Daniel Araya – Interview + Live at Rundgång EP


1. Present yourself; origin, now, future.

My name is Daniel Araya, I’m from the Swedish countryside originally but now live in Stockholm. I’m the studio engineer at state run and I have my own company where I build custom made elctronic and mechanics for art, sound and movie sets.
I discovered house and acid house around 1987 by listening to radio shows and started making music with an Amiga computer not long after. I bought my first analog synth (Korg 800 DV, still have it) in 1991 and began buying mostly broken synths and fixing them. I bought my first tb-303 bass synthesizer around 1995 and absolutley loved it, I have four of them now!

After I moved to Stockholm in 2000 I met a lot of nice and inspiring people and started playing quite a lot. I recorded stuff for my own use for many years but mainly played live at local parties and festivals and also helped run swedens best electronic music festival for a while. I have played mostly in Sweden but aslo occationally in Norway, Germany, Spain and the UK.
It is only in the last two years that I have really begun releasing records, I have tracks and EP’s coming out on a host of Swedish labels and this release on Family House is my first release abroad!
I will to continue making music and building/modifying synts, hopefully releasing more tracks and be able to play around Europe now and then.

2. Describe us your “Live at Rundgång” Stockolm night.

I had a friend, Mark Verbos, over from the US and since I was going to play I asked if he could do it too so we had a lot of fun doing back to back analog techno sets.

The venue is a concrete bunker in the meat packing district sounth of town, you enter under a loading dock, very secret but super nice vvenue of a type that is rare in Stockholm nowadays.
My setup was a “medium” size rig for me, and consisted of 2xtb-303, tr-606 (with 808 bassdrum!), tr-707, Pearl Syncussion drum synth, Eventide Space reverb and an Alesis microverb II.
The gig itself was like all my gigs totally improvised, I never know what is coming out and I don’t keep notes but just go with the flow! The crew and audience was great and shout out to R.U.N.D.G.Å.N.G for the great recording of my set! (“Rundgång” means “feedback” in Swedish).

“Recorded live at club R.U.N.D.G.Å.N.G, Stockholm, Sweden 28/04/15”


Live at Rundgång EP Track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


shopping info: Beatport

Artwork By Erik Varusio

3. Where do you continually get your inspiration?

I listen to a lot of music, both at home and at work and I love getting tips from friends. I also go to a lot of gigs and festivals. Buying, fixing and building new synths are also a great inspiration, a new machine often leads to a new track, EP or even an album!

4. Which artists are you currently listening to?

It is quite a mix actually… footwork pioneer DJ Rashad, Swedish experimental act Maria W Horn (that I’m remixing), lo-fi retro whatever act CC NOT and a lot of Alessandro Cortini from the “Forse” series. And Paranoid London, great weird acid, just listen to their track “Eat Glue”!

5. Talk about your passion for Analog equip. ?!

Well, as I told before I got in to it quite early when I was still in highschool, we did not have any money so I could not buy any fancy digital synths at the time so I had to make do with old analog gear and tape recorders.

I was already into electronics and I found older synths to be quite easy to understand since they are quite simple. I bought my first synth, the Korg, for 100 SEK (10 Euro!) and I continued to buy broken and banged up stuff mostly. I almost never sold anything, just traded for other things that I wanted.
I still get new gear but I have almost everything I want. I just added one of my childhood dream synths, the Oberheim Xpander, what a beast! It will take some time but expect lush strings and pads in the future!
Sometimes I try to take the time to build new stuff or modify my gear to get my studio and live rig even better, I can spend unlimited amount of time on that I guess…easy to be distracted from making music but it can sometimes lead to new musical paths.

6. What do you look for in a beat?

I maily improvise on my drum machines, usually ending up with sounds from two or three on each track and I run most of it through a Buchla modular system, it really makes the individual sounds come alive and generates some really interesting textures. I used that a lot on my Virgo Rising release “Hope” and sort of tried out that method.

In the end I think I make quite classic beats but I try to make small variations to the sounds we know and love!

