Aristotle once said: “The aim of art
is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward
significance.” For Los Angeles-based producer, beatmaker, DJ, and composer Dday
One that has meant finding a quiet life in the bustling big city, and staking
out his own territory.
Over a profound body of work spanning LPs, EPs, and
mix-albums, Dday One has furthered the sample-based lineage of instrumental
hip-hop with an invigorating organic feel, a transporting musical sensibility,
and the ability to conjure the spirits of outside influences without
Dday One came up surrounded by a vibrant mélange of cultures
and genres and has gone on to be able integrate the soulful essentials of many
perspectives into a signature aesthetic. He’s of Nigerian and American
backgrounds, and growing up his father owned a nightclub adjacent to the Leimert
Park district of Los Angeles that regularly hosted a diverse roster of
global musicians and DJs. There he was exposed to music from around the world
and saw firsthand the art and craft of being a DJ.
Each of Dday One’s productions are intricately arranged note
by note and meticulously programmed. This uniquely organic philosophy extends
to his live show where he eschews the safety of a laptop performance and,
instead, performs his composition in real time through banging out musical
passages with hardware. Dday One’s live setup is akin to a traditional hip-hop studio which gives the crowd a peak into the creative process in real time. He often pushes the boundaries of his compositions during live
appearances with rhythmic improvisations and live remixing. His intrepid
artistry encompasses break-beat, world music, free jazz, musique concrète and
hip-hop, among others without recalling specific artists or stylistic
As much as his cultural milieu has informed his music, Dday
One’s vision has been drastically shaped by technological limitations.
“Everything has evolved naturally, nothing has been planned,” he reveals. In
his formative years, he would collect records and construct his early
compositions from his crate digging explorations using a broken tape player.
The deck’s malfunction actually worked in his favor, enabling him to make loops
from music passages that stood out to his artistic ear. Dropping the needle on
the record and painstakingly constructing a sample was a formative exercise.
“Using crude materials in those days expanded my creativity, and even though
I’ve advanced in terms of the equipment I use now, I still stay in that mindset
to make sure the human element comes out in my current work,” he confides.
Dday One creates immersive and ambitious narrative
statements with his long-playing releases. Each entry in his catalog is
carefully curated to examine an overarching theme with sonic eloquence
He debuted with 2005’s Loop Extensions (The Content (L)abel / Needlework UK)
which explores the elasticity of sampled motifs, innovatively breaking
boundaries without sacrificing enthralling musicality. Limited vinyl copies of
the album were pressed up and distributed to scene tastemakers, and, within a
month from the album’s release, LA hip-hop’s underground king Mike Nardone was
spinning album cuts on his radio show “We Came From Beyond” KXLU 88.9 and Cut
Chemist was requesting a copy.
In an interview with HMV Online Dday One
has said: “When I originally pressed up Loop Extensions in
2005, it was limited to 500 vinyl copies. Through word of mouth the majority of
the records spread to Europe and Japan. Out of deep appreciate for this I
decided to release Loop Extensions Deluxe and Mood
Algorithms, which is an early works project and kind of an unofficial
His follow-up, Heavy Migration (Content (L)abel / P-Vine), boldly
takes on the quest to find the perfect beat. And, along the journey, Heavy
Migration explores the movement of sound from one medium to another. This
concept is analyzed metaphorically, reminiscent of
humans who migrate, sounds retain traits established from their origin (pitch,
cultural markers, ambiance of the original recording session, etc).
His next release, Mood Algorithms, was something of an early-works anthology
that originally circulated as a very limited edition cassette. The title is
evocative of the compositional process in which beats were created with
inspiration from daily moods.
In 2014, Dday One released profoundly personal, Dialogue with Life (Content (L)abel / P-Vine).
Half of the record was made before open-heart surgery, and the other half was
made after the operation. The two sections of the album are distinct in feel
because of this—the first half is moodier and darker, and the second half is
more spiritually centered. The album is a cathartic piece of art.
Soon after came Gathered Between. The concept
is that we live between the past and the future. The album is an aural snapshot
of that existential grey area. It’s the LP that was supposed to be Dday One’s
third release, but a hard drive crash erased most of its contents. Through
poring over demos, Dday One recreated the album, filling in his artistic
continuum at a pivotal time.
With his latest project, Journal Extended, Dday One revisits
a previous EP and expands it by re-sequencing the original tracks and unveiling
six previously unreleased cuts recorded during the same period. All
tracks where Influenced by personal entries from his studio journals (one
of which is pictured in the cover art), the music shows the producer
constructing new musical possibilities within his unique style.
Philosophizing about his varied output, Dday One says: “The
thread through it all is connecting with people across the world. Music
transcends language. I hope my music helps people see their higher self though reflection."