Here at Inverted Audio, we’ve been really impressed by a lot of the year’s mixes. Artists such as Gerry Read, Monokle, Darling Farah, and Blue Daisy (to name just a few) have added their own flavour to the IA series, with some fantastic results. This week, on the heels of his excellent ‘Enclosure EP‘, the inimitable fLako delivers an astoundingly diverse selection, molded together sublimely with his own mellifluous productions, a few of which appearing as IA exclusives (thanks fLako!!). In the interview below, the producer discusses nicknames, influences, and artwork.
For those who may not know, could you introduce yourself, and let us know the story behind your name?
Hi, my name is Darío. I do music under the name fLako. I have roots in Chile, been raised in Germany and currently reside in London. “Flaco” (“Skinny” in Spanish) is just one of the many nicknames my dad would use and still uses. I later changed the ‘C’ with a ‘K’ to make it easy to pronounce, which doesn’t seem to be the case.
Can you talk about your early musical experiences? How did you first get involved with electronic music?
There is this one photo of me as a baby, leaning on the guitar while my dad was playing and singing too. I seem to be very captivated by the sounds and look daydreaming. I remember a lot of latino friends coming over to ours. Music was always present with live sessions or played back from records. I guess growing up in this environment, was the foundation stone.
With my dad playing the guitar I started taking lessons and played in a couple of bands, which I didn’t really enjoy. It just never felt right. Maybe I didn’t meet the right people, that were on the same tip as I was back then. After discovering Hip Hop, I was fascinated by the music and how it was made. This curiosity made me borrow a 4 track tape recorder from one and a small drum kit from another friend, trying to find a way to do something like what I heard on these hip hop records. I think curiosity is what made me start really and keeps me driving too.
How about influences? What musicians, scenes, or styles have you felt the most prominent connection with?
I guess I was always more a maverick rather than a part of any scene. I like to experiment and try out myself by doing new things (new to me). The sound universe and the music that is created from and within this world is so complex and interesting. Sometimes I even feel intimidated by so much good music, but in the end I become curious again.
And geographical influences? Being associated with a fairly diverse collection of countries (Germany, Chile, England…), do you carry any aspects of them with you in your music?
I guess everything has some kind of influence on what I do. Not sure what these places contribute though. I think my family and friends are more important and have a stronger influence on me personally, which then maybe reflects in my music.
Your music is, for want of a better word, very visual… Do you associate images with your productions? What’s in your head when you’re working?
Yes, there is always images in my head when listening to music. I like the experience of visuals together with music. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to do a music video yet or work on a visual concept for my show.
Quite a few of your tunes sound a bit like acoustic music flirting with electronic means, is this something you think about or do intentionally?
No, that happens naturally.
In terms of connecting your music with your influences, do you prefer to start working and then do things in terms of what you’re comfortable with? Or do you like to consciously diverge from what you’re used to?
Music just happens. Often the best pieces are the ones that happen along the way or are a result of a mistake or an experiment. I never sit down and have a melody or something in mind. I kinda reset to zero and start to do something, of which something grows.
How about your approach to DJ mixes – how do you like to structure a set when you play out? We reckon the mix you submitted for the Inverted Audio series is one of this year’s best – what was in mind when you were recording it?
Thank you! That’s funny though, because I am not a DJ. It seems people automatically expect you to DJ just because you do music! DJing to me is another art form to master. I am really glad you enjoyed my selection though!
Tell us a bit about the tracks you’ve selected for the mix.
I just went through the music that I was listening to most recently and tried to connect them somehow.
There are also quite a few fLako exclusives in here – thanks for sharing! Anything you’d like to mention about those tracks?
Who is behind the artwork for Eclosure EP and how did you come to decide on this image?
I rediscovered the sensation of silence recently. I forgot how important it is to reset by not listening to anything. I feel sometimes even music can be distraction. Also it helps to be able to listen into and reconnect with yourself. Then I sat down and listened to the EP in its entire again to see where it takes me.
One day I remembered my friend and photographer Clemens Fantur and went to see his latest works. Amazed by all his great photos, I spend the whole evening going through his works that were uploaded on his website and found this one shot that I instantly had a connection with.
I spoke to him the next day and told him about my vision and was really happy that he agreed to contribute this particular work. The silhouette you see on the final artwork is actually the back of a real person (another common friend) on the original photography. It now symbolizes the place I see myself, when listening to the EP.
Apart from the release of your EP – Is there anything coming up that you’re excited about?
Yes, there is a few really exciting projects that I’m working on for 2013. Can’t tell you much about them at this point though…fLakoFive Easy PiecesElectronicExperimental