With only a handful of releases, Margaret Dygas has made an astonishing impression on the world of Techno over the last few years. In particular, her brilliant ‘Invisible Circles’ 12” as well as her 2011 self-titled album wowed critiques with their unique simplicity and haunting undertones.
With a performance in Fabric’s Room 1 scheduled for this coming Saturday, we caught up with Margaret earlier in the week to discuss her history with the club, Michael Jackson, and the ‘minimal’ tag.
**First off, you’re playing at Fabric on the 16****th****, any other artists you’re particularly looking forward to seeing perform that evening? **
I’m really looking forward to play at Fabric! It’s really special for me at least, because of my long history with the place.
Who I’d like to see play? Everyone! I’m really happy to see my friend Nicolas [Lutz] playing in Room 1, i think it’s his first time playing there, so I’m super excited for him, and of course I’m curious about Brandt Brauer Frick, although they are from Berlin it will be the first time I’ll see them. There is a video on Youtube where they performed with Om’Mas Keith, it looked like an amazing show.
Toi Toi in Room 3, I love Room 3! I know Ion and David (Dewalta) from Berlin and will be popping up there during the night, no doubt.
Room 2 looks bombastic! No need to say more. I’ll definitely go to see Terry [Francis], get a hug and bounce a bit ;). And of course Craig [Richards], it will be nice to be around him and play by his side. Good vibrations!
Aside from that brilliant remix for the Cosmos imprint earlier this year it’s been a little while since your last release. What have you been up to over the last few months? Any new projects you can tell us a bit about?
Thank you so much for the kind word on the Cosmos release. My dear friend Tobias and I did something recently that will be out on his label Non Standard Productions.
So that will be a break from your long history of solo releases - do you find it easier to work in isolation?
[Isolation] can be a form of rehabilitation, a much needed meditation for more inspiration :) Working alone means true freedom of your own expression, rather than constantly thinking of someone else’s taste, which could be a bit of a waste of your own time.
I really do like working with friends and sharing ideas, and I wish this would happen more often, but it’s never planned… it just happens, and that is what really like about it.
Your tracks are rather sample heavy - how do you go about sourcing these? Am I right in saying a lot of your music contains samples of instruments you’ve recorded yourself?
Of course I do… it’s a bit of a strange question. Too easy not to, right?! All you need is a mic and any sound can be used as an instrument.
So what sort of records do you listen to outside of the dance music sphere?
Lots of different stuff. I order on Amazon sometimes, something slightly familiar can take you on to a new discovery. For me it also depends on how I’m feeling or how I would like to feel. Tibetan singing bowls are really nice for the morning. I find Police Greatest Hits or U2 great for painting walls and cleaning. I love James Blake and Fink, always’n 4-eva. A bit of Jazz is really great, especially paired with a glass of warm milk! There are so many record shops in my neighbourhood alone… it’s a never ending story, easy to find something - something…old or new, whatever. I also love Michael Jackson, he hangs out here sometimes… well, at least once a week ;). He puts me in a good mood every time. If you’re a fan like me there is an amazing mix free to download here.
**You have quite a minimal, restrained sound - Where do you think this aspect of your music comes from? **
I love minimal sounds for their delicate nature, lightness in texture, transparency, piercing frequencies and even the annoying qualities. The sounds can be beautiful, really horrible or barely noticeable. You can layer the sounds like lasagna under a thick cheese topping for only you to know about. Maybe some other sound freak will notice them, only because of his particular obsession for passion.
But I feel like the word “Minimal” will never find peace… Minimal shminimal :) People seem to desperately want to divide up music into categories. If someone makes a techno record, does that make them a techno producer? On the other hand, wanting to categorize is human nature and makes it easier for us to define who we are, and that is fine if it makes you happy. Wanting to have some kind of guideline for things you like is normal, all good! Just try not to get stuck in your own narrow point of view, when there is an ocean out there :).
Having lived in a range of different cities, do you think the nomadic lifestyle of a DJ is well suited to you? Is it strange coming back to places you have lived in previously (like London) for just a night or two when playing shows?
It’s not strange at all. I don’t think about it anymore. I really love Berlin. I am very grateful for the fact that I can travel, visit my old hoods, see old friends, make new friends, share good times, if only for a few hours. I see it as a dream come true or even an illusion, maybe like everything else.
Big hugs everyone! Keep warm!
Catch Margaret Dygas at Fabric on Saturday 16****th**** November along with Craig Richards, Ben Sims and Planetary Assault Systems.