Interview: Dee Montero

Belfast-born club talent Dee Montero has been hard at work for more than two decades, developing his sound to a point where he’s now become one of the Northern Irish capitals most decorated electronic artists.

Releases for top labels like Anjunadeep, Diynamic, Saved Records, and Knee Deep In Sound, alongside his own Futurescope imprint, have cemented his place amongst Ireland’s top music producers, and he still has plenty more to come.

We recently got the chance to ask him a couple of questions, where we spoke about his new Maya EP, what we can expect from his forthcoming album, and which other labels he might be working with in the near future. Get the full discussion with Dee Montero below.

Hey Dee, we hope you’re well right now – tell our readers what you have been up to recently?

All is well, thanks guys. I’ve been hunkering down in the studio adding the final touches to my album project which has kept me busy over the past year or so. I’m also creating a visual narrative running in parallel with the music so it’s been a very creative time.

You just released your new single Maya on your own Futurescope imprint, what can your fans expect to hear on this one?

Expect to hear a darker melodic vibe on ‘Maya’. It’s a homage to Future Sound Of London’s ‘Papau New Guinea’ from the early 90s, borrowing the vocal sample from Dead Can Dance – Dawn Of The Iconoclast which I used sparingly.

It’s very percussive and tribal, with evolving orchestral strings and cosmic overtones. I tried to convey the idea of a portal to a mystical world in the artwork, with cryptic hieroglyphs left behind by the Mayans as a message from the future, hence the title.

And it also includes a remix from Rodriguez Jr., what were your thoughts on his edit when it first came back?

He did an amazing job and it took me back to the early 90’s progressive era when I played my first gigs in Belfast. I think he encapsulated the spirit of that era perfectly in the remix, which has been well received by the likes of Sasha and Digweed.

On the topic of Futurescope, who might we expect to see on the label in 2022?

Futurescope is a platform for my own productions but also a home where I can invite and collaborate with some of my favourite producers. 2022 will mostly be focused on the album with some great remixes lined up, including a stellar Italo disco remix from Lauer. I’ll definitely be exploring original material from new artists in the near future, but for now all focus is on the album.

Tell us more about the album?

The album idea was born during lockdown, while going through archives of unfinished projects and forgotten gems. I stayed away from making a club album and instead put together a melancholic and melodic soundtrack that weaves between beatless electronica, breaks, and house. My recent US and India tour towards the end of last year really inspired me to finish the project and give it a new leash of life.

You’ve previously put music out with Anjunadeep, Knee Deep In Sound, and Diynamic, which other labels will we see you release with in the near future?

I have a forthcoming EP on Renaissance and I’m also working on a follow up release for Anjunadeep which will hopefully be out sometime this year. I’ve also just finished 2 tracks with Newman (I Love), so plenty of new music on the horizon.

Who’s one emerging producer you’re watching in 2022?

I’m a fan of Budakid’s music at the moment and I see him heading to another level this year.

And one album you’re really enjoying at the moment that you suggest we check out?

The GCOM – E2-XO album has been on repeat lately, the perfect soundtrack for those long winter nights. Tom Middleton’s soundscapes are otherworldly and the triple vinyl artwork is a thing of beauty!

Dee Montero – Maya EP is out now on Futurescope.