There’s something quite disturbing about Dott Seki’s musical universe that makes you feel like, to quote The Cure’s Plainsong, “living at the edge of the world.” But it’s also magnificent in the most liberating sense of the word, a retroactive blueprint of gothic menace and doom that we have come to encounter at the most crucial point of our lives.
In fact, his two previous online tracks “Unreal” and “Karma Loop” translate the scenic wasteland of our youth into mood-sculpting 4AD pop, dragging you little by little towards the chamber of self-annihilation. It’s the kind that, at the end of the experience, nurtures you as a person, as a challenger whose desire to torment oneself emotionally is just a manifestation of finding the vulnerable spot for self-healing. “You see: we all learn from this darkness but in time we learn it as only part of our nature,” Dott confesses. “But it is in our freedom whether to grow and learn from it or leave it as it is.”
Dott Seki shares in details why his music is referred to as sonic shorthand for everything gloomy and ethereal, electronic artist Red-i’s involvement on his new album Distance From Reality, and plans of rebooting his former shoegaze band, Skies of Ember.
1. You’ll be releasing your new record, Distance From Reality this Saturday, May 10 at B-Side, Makati City. As someone who’s been a constant fixture in the underground music circles for decades, do you still feel the excitement of sharing your new material to a crowd?
Really? That long? Decades?! My concept of time is very different from the usual. About the show, yes, am pretty excited! I consider performing as a privilege & it is always been my desire to channel and share my music to a crowd. Live performance is a calling.
2. You collaborated with Red-i on majority of the tracks in the album. What attracted you to work with someone on the bassy, dub-driven side of electronic music?
We actually collaborated on the whole album. What attracted me into collaborating w Red-I is we are both sound heads, meaning it’s a never-ending process of learning and communicating in terms of sounds & compositions. His wide range of musical taste is so diverse; electronic dub and d&b are only one side of him. Since I’ve known him for years, we already talked about it in the past of a future collab, and now it is finally happening.
3. What was the hardest song for you to write from the new LP?
The last track of the album which is “Brown Rabbit.” At first, I wanted to write something about my brother who’s been doing time, and also the music reminds me of Blood Flowers album of The Cure so it took me a while to come up w something that defines originality.
4. What is your new single, “Karma Loop” all about?
Karma Loop is a journey on how we live our lives, through love of material enjoyment to spiritual madness & awakening. There is a way to create good Karma and Nice Karma & the difference between the two is Nice Karma purifies the heart while the other one is an endless cycle.
5. Your music has become a sonic shorthand for post-apocalyptic feelings and darkness. Does that make you a gloomy person in general?
You will be surprised on how my day begins. I’m very much nocturnal in nature. That is why in terms of darkness that is always been a part of the allure. You see: we all learn from this darkness but in time we learn it as only part of our nature, but it is in our freedom whether to grow and learn from it or leave it as it is.
6. How about plans of rebooting Skies of Ember? Do you have plans of releasing new material with the acclaimed shoegaze band?
Right now, I just finished recording with Cinema Explosion – which is my new band. I mention this because the usual practice in the music scene is an artist only goes solo when you don’t have a band and I think that’s very mainstream. Now about SOE, we have an unreleased material. A 6-song EP which we recorded with Elmer Acebedo of Kalye Records/Gallery. At present time, we don’t have any plans of releasing them. There is always a perfect timing for everything depending on one’s desire.
7. Outside of music, what are the things that you’re most enthusiastic about? Any hobbies you’ve picked up lately?
For me there is no such thing as outside music; I do this full time. And time is very vital when you focus on creativity. In the center (Binan) and at Kalye Gallery we do Kirtan. Kirtan is chanting and singing the holy names of Krishna. Haribol! Nitai Gur!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the B-side crew. Red-I for doing a great job as producer, Caliph8 for doing the artwork of the album, Noel De Brackinghe of Sweet Spot Studio for mixing & mastering the album.