Interview w/Dilemmachine


Dilemmachine is a Nu Disco/Neo-80s/Funk artist, hailing from Northern California. With internationally-recognized remixes of Fergie, Icona Pop, Londonbeat and more, the American producer is paving the way as one of our favorite, up-and-coming artists this year! Tune in below to find out more about the funk-driven musician.


FS: Hi everyone! Today, we have California producer, Dilemmachine, stopping in to give us a little insight around his musical inspiration, background and more. Ready? Let’s jump right in. Dilemmachine – where does that name come from?

D: Dilemmachine was originally the name of a song by the band Norma Jean. It’s a combination of the words dilemma and machine. I believe their song’s full title was Dilemmachine: Coalition Hoax. I liked it because I felt like it rather accurately described the computer I was using to make music on back when I first started getting into recording engineering and experimenting with electronic music. The thing was constantly creating dilemmas for me.

FS: Haha, interesting – seems similar to Popeska’s computer situation in the beginning! So, your sound is clearly inspired by disco and funk. Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?

D: Michael Jackson was the first music I latched onto and that was at the age of 6. I remember having Off The Wall and Thriller on vinyl, then obtaining Bad and Dangerous on cassette. I also constantly played my parents Lionel Richie – All Night Long tape over and over in the car. Those were the earliest exposures I had to disco funk. I also remember being really into my parents Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, as well as artists like Janet Jackson and Prince. Then, in the mid 90’s I got interested in other types of music like punk, ska, metal, grunge – all the 90’s alternative styles. When I started listening to modern electronic dance music around 2000, I naturally made a full circle back to my roots in disco and funk, since those were essentially the grandparents of today’s dance music.

FS: It’s funny – it’s 2015 and we can still turn on Thriller and Bad and they never get old! We’re massive fans of paying respects to legendary artists of the past. Speaking of, your remix of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Summertime was top notch. What’s next in the pipeline?

D: Thanks! Unfortunately, it just got taken down from Soundcloud because Sony Music complained about it, but it’s still available on my Bandcamp page. As far as what’s next, I have a number of originals I’ve been working on for quite some time, all with guest vocals on them. The genre of the sound isn’t as easy to classify but there are hints of 90’s touches here and there, as well as a slight lean towards a more futuristic house sound. I think what I’m trying to do with my new originals is stay true to my own neo-80’s and neo-90’s influence while also catching the ears of people who enjoy mainstream sounds as well. So…Nu-Disco/Future House/Neo-80’s? I don’t know.

There are also a couple other miscellaneous tracks in the works, most of which are also remixes or collaborations in some form. And in the meantime until these are done, I plan on putting together a 2015 Summer Mix.

FS: Sony Music has definitely been a bit awful lately. They recently shut down a few artist’s Soundcloud accounts – Mac Stanton and MooZ – for example. Anyways, pick one: Techno, Disco, or Indie Electro.

D: You know I have to go with Disco.

FS: Haha, of course! Other than music, what do you like to do in your free time? MMA? Breakdancing? Base-jumping? We want to know.

D: When I’m not at work, my music is actually what I do in my free time. I’m also very into ice hockey, and I try to be in the gym at least 3 or 4 times a week if I can. I also have plenty of other passions and interests I just don’t get much opportunity for.

FS: Well, we’re glad to be supporting your passion for music! Ice Hockey is loads of fun too. As one of our favorite, emerging producers, what advice can you give to others who are just beginning to DJ and produce?

D: Wow, thanks! Well, I think the most important thing for anyone involved in something musical is to be a musician primarily. (What I mean by that is learn an instrument like guitar or piano and master it to where you can write songs using your instrument). You don’t have to be, but if you are, you’re automatically cross-trained and more adept at the creation process. My background was in guitar and drums, so learning to produce music was generally the same as writing and recording a song with a band, and was only a matter of learning the software I needed to do it.

FS: We 100% agree with this one, hands down. There’s certainly a difference among musicians who have experience with music theory & live instruments and those who don’t! Final question – what’s your take on the current electronic music scene? Pros? Cons?

D: That’s a tricky question because I don’t feel super hip and in tune with the scene. But, from what I have observed, there’s been a commercialization of it and as a result, it’s showing up on the radio a whole lot more. I think the pros of this are that electronic musicians – or at least the ones fortunate enough to make it with giant corporate record labels – are getting exposure. I think the cons of this is far more extensive than the pros. The sound is being copied over and over and played out until it’s stale. I’ve found that the general public tends to eat up whatever’s spoon fed to them on top 40 stations, and they assume that since it’s on the radio, it must be the best of what’s out there. That’s unfortunate because I feel the best music being made is coming from artists who aren’t necessarily hugely successful. If I had the ability to implement one change to the way the music scene works, I would re-create the music environment we had in the late 90’s and early 2000’s where radio stations were actually locally run and had weekly shows dedicated to local rising artists. I remember being in bands that actually made it onto these local music shows and it was tremendously beneficial for the bands, as well as the people hearing fresh new music.

FS: Couldn’t have said it any better. The 90s and early 2000s were a magical time! Who didn’t enjoy a bit of Blink-182 or Sum 41? Well, there you have it. Be sure to send some love to Dilemmachine and check out his latest remix below!

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