Over a profound body of work spanning LPs, EPs,
and mix-albums, Dday One has furthered the sample-based lineage of instrumental
hip-hop with an invigorating organic feel, a transporting musical sensibility,
and the ability to conjure the spirits of outside influences without
referential appropriation. Now, he offers an intriguing entry in his artistic
dialogue with Gathered Between (The
Content (L)abel / P-Vine)—a transitional album rescued from obscurity after a
technology malfunction years later.
“When an artist makes something of real depth
people recognize that. It’s like eating food made from love—that’s the
experience I want to offer people with my music,” the Los
Angeles-based artist shares.
As much as his cultural milieu has informed his
music, Dday One’s vision has been drastically shaped by technological
limitations. “Everything has evolved naturally, nothing has been planned,” he
reveals. In his formative years, he would collect
records and construct his early compositions from his crate digging
explorations using a broken tape player. The deck’s malfunction actually worked
in his favor, enabling him to make loops from music passages that stood out to
his artistic ear. Dropping the needle on the record and painstakingly
constructing a sample was a formative exercise. “Using crude materials in those
days expanded my creativity, and even though I’ve advanced in terms of the
equipment I use now, I still stay in that mindset to make sure the human
element comes out in my current work,” he confides.
Dday One’s career began in earnest in 2005 with
the release of his debut full length Loop
Extensions. Since then, he’s issued five LPs (including his latest), one EP,
and three mix-albums. Through it all, he’s been able to remain faithful to
muse through establishing his boutique imprint, The Content (L)abel.
Dday One creates immersive and ambitious narrative statements with his
long-playing releases. Each entry in his catalog is carefully curated to examine
an overarching theme with sonic eloquence. His latest, Gathered Between, is something of a lost album and a treat for
fans. The concept is that we live between the past and the future. The album is
an aural snapshot of that existential grey area. It’s the LP that was supposed
to be Dday One’s third release, but a hard drive crash erased most of its contents.
Through poring over demos, Dday One recreated the album, filling in his
artistic continuum at a pivotal time.
Dday One debuted with 2005’s Loop
Extensions (Content (L)abel / Needlework UK) which explores the elasticity of sampled motifs, innovatively breaking
boundaries without sacrificing enthralling musicality. Limited vinyl copies of
the album were pressed up and distributed to scene tastemakers, and, within a
month from the album’s release, LA hip-hop’s underground king Mike Nardone was
spinning album cuts on his radio show “We Came From Beyond” KXLU 88.9 and Cut
Chemist was requesting a copy.
In an interview with HMV Online
Dday One has said: “When I originally pressed up Loop Extensions in 2005, it was limited to 500 vinyl copies.
Through word of mouth the majority of the records spread to Europe and Japan.
Out of deep appreciate for this I decided to release Loop Extensions Deluxe and Mood
Algorithms, which is an early works project and kind of an unofficial
His follow-up, Heavy Migration (Content
(L)abel / P-Vine), boldly takes on the quest to find the perfect beat. And,
along the journey, Heavy Migration,
explores the movement of sound from one medium to another. This concept is
analyzed metaphorically, reminiscent of humans who
migrate, sounds retain traits established from their origin (pitch, cultural
markers, ambiance of the original recording session, etc).
His next release, Mood
Algorithms, was something of an early-works anthology that originally
circulated as a very limited edition cassette. The title is evocative of the compositional
process in which beats were created with inspiration from daily moods.
In 2014, Dday One released profoundly personal, Dialogue with Life (Content
(L)abel / P-Vine). Half of the record was made before open-heart surgery, and the
other half was made after the operation. The two sections of the album are
distinct in feel because of this—the first half is moodier and darker, and the
second half is more spiritually centered. The album is a cathartic piece of
In an exclusive Q&A with Textura.org,
Dday One revealed: “In terms of the surgery's impact on production, with
both Heavy Migration and Dialogue with Life, the
prospect of having surgery was a strong motivator to complete the albums and
also became a source of inspiration for titles and cover-art. Actually when I
got a date for the operation, I was working non-stop trying to finish the album
before going in. I almost did finish it but am glad I didn't because the love I
got from friends, family, and supporters after coming out of surgery gave me a
new outlook that broadened the project.”
Philosophizing about his varied output, Dday
One says: “The thread through it all is connecting with people across the
world. Music transcends language. I hope my music helps people see the high
parts in themselves.”