DI*ove is a Belgian EBM project set up and driven by Eric Manchiniste. He’s a great fan of Electronic music and started composing music at the age of 12 by tinkering with his mother’s appliances. Later on he dreamed of having a synth rather than a moped like most of his friends. After his first fee as a singer in a Rock band he bought a drum machine and the adventure began… The band DI*ove is the inversion of E-void, a more Experimental project from the early 2000s. DI*ove’s first album “DI*ode” got released in 2013 by EK Product. Later on Eric started to self-release his works. The second album “DI*vided” was released in 2016 while several EP’s got released as well. The newest EP “DI*version/Phase I” is a great piece of music mixing traditional EBM influences together with Electroclash and Minimal-Electro. An introduction to DI*ove.(Picture credits by Valsdarkroom / Interview courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: DI*ove is already active for numerous years but don’t release new work at regular basis. How did it all started and what have been the main changes and evolutions throughout the years?
Eric: I thought DI*ove was releasing an album/EP on a regular basis (lol). For the past 13 years, the project has been releasing a record every 3/4 years except lately because of the pandemic.
In 2008, I had some instrumental recordings to work on. That’s when I met Lukk. As he had enjoyed a few tracks, I proposed him to add his voice. The result was very convincing. From there on was born the first EP released on Knovel Records.
Over the years I have enjoyed collaborating with other singers (Sacha, Nina) and from time to time I also stick to the exercise of placing my voice -a bit like Martin Gore on Depeche Mode albums (lol).
Q: I always experienced your sound as driven by good-old EBM influences but what are your sources of inspiration and possible bands/artists you see as true references? What does DI*ove stands for?
Eric: I grow up with the sound of the 80’s. Going from New-Romantic to New-Wave to EBM/Indus. In the 90’s, I also flirted with post New-Beat, House-Tech… I’m still interested in what’s currently being done musically. That’s why today I pick a little bit from everywhere. It is clear that the music of DI*ove is mainly driven by Dark-Electronic music like EBM but I also like to inject more contemporary sounds; not to remain only in the codes of the past.
Q: Your debut album “DI*ode” (2013) was released on EK Product while all productions after that debut were self-released. For most artists it all happens the other way round so what does this ‘do it yourself’ approach mean to you? And how do you manage all different aspects next to music, like promotion, distribution, management etc?
Eric: Let’s say that with age the desire for artistic freedom becomes greater. Then it happens that there is a big difference between what is written on a contract and the reality. Let’s add that ‘do it yourself’ is in fashion. Besides that, I’m the kind of artist who doesn’t fancy businessman’s tasks, but still has to achieve them. I’m used to manage the functions related to promotion, distribution, artwork, concert canvassing… But I must admit that my door remains open for external help. The call is launched.
Q: Tell us a bit more about your newest work “DI*version / Phase 1”. How did this EP –or is it a mini-album (?) saw the daylight? What did you try to express and what have been the main focus in the song writing?
Eric: “Di*version” was composed right after the lockdown. I was quite happy to see people again, to party again and especially to have perspectives like releasing an EP. Nina and I had gotten into the habit of having a drink on Friday nights while listening to vinyl records. One night she said to me: ‘what if we made music together?’ The next day I plugged in my machines again and took my pen.
We rethought all the Friday night conversation topics and put the most important ones back in writing. From the living room on Friday night, we moved to the home studio to record “DI*version”.
Q: You clearly seem to like working with guest artists/singers and you already collaborated with famous names like Claus Larsen, Plastic Noise Experience ao. How comes and what are the main criteria you use to work with other artists? How do these collaborations happened; I mean what’s the real impact and input of the guest artists/singers?
Eric: Indeed, I like to collaborate with other people. On the one hand it’s an opportunity to meet interesting people and on the other hand, a different approach to work. A formula that works very well for me.
I met Claus Kruse from PNE at the beginning of the Facebook era. He had liked our 2nd EP and especially a track he wanted to remix. I didn’t hesitate for a second, knowing Claus’ work. I accepted and agreed to propose the track for the compilation “Face The Beat Vol 1”. Then he sang on “Addictions” a track from our first album.
The other Claus Larsen from Leather Strip was pure luck. We were spending our vacations in the same city and we met in a bar that we used to visit for its special food (private joke!).
We talked about music, collaboration and insisted on keeping in touch after the vacations. That was it! I had a track ready and I sent it to him. Claus recorded the vocals to finalize the track “Fly Naked”.
I feel honored to have collaborated with these artists who are part of my musical library. The impact is also felt for DI*ove in terms of credibility and visibility. On a personal level, these meetings boost my satisfaction and my work in the future.
Q: Belgium remains a prolific ground for talented EBM artists, but it also is a country with a small scene for this music genre. How do you as an independent artist manage this important aspect and what brings the nearly future for DI*ove?
Eric: Belgium has very good press abroad. The actors of the scene are very enthusiastic when it comes to spreading our music. I also appreciate the complicity and the work of the people who still believe in this kind of music by putting it forward. I would like to mention JL Marchal (Synthpop80.com), Greg and Walter for their radio show “Sampler Et Sans Reproches”. Recently, I still thought that the language barrier in Belgium was a problem. None or few traces of our music in Flanders until I met the “Luminous Dash”-team.
DI*ove is actually finalizing “DI*version Phase 2” and is thinking more and more about getting back on stage.
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