Chicago native turned L.A. transplant Darin Epsilon is on his way to becoming a household name in the dance music scene thanks to a catalogue of releases that have found their way into the playlists of juggernauts such as Hernan Cattaneo and John Digweed. It's no surprise, either, given the fact that the man has been championing the deeper sound of progressive house in a big way - not only with his solo releases, but also through his own podcast and imprint, Perspectives Digital.
So before this guy becomes a great big star, we thought we'd pick his brain to find out find out more about the man that many consider to be the leader of the progressive house scene.
1. Darin, let's start from the beginning. How were you first introduced to electronic music and how did you get started?
I grew up learning several instruments and wrote my first track at age 14. While attending high school I took an introductory course on MIDI/music production and that was my first exposure to synthesizers.
It was during the early 2000s that I discovered WNUR 89.3 FM, Northwestern University’s college radio station. Each week I would tune in and listen to local DJs spin a variety of house, trance and techno. Fast forward to 2006 and my first official remix was completed during my senior year of college. I’ve been steadily releasing ever since.
2. Is there anyone in particular that had a heavy influence on you early on in your early raving/recording career?
There are just simply too many to mention! I would consider the Prodigy, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed, Ferry Corsten, Orbital and Leftfield to be the most influential for me early on.
3. Tell us about where you're from and where you first cut your teeth in the dance music industry.
I was born in the northwest Chicago suburbs and spent over 20 years living in Illinois. I became heavily involved with electronic music while attending college, working as a street team member for several influential record labels, running a college radio station, and hosting my own weekly program.
Upon graduating I worked as a nightlife promoter and would drive back and forth from the suburbs to downtown Chicago every weekend (about 90 minutes each way). Eventually I became a resident DJ for Vision Nightclub, which was Chicago’s largest and most popular venue at the time.
4. What would you consider your first big break?
There have been many important milestones in my career so I can’t really say I’ve had one defining moment. I’m particularly proud that I was selected as one of the winners of Beatport & John Digweed DJ Mix Competition in 2011, beating out hundreds of competitors around the world. Releasing tracks on Hernan Cattaneo’s label Sudbeat and Nick Warren’s Renaissance compilation CDs were also huge thrills for me.
5. You’ve worked with some of the best underground house labels in the game including, as you mentioned, Sudbeat, Global Underground, Renaissance, Hope Recordings, and your own imprint, Perspectives. Is there anyone else on your radar that you'd like to eventually sign with?
I’m lucky that I’ve had the chance to release on so many great labels I admire, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Bedrock, Anjunadeep, Last Night On Earth, All Day I Dream, Lost & Found, and Einmusika.
6. Let's talk about the progressive house genre itself. It would seem that the genre is no longer being hijacked by the commercial EDM folks. What are your thoughts around all of that controversy?
It’s still very much a problem in my opinion. We have an entire generation of clubbers that think progressive house is Hardwell or Calvin Harris or Avicii!
I’m using every ounce of strength in me to educate the masses on what I stand for. I consider it my responsibility since I’m often referred to as the leader of the sound here in North America.
7. I absolutely loved your mini LP from late last year, entitled No Regrets. Do you any plans for another LP to be released within the near future?
Maybe in the not-so-distant future. At the moment I’m promoting my summer releases on Sudbeat, Global Underground, Parquet Recordings, Proton Music, Chapter 24 Records, and of course my very own Perspectives Digital.
8. It would seem that you've got a pretty big worldwide following judging by the dates you have lined up for the rest of the year. Where are you most excited to play and why?
Argentina is always a guaranteed good time. I’m also very excited to play Lebanon and Australia for the first time!
9. Is there anywhere that you haven't played yet but would like to play some day?
Ibiza, Brazil, Hungary, and Japan are all places that I’ve heard amazing things about.
10. Finally. For those that are unfamiliar with Darin Epsilon, tell us what there is we need to know and why they should go and check you out at your next gig.
I’m one of a kind and have a completely unique sound. Completely self-taught with several hundreds of tracks under my belt. My Perspectives radio show began over 10 years ago and my biggest passion since day one is sharing music with others.
08.12 - Zoo Project - Sydney, Australia
08.20 - Undercurrent presents Alchemy - Los Angeles, US
08.28 to 09.05 - Burning Man - Black Rock Desert, US
09.09 - Bahrein - Buenos Aires, Argentina
09.10 - La Boite - Tucuman, Argentina
09.16 - El Reino - Bahia Blanca, Argentina
09.17 - SuperClub - Rosario, Argentina
09.23 - Skylight - Santa Fe, US
10.19 to 10.21 - ADE 2016 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
10.20 - Perspectives & Replug Showcase @ RLGC - Amsterdam, Netherlands
10.21 - Sudbeat @ Panama - Amsterdam, Netherlands
11.19 - Projekt - Beirut, Lebanon