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Interview: Domingo +

17 min read

As one half of the Mariner + Domingo duo, American artist Chris Domingo has compiled an impressive resume across an eighteen-month stretch. Upon making his debut on Balkan Connection in July of 2020, the Florida resident went on a remarkable run, landing releases via 3rd Avenue, Proton Music, RYNTH, and The Purr. Perhaps his most comfortable landing spot was Madloch's long-standing Sound Avenue imprint, where Mariner + Domingo released ten originals across ten months, none more impactful than 'Another Life' and 'Inertia', which earned play and support from Lee Burridge and Sebastien Leger respectively. Now embarking on his future musical endeavors in solo capacity, Domingo + returns to Sound Avenue with a two-track showcase entitled 'Hardway'. We had a chance to catch up with Chris for an exclusive interview just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Chris, thanks for joining us. What was the last piece of music you listened to?

Winds of Harmony EP by RYAN (AR)

What are your plans for the coming week?

Wrapping up two remixes and a collaboration with Jelly For The Babies

Can you name three tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

Voodoo Ray – Guy Called Gerald – Discovered what house is.

Money – Pink Floyd – Discovered what FX should sound like.

Running with the devil – VanHalen – Discovered 5ths and 7ths which all my chords on my records are built on.

You came up during the mid-nineties when Florida had arguably some of the best nightlife in the world. Tell us what sort of music you were making back at that time and a brief synopsis of how that led to you eventually be making organic house nearly thirty years later.

I got into the 90s Florida scene with a hit record I produced with my brother. Loveclub “The Journey” on Platypus Records. So, our sound was true progressive with hints of trance. What led me to organic house was actually not intentional at all. To recap how it led me here I was moving with the flow of true house / underground and staying away from the cheesy moments all genres have. Organic was implemented in my music because I wanted more live elements in my records.

 What is the current state of the club scene in Florida now?

I would never crap on Orlando as an artist I will always represent Orlando. However, the educated side of Orlando is not where it was so I cannot play in my home town and that makes me sad.

As mentioned, you’ve been producing for a long time, around three decades I think but it was only in the last few years that you resurfaced under the Marnier + Domingo alias. Tell us how you ended up with that first release on Balkan Connection in July of 2020 and what got you there after so many years of silence.

Let’s not say “silence” and say not being noticed as much. There has not been a year I was not releasing records under “Chris Domingo” excluding 6 years I had to disappear over a health issue. I think we surfaced as Mariner + Domingo with a bang for a few reasons. Both Mariner and I were really stretching our legs with analog again. We realized we had a new sound and we shopped it to better labels and Milos at Balken was the first of many offers. We went with Milos (thankfully) because of what he wrote in his offer email. He told me how the record made him feel and I loved that he commented on the engineering of the production.

You’ve recently ventured into producing solo and have adopted the name Domingo +, tell us how you ended up settling on that and were there other considerations?

Great question. I consulted trusted people in the industry including yourself Mitch over the name decision. I had to be careful because I did want to lose any fans, I built up with the M+D records. The only other consideration was +Domingo haha.

Will your musical output differ at all under this new alias?

Not one bit because even with M+D I had many more written tracks we didn’t even get to. I do not struggle with engineering, so I have a very fast output.

You have a new EP out this week on Sound Avenue, which will be the first under your new solo alias, tell us about the release and walk us through the production process on the title track if you don’t mind.

Another great question Mitch. I wrote both tracks when we returned from playing a killer gig in Brooklyn. No one heard them because Mariner said they were too dubby which was a mistake because sometimes that’s what a dj may need to play at a given moment. Both those tracks were written and recorded from my Nord Lead and a drum machine. All analog.

A good majority of your music has come out via Sound Avenue, what is about the label that makes it a great home for your music?

Dom is a huge part of it. I stick with Dom because he understands music and the need for the artist to grow. Most labels don’t understand this. Plus we hang out on zoom and discuss Bitcoin haha.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of the remix?

My studio changes a lot based on my need but here is the last picture took. Over sound in general I prefer analog that is why I sound the way I do. However, you have to use digital as a hybrid for certain things mostly notch EQ and as a recording source.

Last remix was made with Nord Lead, Yamaha CS7

What is a piece of gear that gets used in every track?

Nord Lead 100%

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

A custom Neve hybrid console. Estimated $450,000

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?


Death on the Balcony

Lee Burridge



Looking back over your discography which release are you most proud of and why?

“Another Life” Obviously one of my hits, but Mariner hated it but I sold it anyway and it is to this day my top seller.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

I don’t road test anymore because I know exactly how it is supposed to feel in the club. However, feedback, and this is just me. I cannot take another artists opinion because its subjective. I just have to trust myself in what I wrote. That alone takes time.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

100% on music and constantly coming up with new sounds. M+D was born out of the ashes of the pandemic so no it made me work harder.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

Not salvaging M+D and moving forward on my own. Why? I cannot trust anyone with my music, just me. Its turning out better this way,

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

Blade Runner (Original)

Music blew my mind still does.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Time with family

What does 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Expect more records than last year and a lot more dj gigs here and abroad.

'Hardway' is available now via Sound Avenue: https://bit.ly/3oIH2jx

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