7. New software, plugins, digital?

I don’t use a computers when I play gigs but I recently started to use Ableton Live and I love it! It made wonders for my creativity but I’m not a very advanced user so I mostly use it as a really fancy tape recorder and multitrack record my synths. I use some plugins and trying to learn more but I find it a bit boring to try to learn a software that emulates somthing that sits just a meter away as original hardware! I would like to get in to MAX/Max for live in the future thouh, there are some crazy possiblilities with that software!

8. How would you describe your sound?

Very analog and not really minimal. I try to make more minimal tracks sometimes but I usually find JUST ANOTHER PERFECT SOUND that has to be in. Several times per tune. 🙂

9. What images and emotions do you want your music to invoke in the listener?

I want people to let go, have fun and maybe bea bit scared some times.


10. Message to everyone.

Take care of each other!

Daniel Araya interview by Dario Bedin. Thanks to Virgo Rising Discogs.

Oasi ORIGINS – DAX DJ #SPACEFUNK3000 Limited Edition Tape

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Words by Daniel Wang

Mogdax represent a ‘special corner’ of electronic music right now – not many people from Italy are making this sort of ‘bridge’ between old disco, italo disco, and new electronic. Mog and Dax, together make exactly this sort of connection…

Introduce yourself. How did you get started, and how long have you been DJing?

Dax: I’m Dario, known as Dax DJ. Living in Vicenza in the north of Italy, not too far from Venice. I start DJing many years ago I
was 14 and now I’m 31! Initially using tapes recorded from Italian radio shows and playing them at “Cantina” small parties…
After going to high school, I started working in the best DJ record shop in my town: Music Power. They wanted me to work there, because every day I spent my time in this shop looking for new vinyl and breaking their balls! There I experienced a lot of dance music: soul, funk, disco, Italian commercial dance, techno and house music and all the little independent labels
that I love. My first 45” was Kraftwerk Space Lab, later my first 12” was Sueno Latino on DFC’s Italian Label.

Mog: I’m Max, aka Mog, 32 years old, from Vicenza. I started playing electronic music in 1991 and since then I can’t stop. I have my own music studio where I spend a lot my time, almost live in it. Since I was 17, I’ve bought and sold instruments. I’m very affectionate with the ones that are now in my studio.

Your new label is called Made in Italo. Please tell us about the first single by Mogdax, Jack Ibiza.

Dax: Made In Italo Records was founded by Max and me (2005). I can’t do music without Max; we met several years ago and we started to collaborate in his super home-studio, focusing on new musical directions and spending time talking about music, italo
and analog equipment. We like electronic music and Max is the heart of Mogdax. Fact One is our first single with two tracks, Jack Ibiza and Black Side, totally played by Mog. The voice you can hear in Jack Ibiza is mine. It’s our first tribute to the current electronic scene and the Black Side track is very close to nostalgic italo, but with some Detroit feel.

Mog, you handle more of the technical side of MogDax. I had a chance to visit your studio. Can you tell us what instruments and sound tools you use, and how these affect the results of your production?

Mog: In the Mogdax project, I am the creator of the music not only from a technical perspective, but also trying to
craft a sound that belongs to the mix of Dax’s experience and mine. I worship the analog sound from analog instruments, but I also like using the new software now available. It was hard to choose between the different types of instruments, I had no choice but to buy one and learn from the instrument itself. Once I’d bought my first Casio drum machine and my first Akai sampler I learned what sound I was really looking for and what machine would satisfy my needs. If I wanted a filtered and dirty bass I would use Roland; if I wanted an accurate and calibrated sound, I’d prefer to use my Korg or Quasimidi…The sound is the most important thing in conveying the exact feeling you have while you do your track. Talking about software, it’s useful to help the work of an artist, but it’s also standardizing the music scene at the present time.

What kinds of things influenced your musical background? Disco, funk, soul, or other genres like jazz and classical?

Mog: My dad’s passion for music was my lucky charm. He introduced me when I was very young into the amazing world of music. Every style gave me something I brought to my music, from the bossa, through to jazz, to italo disco. But what did really influenced me, and my musical sounds, were the early nineties productions of Warp, Plus8, Kk etc.

