DNGLS Shares Secrets to His Rare Atmospheric Techno [Interview + Exclusive Mix]

"That's why I choose to use hardware live, I can’t prepare everything perfectly, and this is for the better."
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Masha Lukashenko
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"That's why I choose to use hardware live, I can’t prepare everything perfectly, and this is for the better."

When most of us shy away from unusual sounds, DNGLS, embraces them. Deriving from the world of techno and based in France, his intricate and fluid musical output is described as atmospheric, with hints of ambient undertones and blended melodic tempos. He explores a wide range of motifs and DNGLS isn't afraid to give his audience a different live experience, every time. 

Backed by Anemone Records in Barcelona and recognized by Len Faki, he has since released two albums and is continuing to make his elemental style of techno known. We got the chance to chat with this producer on the rise and he sheds light on his musical background, turning an error into his "best friend," and how he developed his unique sound profile. Be sure to listen to the exclusive mix he's shared with us as it's a clear representation of his immersive and stylistic performances.

Who is DNGLS? When was the name born and what inspired it?

Anemone Recordings asked me for a new name for this techno side project, so DNGLS is an anagram of my real name ;)

When did you start to produce and what background in music do you have?

I started to produce music with the first computer my mother bought for us, at the end of the 90’s. There was an easy software to make music on it. I only got just a few loops and I could choose to mute or not… And my mother also introduced me to my electronic background with bands like Depeche Mode or Jean Michel Jarre.

What what was the turning point for you in electronic music?

At the age of fourteen I listened to a lot of hip-hop and funk music. I finally moved to house music and then to techno today. But what I can say is that the sounds of synthesizers always touched me.

You are a self-named, "Modular Geek"... how does that reflect in your production?

It reflects, well, the way I produce for DNGLS, I always start a new track with my modular. It’s my raw material. I recorded hours for this LP.

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What makes a modular error, your "best friend"?

It’s my best friend because I can create wrong connections that I can’t do with a non-modular synth. And that is exactly why it’s interesting. It’s important to try to have your own sound, and it’s difficult today. Everybody uses the same virtual instruments with the same sounds, same presets, same loops, and so on. So, I guess those errors give me my sound.

How did you come across, Anemone? When did you begin working with the label?

I’ve known Graham for 4 or 5 years now, before he created Anemone. I sent him some tracks and we spoke about the label. He said he wanted to work with me… It’s really great to feel someone or a label really interested in my music, and Anemone gave me a lot of good and rare opportunities. Like a Xhin edit selected or Len Faki remixes on my third EP for example.

I’m not an Internet guy, I mean I prefer spending my time with my family or producing music. So, Anemone also gave me a lot of advice to develop this part.

What gear or hardware do you use in your live act?

I use only hardware stuff like two Elektron Octatrack as samplers, a Roland Tr-8 for the drums, a JP-08 and a small modular system for the synthesizers! Tiptop Audio, Make Noise or Mutable Instrument are my favorite brands.

What do you find challenging about being a "live act"?

I made a lot of computer live acts the past 10 years for another project I have. What I can say is it’s more easy to do a live act with a computer, but you definitely don’t get the same feeling with hardware. It takes longer to build it, but I think you can take more exciting risks with hardware.

How do you prepare for each performance?

I don’t really prepare for each performance. Sometimes I add some new tracks just before. But I really don’t know what I’ll do before I start. That's another reason why I choose to use hardware live, I can’t prepare everything perfectly, and this is for the better. ;)

'Lukarne' was your very first album, what inspired that style?

I’m firstly a techno producer, but movies inspired me a lot for this album. Not specifically music movies, but rather the feelings I had, the good stories or an actor I like.

Are you planning on changing styles for your next album?

I don’t know, I just hope it’ll be better, because I think you always can do better.

What or who, inspires your production work?

Once again, my modular inspired me a lot. I spent hours to find what new modules I can add to my system, or understand how they work perfectly. In another time, life inspired me a lot : Meeting people, watching movies, spending time with my friends and my family are all good feelings to produce…

Are there any other producers/DJs that you would like to work with some day?

Meet Burial and have a beer with him would be a dream for me :)

Check out his exclusive mix for Magnetic Magazine here: 

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