‘Click Interview’ with Dimitri Berzerk: ‘The Strange Journey Of Consciousness That Seeks The Transmutation Of Darkness Into Light’
Dimitri Loyo better known as Dimitri Berzerk is a Mexican DJ, producer, remixer and label owner. His artist name ‘Berzerk’ is inspired by various sources. Some of you maybe remember that Atari video game with the same name, which was particularly important to the artist as it was his first experience with vocoders in a video game. So Dimitri seeks to express the influence of the Retro-Pop culture within his music. But his artist name is also a wink to Apoptygma Berzerk, which is a band Dimitri particularly like. After numerous remixes for other artists, Dimitri Berzerk started releasing his own music. Three EP’s have been released thus far on his own label Sector Industrial Producciones. The songs clearly reflect the above mentioned influences and are worthy of examination.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You are active as a DJ, producer and remixer, artist, record label owner… but how did you get in touch with Electronic music? Can you tell us something more briefly about all your activities?
Dimitri: I’ve always been in love with music and in one way or another throughout my life I have sought to get involved with it. Everything started to flow better since I started as a DJ 16 years ago. From then on it has only been to continue advancing on this path. Electronic music, particularly everything related to Industrial and Synth-Pop, was one way that I was able to define myself better as a teenager. They are styles that caught me immediately and sounds that I later decided to work with. On the other hand, for approximately seven years I have been teaching DJ classes with very good results for both myself and my students.
Q: How did you finally come to compose your own music? What are the main sources of inspiration and what kind of sound did you have in mind?
Dimitri: With such a love for music it was only a matter of time before I started to compose my own music. I first tried to set up some bands and after several unsuccessful attempts I decided that it would be better working alone. In 2009 I started working on remix productions. This was a first step to later be able to compose my own songs.
Inspiration comes from everywhere, cinema, literature, video games, music, travel, philosophy, people and even in my dreams I have been able to come up with important ideas. The great challenge has been to find a way to abstract those ideas and translate them into something that can work without leaving the sound I am trying to present.
My main influences could be found between EBM, Synth-Pop, Industrial and New-Wave however I am always looking for and listening to music from other styles and scenes.
Q: You’ve already released some EPs where you collaborated with guest singers -like Claus Larsen. Tell us a little more about the writing of the EPs and the choice of the guest singers.
Dimitri: To be honest with you it has been a somewhat complicated task to be able releasing these EP’s especially because I have released them under my own label Sector Industrial. In one hand I have better control of what happens, but on the other hand the work intensifies since I have to take charge of the whole process behind a release. I think the real difficult thing is to dare taking the first step. After that, things start to flow and settle down step by step.
Collaborating with guest vocalists is a somewhat arduous task since many times everything has to be done remotely, however the result is always wonderful. I see it as a way to complement my work since I have always seen myself behind the machines programming music as a DJ or playing it live and having a guest on the vocals is always an extra element that helps to expand and fill the final sound of a song or in a presentation.
As you mentioned, Claus Larsen has been one of the people with whom I have had the opportunity to collaborate and I can only say that it has been an honour. Working with a person that I admire and respect for his musical work as well as his human quality is a dream come true.
Q: Your last EP “A.I.C.Q.T.I.L. has something conceptual and is an ode to the French film director Jean Luc Godard and his film “Alphaville”. What fascinates you about Godard’s work, who was a true innovator in film history?
‘-Quel est le privilège du mort?
-Ne plus mourir
-Savez-vous ce qui transforme la nuit en lumière?
Dialogues like this have made me love “Alphaville”. Godard’s work on this film is fascinating. Despite having received a lot of criticism for his ‘attempt of science fiction’ lacking special effects and images in space as was common at the time, I believe that he managed to capture his idea very well. Few would dare to produce a sci-fi film in a Film Noire style. Add to this poetry by Paul Éluard and “The New Refutation Of Time” by Jorge Luis Borges and you have a masterpiece, at least from my perspective.
When I saw the film translated into Spanish, I realized that the dialogues underwent slight changes in order to adapt them to the language. The same thing that apparently happened when Godard adapted “Borges”’s original text (written in Spanish) to the French language for the inclusion of the “Alpha 60” dialogues. My curiosity increased and I took on the task of looking for the film in as many languages as I could and the result was fascinating. Each version had slight changes, omissions and variations that adapt it to the cultural context of each country. Hence it is that I decide to title the song under an acrostic in Latin, in order to work from a slightly more ‘neutral’ point. The title could be understood as “The Strange Journey Of Consciousness That Seeks The Transmutation Of Darkness Into Light”.
Musically I sought to work with somewhat darker and colder sounds that were in turn warmed by being processed through an open reel tape. In short, this is a conceptual launch that seeks to narrow different worlds, the digital with the analog, the literary with the cinematographic and also the musical, the one that each language creates, etc.
Q: You have remixed an impressive list of international artists and you also like to see your own songs remixed by others. Tell us a little more about this fascination and how do you see yourself as a remixer? What are your favorite remixes? How do you work / proceed when remixing other artists?
Dimitri: As of today I have in my catalog just over 100 remixes produced under my signature DMT BERZERK. From the DJ’s perspective, remixing is a fundamental tool since in it you can find the style that best suits you in a given song. As a producer I love hearing the way others perceive and work on my compositions adjusting them to their own style. In addition, I think it is a very interesting way to interact between musicians and to finish exploiting the potential that a song may have hidden.
One of my favorite remixes is “Into Darkness” by the Mexican Post-Punk band Dramatic. I connected very quickly with the song and things just flowed. Regarding my production process, I usually listen to the song to be remixed a couple of times to find the way to work it. Once the way is found, I don’t listen to the song again to try to get away from its original sound as necessary. First of all, I want the remix to be useful in structure to be able to play it as a DJ and therefore to work musically on the dance floor. everything else is adapting under the infinity of existing possibilities 🙂
Q: How do you see yourself as a DJ and what influence do your DJ activities have on the songs you compose? What are the additional plans? Maybe an album?
Dimitri: My career as a DJ has helped me definitely a lot to work on issues related to music production since the experience on the dance floor has allowed me to delve into and understand a little more the reactions and sensations that each melody can provoke. On the other hand, being a DJ becomes a permanent responsibility so that the flow of music continues in motion since if we do not make an effort to promote new music we can be participants in a generational fracture within independent scenes.
Right now I have in preorder my new release entitled “The Liquid Path”, which I hope will see the light before the end of Summer. This is the third and last release that will be released from my debut album that will be presented in 2022.
But before that happens comes my eighth album of remixes for the second half of this year so there is still a lot of work and a lot music to share with all of you 🙂
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