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Danko Skystone [Interview]

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Based in Melbourne, Danko Skystöne creates dance music with true heart and emotion, a unique sound that's dynamic and driven by beautiful melodies, and deep rhythms. It's a sound that has seen the Australian artist release on some of the underground's finest imprints in Clubsonica Records, Flow Music and Perspectives Digital. This week Danko returns to Rebel House with occasional studio partner Austin Leeds for a much anticipated new single 'Cold Days'. We had a chance to catch up with Danko for a quick chat leading up to the release. Enjoy.

Hi Danko, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

I was just listening to Dirty Doering: Mafalda [Enamour Remix]. I am really enjoying the Melodic House & Techno sound at the moment.

How's your year been so far? And what are your plans for the coming week?

The year has been slow, clubs and festivals have only just returned. I work 9-5 for an Audio AV company, and have a festival on over the weekend and studio sessions.

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

I was a DJ before being a producer. I enjoy both, getting more into production and just finished building my home studio.

Talk to us about growing up and living in Australia, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

Australia has always had a thriving music scene, we get many International Artists on a weekly basis for various venues and tours.

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

The warehouse parties down at the Docks, and the NYE parties in the early 2000’s were massive. Renaissance tours and nights in Melbourne were amazing parties.

Progressive House is well known for being popular in Australia and it has been for over two decades. Who from your home country inspired you the most when you first discovered the music and how has the scene changed there over the years?

For local Artists, it would definitely be Anthony Pappa, GMJ, Nubreed, and Aaron Smiles, and now we have a thriving music scene in the Progressive House realm.

What would you attribute the popularly of the progressive house sound in Australia to?

It all started with Techno and Trance and evolved from there. Many underground DJ’s over here have accepted and pushed the genre on both radio in live DJ Sets.

Who are some up and coming Australian artists to look out for?

Too many to name, all cities around Australia have lots of talented DJ’s and Producers.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

I am self taught, but later on have taken 1on1 tuition, online courses and attended school for Sound Engineering. My recommendations for new producers is to learn music theory first, and then learn the DAW of their choice.

You have a new single co-produced with Austin Leeds 'Cold Days' which is out now on Rebel House Records. Tell us about the release and how the track showcases your sound.

It’s a Melodic House & Techno track on the Progressive deeper side of House. Lots of melody and lush pads.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital?

I just recently finished building my home studio with Mastering capabilities. The room is everything so sourcing good soundproofing is a must. I am 100% digital, and use midi such as Novation 37 MKII midi keyboard and Ableton Push 2. Planning to expand into the analogue world soon both with instruments and with Mastering outboard gear.

Let's talk about production a bit more for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?

Music production is a creative art form, and of course everyday life has an influence in the music creation process.

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents or exercise play in the process?

I keep a pretty hectic work schedule so time is valuable. Vocal samples or Acapella’s definitely help inspire to create the Melodies and Melodic forms in the music production process. The studio room is temperature controlled and comfortable. Keeping fit, and having a good diet all play an important role in the music creation process.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

I master all my radio shows, podcasts, and guest mixes. But for music production, I would rather have a 2nd pair of ears to finish the final mastering process.

What's a book you've read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

War of the Worlds by HG Wells. Fantastic book, where fiction could very well be reality.

If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?

Switzerland/Japan

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Family and friends.

What does 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

There’s a lot planned. Thanks for listening!

'Cold Days' is available now via Rebel House : https://bit.ly/3EUvOjt

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