Monday, 16 December 2013

LAZY INTERVIEW #21: DCUP


← #20: SUPERFOOD #22: VULKANO →

So just a little bit over a week ago I wrote about a music producer from Australia called DCUP – in particular his latest song 'Magic'; it is a sizzler of a track, filled with the atmosphere of a hundred prospective summers and Latin heat in all its samba-slash-disco glory.

It's not the first I'd heard of him though: a few months ago he put out a song called 'Don't Be Shy', something that tickles your nostalgia bone with its warm retro vibes. Released in the form of the Don't Be Shy EP – containing, amongst others, ace remixes by Wave Racer and Boys Get Hurt, it was a fab introduction to the peripheral tastes and music of DCUP.

Little did I know, and maybe you didn't either, but it was DCUP, along with fellow Australian band Yolanda Be Cool, behind 2010 hit 'We No Speak Americano'. Being a portion of the brains behind such an intensely catchy song so widely popular with people of pretty much all ages and cultures, Mr DCUP intrigued me so I sent over the Lazy Interview questions – he was kind enough to indulge me, and thereby you too, with some answers.


Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
I'm Jim. I'm from Ohio. I'm a traffic engineer.
How weird would that be?

No really, I'm Duncan MacLennan aka Dcup. Born in Sydney, Australia and I'm a music producer, DJ, and tantric love-maker.

Why did you decide to start creating music?
Curiosity. I grew up with a Casio keyboard in my room. I think it was my brother's but I borrowed it one day and kept it. How different things could have been ;)

As a mid-teen, I listened to electronic music and wondered why I couldn't do that on my Casio. Then a friend mentioned a computer program called "fruity loops" and the rest is history.

How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
A few key things. I often have very strong musical elements in my tracks. I often have solid bass and rhythm. And I love to experiment and create my own sounds, so that gives me a unique aesthetic also.

Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
I would say no. It's all good. Probably just don't listen to it before bed.

What inspires you most when writing a song?
Melody. That "hook" that everyone talks about. I'm obsessed with that piece of a song that you sing in the shower, or in your head. In writing, I'm always looking for that – then my love of huge bass and beat embellishes that.

What is your most memorable musical experience?
Probably the moment I made the little sax line on sampler for 'We No Speak Americano'. Simply because I've told the story so often.

What are your favourite three songs at the moment?
Fark, this changes every day.
It may surprise you, but I love techno and more electronic styles.

Top 3 this minute are:


TCTS - 'Do It Alright'


Format: B - 'Magic Button'

Claude Von Stroke - 'Lay It Down'

Who do you most admire in the music world?
Calvin Harris

In your opinion, what is the future of music?
Songs. Still just plain old songs.

What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
As you may have guessed from my top 3, a very electronic project (still with songs).

What, aside from music, is most important to you?
People. The family and friends I have, the girl I love, the strangers on the street. It would all be worthless without them.


They say curiosity killed the cat, but if you are a human, curiosity almost always seems to be a good thing – especially in conjunction with creativity and all its trappings. It's crazy really, to think that something as seemingly small as growing up with a Casio keyboard in your bedroom would lead to you becoming a brilliant producer of music that people the world over are able to enjoy. Like DCUP said: how different things could've been indeed.

But as it stands, things aren't different and this guy has been able to share his love of making music, and in particular of spreading the joy of catchy melodies, with anyone who wants to listen. Being obsessed with the "piece of a song that you sing in the shower, or in your head" – as DCUP says he is (and as you can kind of tell from his Top 3 songs of the moment) – should mean that everything DCUP touches, in a musical sense please, springs to life with a memorable sheen that sits, or rather dances, in your head for a long time after that first listen. It's something that keeps you coming back to the same song and dosing yourself with the same pleasure that engulfed you when you first heard said song.

As such, I'll be looking forward to DCUP's latest project. The breed of music that he creates is currently one of my favourite sounds, warm and dripping with not euphoria, but rather definitive satisfaction of living and being alive in the "now" – and we all need that affirmation sometimes. But lastly, whatever way you approach it, or however you'd like it remembered or immortalised, a song is a song and that is why they're so strong, so set yet free, so familiar to us all.



← #20: SUPERFOOD #22: VULKANO →



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