Dax: Working in a record shop, I listened to many different styles. Afro music influenced me: a sort of mixture of electronic, funk, disco and tribal – all mixed. At the beginning I played acid house on my radio show (my first Nugroove and Bobby Konders). I’d been into the electronic scene also, and collected all the Aphex Twin, Autechre, Richie Hawtin +8 and Warp vinyl. And after that, back to the seventies, and I became a crazy maniac collector of gems and obvious italo tunes. One of my Italian electronic gems: Giampiero Boneschi’s Moog Mandolins & Moonlight on Durium made with “Strumenti Elettronici.” (Thanks Bob Moog!).

Do you find that you can achieve the “italo” sound with new, virtual instruments? Or are you specifically trying to create a newer, more contemporary sound?

Mog: I prefer to create new and more contemporary sounds even if some of the italo ones are always present in my
virtual instrument archive. Nowadays, the available tools help you do unbelievable things by manipulating the sound the way
you want. I don’t want to follow a path in music creation; I just follow the ideas I have at the moment.

Do you really eat pasta everyday?

Dax: Yes, all Italians eat pasta every day! I love spaghetti all’amatriciana with parmesan, aglio olio, peperoncino and carbonara. Italian food is the best and pasta is good healthy food. We’ve got many types of pasta from bigoli, to orecchiette… also the North is different from the South and the islands, Sardegna and Sicily.

Mog: I love pasta with tomato and mozzarella. In Italy pasta is a must in everyday meals.

You actually know a number of the italo disco pioneers personally, like Daniele Baldelli or Leonardo Re Cecconi (Dr. Togo). Can you tell me about your experiences with some of them?

Dax: Yes, I know Daniele and I’m a fan of Baia degli Angeli 77/78 (legendary cosmic club) and “Cosmic Culture” (check out the new CD collection out on Amarkord Records). I have many tapes. My friends usually listen to them in the car, smoking. I’ve got several friends outside Italy that are going crazy looking for italo vinyl! The secret is to come to Italy and go to little fairs in little towns. You can find everything; it’s where I met the BAFFO and his super collection of italo and seventies US records and where I met Luigi Figini (known as Dr. Togo) from Emilia Romagna. Actually, he’s spending his weekends selling old second hand vinyl at fairs and festivals.

Are there any contemporary Italian electronic, disco, or house music producers whom you admire, or are working with?

Dax: I have many friends in Italy that do music: Spiller, Beker – Re.Do.It.Stone.Funk.Collective, Duoteque (Dusty Kid and Ferlin), Guglielmo Mascio, Fabrizio Mammarella, Maurizio Dami and Jolly Music. But my best artist, musician and friend is Mog!

Mog: Thanks brother! In the Italian electronic scene my favourite producers are Pankow in the early nineties and now Jolly Music.

What are the essential elements for a good party when you are DJ’ing?

Dax: Main ingredient: the good music; the feeling: from the location, to the people, to the sound system.

Mog: Cool People

What is your ideal kind of music?

Mog: A mix between the Orb’s dreamlike atmosphere and Richie Hawtin’s minimalism, Autechre’s syncopated sounds and Lumukanda’s tribal rhythms.

Dax: I play several styles during a DJ set, I like to surprise people and make them dance with obscure disco tunes and mix them up with electro minimal tracks or moody ones. I love it! Tracks like Gaucho’s Dance Forever – DJ version (System Music) or Sounds of Humano by Sangy (Musix), Stand By by Code 61/2 (Many Records) are modern!

Give us a Top Ten list of favourite records, old or new, and tell us why.

Dax: Several records… You need to check my web site every month or listen to the Mogdax sound. Here for you is a quick selection of secret (but not too secret!) weapons:

PASSENGERS Girls Cost Money (Durium)
Super boogie

AUTECHRE Amber (Warp)
Very close to me

VARIOUS Big Bear 002 (Big Bear)
The way I met Stevie Kotey and Bear friends

MFSB Mysteries Of The World (Phi’Int.)
Essential juice

JIMMY CRASH (Nugroove Records)
This is minimal

ADONIS We’re Rocking Down The House
Yes, we rock!

EL COCO Cocomotion (AVI)
Dancin’ baby!

RAY MANG / LEE TONG (Hole Subaltern)
Nu-funk dope

When I was young I usually played this at the end of every set. Perfect “ultimo disco”!

What do you in your free time, besides making and spinning music?

Dax: I’ll tell you. Music is my life … My free time is just for friends and my doll!