Interview: Deano

Despite an under appreciated local scene and limited population around him, Cape Town based techno head Deano has done a superb job of establishing his Knowledge imprint and party brand. Against the odds he has brought some top selectors such as DVS1 and Bas Amro to his hometown.

Now preparing for the third release on his label, an EP from himself and Redacs, the South African adds another brick to his sonic fortress. We sat down with Deano to chat about the release, what’s next for the promotion side of things and more. Grab the full interview below.

Hi Deano, how are things? Excited about Christmas?

Hey! Busy as usual. I don’t really celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense. But it is always a nice excuse to wind down and spend time with family and friends. Also tends to be a good time to work on new music!

You’re about to release the third EP on your Knowledge label, a split EP from yourself and Rèdacs. Tell us about that?

Rèdacs has been a part of the label since its first version back in 2017. As the label has progressed, so has he! So that was more reason for me to keep him on board. He has been sending me music on a consistent basis – which led to his last full EP on the label entitled ‘Search’. The new split EP came about whilst I was working on some music that I was finding difficult to place. I was also sitting on two tracks of his that he was looking for a home for. So it just came together organically really, and I think that the tracks complement each other really nicely.

You seem like you have no interest in rushing things in terms of releases, quality over quantity, a strong contrast to some labels today?

Yeah. The past few years have been a serious learning curve. When I was releasing music under my previous moniker ‘D_Know’ I was really hungry to just write tons of music and release it as fast as I could. Don’t get me wrong, I managed to release on some great labels, but in hindsight it all felt too rushed. The same thing happened with Knowledge Recordings (the first version of my label). It was a very busy period and I was receiving a lot of music. I pushed myself to do at least one release per month – which was challenging and in the end became a bit too pressurising for me. Now I’ve pulled things back a bit, transitioned my alias and label and I can say I’m much happier with the flow of things in general.

And Knowledge is also a party that has seen you bring DVS1, Etapp Kyle, Bas Amro, Anthony Parasole and others to Cape Town, something that can’t be an easy task?

Well, because my hometown of Cape Town is very small and the underground scene is still very under-supported, I really wanted to try and present my idea of ‘quality underground music’ to the local audience. Given the above-mentioned circumstances, there were of course many difficulties. However, I feel that every event I’ve thrown has been absolutely worth it! It’s always a risk (especially when expenses are very high), but I often just rely on gut instinct. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – but luckily for me it has been mostly positive.

Can you give us any info on who might be next on the Knowledge calendar?

The label schedule is already full until the middle of 2019. There is a lot of stuff in the pipeline from myself and some other really great young artists that I have been in touch with. In terms of events, the next big project is with a young Italian artist by the name of Kaiser. He’s released on some great labels and is keeping very active at the moment. Him and I have been in touch for a while now. The next release on the label will be an EP from him, and to make it even more exciting I have invited him to South Africa for a launch party! I’m trying to focus a lot more on working with ‘younger generation’ artists at the moment. I really enjoy networking with likeminded individuals who are in a similar position to me – it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this game!

How about your own music, do you have anything in the works?

Yes. I have an EP forthcoming on Kalter Ende’s Concerns Music. Then I’m continuing to work on music for my own label and I’m also working on some EP concepts to send off to other labels that I am interested in.

And upcoming gigs as Deano?

Yes. Next up I’m playing back-to-back with my mate JED for his team’s event with Shlømo. Their night is called Vault, and they have really been pushing the harder sounds of techno in our city. They are great friends of mine and I’m really looking forward to it! Thereafter I am playing at a New Years festival and on New Year’s day I’m headlining a producer showcase at my local watering-hole Mødular.

Thanks for taking some time to chat with us, is there anything else you want to plug before we wrap things up?

Not really, other than, please look out for the latest Knowledge Imprint release (as mentioned previously). It is out now exclusively at Traxsource and will be dropping on the rest of the online stores on 18th December. Unfortunately, vinyl purchases are limited to South Africa at the moment. But hopefully they will be distributed in Europe and beyond in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for the interview!