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An Interview with dan le sac


dan le sac is a producer and DJ who has the ability to create free flowing beats and intense soundscapes that provide a vivid backbone to all of his the projects he has done with Scroobius pip. Last year he brought out Space between the words which showed off the spectrum of capability the music creator has and heightened his status as top DJ. In Repent Replenish Repeat the dark atmosphere is beautifully captured in layers of his soft and upbeat sounds. 

HUNOW: There is a darkness to Repent Replenish Repeat that separates it from the previous two dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip albums, did you intend to make a more intense album or did it just happen?

DlS: To be honest I find it difficult to say. Looking back Angles feels like I was aiming for something just out of reach, yet with Logic of Chance I had developed my production abilities so I could reach those places but got caught up in the process over the emotion. With RRR I feel like I found the fire of Angles and been able to apply it. Strangely the biggest influence on this was my solo record, Space Between the Words, it was a chance for me to stretch myself without any real pressure.

HUNOW: How do you go about making the music for dan le sac vs Scroobius pip? Do you produce the track and then Scroobius Pip puts lyrics over it, or is it the other way around?

DlS: It can go either way, the first few tracks usually come along music first but as an album develops that can flip. We started this album with a huge amount of music, I had worked up a lot of the initial ideas during writing Space Between the Words, so as Pip started whittling the ideas down a pattern started to appear that we could both follow and bounce around.

HUNOW: Do you think it’s important to try and experiment with new sounds in the tracks you produce?

DlS: Always, I’m not someone who’s happy sticking in one place musically for very long. Everything I do it a result of me fiddling around with new ideas.

HUNOW: Have you got a favourite track on the album and if so, why?

DlS: It changes day to day! Stunner is always going to be a favourite, I’m proud of how close it is to the idea I had in my head.

HUNOW: The music you make is quite unique, who influences your sound?

DlS: Everything! Joy Division, Godspeed you! Black Emperor, Raymond Scott, Delia Derbyshire, Kraftwerk, Caberet Voltaire, El-P, Nick Cave, Nathan Fake, Clark, Jon Hopkins, Martyn, anything on Factory Records, everything on Warp, the entirety of Northern Soul, basically anything I can get my ears around.

HUNOW: You did a track called Gold Teeth with Flux Pavilion, how did that collaboration come about?

DlS: It’s kinda all on Scroob that one, he knows Flux throw Doctor P I think and we all just got it together. The beat itself was something I put together in 45mins on an afternoon then Josh and I bounced back and forth over for a month or so. It was fun, I definitely learnt a lot from it too.

HUNOW: If you could pick anyone else to work on a track with you, who would you choose?

DlS: Now that is certainly too hard to answer,  so many people I could learn from out there it difficult to think where to start. Weirdly at the moment though, the person I most want to work with is me! It’s been a long time since I worked entirely without collaboration and although it’s daunting, I think that’s the next route I’d like to pursue.

HUNOW: Between releasing The Logic of Chance and Repent Replenish Repeat you released Space Between the Words. Are there any song ideas that came out of doing solo work that you thought would be really good for working on with Pip?

DlS: I’d say 70% of RRR comes out of Space Between the Words, whether I knew it or not at the time!

HUNOW: In the music video for the track Stunner we get to see you using some of your hardware, what’s your favourite setup for producing music and playing live?

DlS: On the producing front it all about getting notes on the page, so my bass guitar and piano always need to be close at hand, as for live I always feel like it’s key to avoid relying on the Laptop, the MPC and KaossPads might not be as rock&roll as a Tele & a Marshall stack but it’s my way of making sure the crowd get a performance!

HUNOW: How did you first get into producing music?

DlS: My cousin, Billy Poskitt Jnr, got me into music full stop when I was a kid, my brothers were no use with their Phil Collins and Jodeci obsessions. Bill’s focus was always the emotion of a track first before the production, which is something I still try to do today. At about 14 I got an Atari ST & a cracked version of Cubase and taught myself all I could.

HUNOW: Although you’re busy touring Repent Replenish Repeat, have you got anything else planned for when you have some free time?

DlS: Just writing as much as possible, as I said above I’d like to write a true solo record with no outside help, but also there’s a couple of other projects (under different names) I’m working on, which have more of a defined direction, but it might be a bit too soon to talk about that!

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