained by the mould.
What advice would you give to aspiring electronic music artists looking to develop their own unique sound and style?
Make the music you want to listen to, don’t get distracted by others, but do be open to feedback. Take the time to learn your tools inside and out; the better you understand your tools, the easier it will be to produce the sound that’s in your head.
Whats next for you?
I’m working on a couple of follow up singles to Eschaton, one with more of an Acid House vibe another is definitely breakbeat hardcore. Then towards the back end of the year I’ll be working on my next EP. So stay tuned and check out my fledgling YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/@dog_solitude) for updates along the way.
Written by: Alejandro Serrano