DAEDELUS TOUR DATES:
MELBOURNE: Thursday, November 24: Racket @ Kubik Melbourne (Lower Terrace, Birrarung Marr) with Qua. Presented by Melbourne Music Week, Marksthespot, Racket Sound, Art, Experiments. Starts. 7pm. Tickets & more info here.
PERTH: Saturday, November 26 @ The Bakery with special guests Collarbones, Diger Rokwell, Ben M and Clunk. Tickets on sale now from heatseeker / now baking, Planet Video, 78 Records, Mills Records and Star Surf. Presented by Life Is Noise.
Mistletone proudly presents Los Angeles beatmaker, producer, instrumentalist and Ninja Tune artist Daedelus, bringing his latest creations to Australia this November.
The genre-defying sounds of Daedelus reflect Alfred Darlington’s fascination with the philosophies of dandyism and art for art’s sake. His image and his music are coloured by this philosophy, which translates into a captivating and dazzling live show that will fly audiences enticingly close to the sun.
Alfred Darlington isn’t a paint-by-numbers musician. From how he looks to how he makes music, how he expresses himself and views the world, his is a very individual ‘bespoke’ outlook.
Alfred was born in Santa Monica in 1977 to an artist mother and professor father. Musical from very early on, as a child he was classically and jazz-trained in a number of instruments, but his interests were broad and varied – less a prodigy than a renaissance boy whose obsessions ranged from Greek legend to the mountains of Wales. As a 15 year old he finally persuaded his parents to take him to the Principality. Whilst in a YWCA in London he flipped the radio dial, found a pirate radio station and taped some UK rave and hardcore. “It was my first ‘Eureka!’ moment in music,” he says.
Alfred had wanted to be an inventor from an early age, a sentiment that led to him choosing this artistic moniker (in Greek mythology Daedalus was known as an inventor, although Alfred also cites the character Stephan Dedalus in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the ship in the Japanese cartoon Robotech as equally valid reasons for his selection) when he decided to begin releasing his own work. Despite the fact that he was formally trained on double bass and bass clarinet (and also played the guitar and accordion, among other things) and studied jazz at USC, Daedelus chose to go the electronica route, often incorporating samples from the ’30s and ’40s into his IDM and left-field hip-hop.
Back in the US he joined local rock bands, jazz bands and ska bands, which he enjoyed but felt limited by, too. At home he was listening to Warp, Ninja and your harder electronic stuff. He started DJing out the more leftfield side of drum & bass and making his own rudimentary productions. They were meant to fit the d&b template but they kept turning out different and from his outsider’s experiments his own style was born. He chose the name Daedelus as he had a childhood obsession with invention, and what was he doing, after all, if not tinkering and fiddling and experimenting like the “gentleman inventors” of old?
In 1999 he started DJing on Dublab.com for his Entropy Sessions and began dropping in his own early demo productions. Carlos Nino (of Ammoncontact) had the show after him and usually pushed Alfred out the studio as quickly as possible as he was not so enamoured with Alfred’s leftfield-electronic DJ style, but when he heard a tranquil Daedelus production he took Daedelus and introduced him to the LA scene. Nino placed Daedelus tracks on two influential compilations and then Plug Research released his debut album Invention in 2002. Remixers included Madlib, who later took Daedelus’ accordion parts and used them on 2004’s Madvillain record.
In 2003, he was booked to play a show in San Diego by Brian Crabtree and Peter Siegerstrong and the pair asked him to test out an early prototype of the Monome. “It’s a Non-traditional electronic instrument,” Daedelus explains. “Basically it allows for massive improvisation.” Since then Daedelus has continued to use this revolutionary controller, bringing much genuine liveness to the sometimes static world of performed electronic/dance music.
In 2003 he did The Weather album with Busdriver and Radioinactive and the remix album Rethinking the Weather on Mush records. 2004 saw the release of Of Snowdonia on Plug Research, the album with which Daedelus says he first “felt true artistic confidence, finding a true voice. I was finally in the right zone.”
There was certainly no let up in his creativity. Also in 2004 he released the concept album A Gent Agent on micro-label Laboratory Instinct. The 2005 album Exquisite Corpse on Mush featured the likes of TTC, Mike Ladd and MF DOOM. Ninja signed Daedelus for UK/Europe (a relationship which reached its full expression on 2008’s Love To Make Music To, his first album for the label worldwide and put together with the help of their team).
In 2006 Denies the Day’s Demise came out, a record showcasing his love of Brazilian music. Last year he released his first live album, Live At Low End Theory, and Fairweather Friends EP. Later that year came the release of his collaboration with his wife, Laura Darling, as the pastoral The Long Lost.
There has been no let up in Daedelus’ productivity. He has remixed or been remixed by and produced with all of his LA scene peers including Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, The Gaslamp Killer, Baths, and countless others from further afield. In addition, singles and EPs under his own name have come out with Brainfeeder, All City, Magical Properties (the Daedelus home-imprint), Alpha Pup, Warp and Stones Throw. And all the while his reputation has grown internationally, his place in the LA scene has also solidified as a musician that many of the hottest names in the city turn to for everything from bass clarinet licks to advice on obscure electronics; all the while with a continuous string of tour dates across North America, Asia, Europe, the UK, and beyond.
2011 started not only with his new album but the meticulous planning of a huge tour featuring guest vocalists from his Bespoke LP and with a spectacular visual show curated in part by Emmanuel Baird (of Manchester’s Warehouse Project and Hoya Hoya nights) featuring a top secret new invention codenamed ARCHIMEDES which promises to yet again re-invent live electronic performance.
The most recent Daedelus release is Overwhelmed, a digital only EP out now on Ninja Tune and locally via Inertia.