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Daat

Interview
Alexander

We talk to Montreal duo Daat about there latest single "Orange Line" for the Offshore/ Organic collab 12" series... Blazin'.

Photo by Graham Bradley

Hi guys, please introduce yourselves, where does the Daat name come from?

Daat is myself (Jason oS) and Joey Mnemonic. We met up in 2009 in Montreal, at the Music Technology Area in McGill University. I started writing tunes in 1998, after taking some Digital Composition courses in my Bachelors. Joe also plays trumpet with live electronics in a band.

When we write tunes, we often work from a storyline that surrounds this particular character named Daat, and his interaction with his environment. The name Daat comes from a couple different angles. We wanted to stay away from names that might conjure up direct meanings that people might otherwise bring to the music, so that it could live by itself without us. Daat is a word that means knowledge, but the pronunciation is similar to the word "dot", so its also a variation on the minimal theme that runs throughout our tunes.

"We wanted to convey a sense of development, while keeping things consistent."

"Orange Line" is the A side to OSRORG002, tell us how the track came to be? What were the influences behind it?

"Orange Line" was actually one of the first tunes we worked on. We made a first version of the tune back in 2010, which was when I started to get back into production. Since then, we've had the opportunity to revisit the tune, but somewhat fortunately, we lost the original project file and had to remake the tune. This gave us the freedom to recreate many of the sounds, revise the arrangement, and add some edits and a few change-ups. As a result, we think the new tune is a good representation of the kind of vibe we're pushing these days.

Musically, we both find inspiration from the late 80s and early 90s (game music, etc.), as that's what we grew up listening to. A lot of that music came from the confines of minimal production environments on early PCs and consoles, and I think this ethos resonates with a lot of producers in our generation. As a result, there's been this minimal boom in the last 4-5 years, which has produced some of the genre's most beautiful music yet. While I love listening to most forms of drum & bass, I've always found myself to be more suited to producing sparse, half-tempo tunes, as I find that each sound's timbre has more space, and can be individuated more clearly.

In working on the tune, we found that we were making a track about transportation. Our man Daat was travelling, and through his travels, he was changing, getting stronger. So we wanted to convey a sense of development, while keeping things consistent. At some point, there was a parallel drawn between the mode of transportation in the storyline and the Orange Line on the Montreal Metro, though we wanted to stay away from any direct references. Ironically, we found out after the fact that the main theme contains the same three tones that sound when the trains leave a station.

We hear you are working on some kind of hardcore/ jungle drum & bass study? what's that all about?

I believe hardcore, jungle, and drum & bass should receive a similar research focus as other forms of electronic dance music (e.g., house, techno). Because music theorists and musicologists don't understand the subtleties of the music, they have no way to approach it, and it is rarely studied. The problem here is that there are a ton of tunes that were written in the pre-digital release era that were only released on vinyl. Without digital archival and analysis suited to the music, these tunes risk getting lost in the deluge of releases that came out at the time. The project is intended to be a first step towards this goal.

We're working on computational methods for extracting information that is relevant to the music (e.g., breakbeats used, and drum patterns). More importantly though, we're performing interviews with some of the key figures from the scene's past, present, and future (DJ Trax, Deep Blue/2 Bad Mice, Nookie, D.O.P.E., Bay B Kane, Alpha Omega, Justice, Carl Collins, Metro, Macc, 0=0, Antidote, Tim Reaper, and many more). We'll be using this information to write a history not only of the cultural aspects, but also explain how the music was technically created as well.

"There are very few buy on sight labels out there, and Offshore is certainly one of them."

You're 12" is the second in the OSRORG series, how did you first get involved with the project?

I've known Brett for years, and always held him and Offshore in highest regard. There are very few buy on sight labels out there, and Offshore is certainly one of them. Brett had contacted us about the original "Orange Line" track for an upcoming Buried Treasure CD, but then asked us if we'd be up for a redux for a joint Offshore/ Organic release. It was an massive honor to follow the Fracture and Neptune release, and I'd just finished an upgrade of the studio at the time, so we jumped on the opportunity immediately, and were able to improve several elements in the tune.

Deep Blue has provided a stellar remix for the b side, you must be pretty happy to have a true legend of the music remix your work?

We couldn't possibly be more excited about it. I've been a fan of Sean's work for years upon years. His tunes have served as a constant source of inspiration, many of which haven't left my DJ bag. From Hold it Down, to Helicopter, to his Partisan and Scale works, and of course the Offshore tunes. Deep Blue is an absolute legend and he's absolutely smashed this one, taking the original and morphing it into a two-step dancefloor monster with tons of subtle switches. We're quite excited to see what else he has in store for the future!

Daat - "Orange Line"/ Daat - "Orange Line (Deep Blue Remix)" is available now! Just click HERE

Released 20/08/2012 on 12” Orange Vinyl and Digital.
Distributed by ST Holdings