Alter egos & hardware

Nuno vs. Tripeo

Alter egos & hardware

19-09-2013 | 20.15

Nuno dos Santos, Tripeo, and D-Ribeiro will be playing at SWTBOX this Friday: the night of Nuno aimed to deliver pure techno. Tripeo, one of the alter ego’s of Darko Esser, and Nuno dos Santos have been close friends for a couple of years and used to play a lot together. Recently Nuno and Darko caught up and talked about their live-sets, alter ego’s and new projects.

Darko Esser
: Hey Nuno!
Nuno dos Santos: Yoooo!
Nuno dos Santos: We’ve known each other for quite a while now. I believe we played together for the first time about 8 or 9 years ago in Ekko. I was a resident at Full Spectrum and we were on the line-up together. Many years have passed and now you’ve got two aliasses. How did the Tripeo moniker come up?
Darko Esser: I now have a third haha. I’ll keep that my little secret for now, but Tripeo is an old nickname I got when I played in bands almost 20 years ago. I played the guitar back then and had kind of an habit to link up all the amps in our practicing space to create some extra noise. The drummer of one the bands said to me: “You’re not mono or stereo, but tripeo.” From that point on, they called me that until the band split up. When I was looking for a moniker name for some tracks that I didn’t want to release under my own name, this just popped into my head. It fits with the sound as well haha. From there, the idea crystallized itself quite fast: First Trip, Second Trip, Vinyl only etc.
Nuno dos Santos: I was very impressed with the Tripeo releases.
Darko Esser: Thanks. Didn’t you ever consider using an alter ego since your music style as a DJ is so broad?
Nuno dos Santos: Yeah, I definitely considered that… I’ve been making a lot of techno recently, but on the other hand I’m thinking, “fuck it”, this is what I do: everything all at once. I’m also working on a new project with someone, but that’s also a secret for now. Being together in the studio, only hardware and just have at it. We’ve got three tracks at the moment and I am considering an alter ego for that.
Darko Esser: I think it’s a good thing that people have to get to know you. Taking the time you know, everything is so rushed nowadays. But it can also be nice to adopt another identity. Something that’s a part of you, except you enlarge it, exaggerate it.
Nuno dos Santos: Exactly.
Darko Esser: How’s your label Something Happening Somewhere doing?
Nuno dos Santos: Very good! Just send out a release date with Kompakt and artwork. There are five releases coming up from Presk, Mayaku and Sigward amongst others. The first release of Love over Entropy will see the light of day on November 11th. Very exciting! How does that work with your three labels (Wolfskuil Records, Balans, Tripeo)? Is it a gut-feeling thing? Do you postpone a lot of releases?
Darko Esser: It happens. It can be quite a puzzle, sometimes I have to wait for remixers or a release is half-finished. And sometimes you have to cancel releases…
Nuno dos Santos: How do you prepare yourself for the Trouw gig? Will you be using hardware?
Darko Esser: I’m quite adventurous with setups, but the audio always comes from the laptop. It don’t really trust MIDI in the studio, so I don’t want to worry about that kind of stuff in a live situation. I had a setup with a bunch of guitar pedals, extra mixer and FX unit, but I already ditched that. Now I’m using a laptop, soundcard, APC40 and Kaoss Pad, which gives me a tremendous amount of possibilities. Oh, and four channels on a dj mixer. All of my trax are split up in individual parts on a maximum of 8 per track, all short loops. In a live set, the trax have to be rearranged and reassembled. That is what makes every show different; I can make them as long and short as I like to, create breaks whenever I feel like it. I usually decide the order of tracks when I’m playing too. It has a real DJ-like approach to it, but with loops added.
Nuno dos Santos: I saw something similar in an interview with Henrik Schwarz. He can play live everywhere and has literally all his tracks and remixed stacked in Ableton Live. So he can play live at a big techno gig, but also in an imitate setting.
Darko Esser: That’s also how I do it. I would love to have 50-60 tracks within a year and do a different live show every time. Different order, different dynamic. I played a classical music festival this weekend and I played versions of my tunes without a kick. Sounded like credible electronica to me haha! But apparently that’s also something which can be done live. I just want to improvise in the way I DJ. How will you handle it live?
Nuno dos Santos: This will be my second time in a live setting. I did it once with Patrice (Bäumel) as 360 live in the beginning of Trouw. Now it’s me with Arnout Hulskamp doing the visuals.
Darko Esser: And how will it look on a technical level?
Nuno dos Santos: Ableton, Maschine and MFB. The kicks, hats and claps coming from these are insane! The rest are my tracks and remixes stripped down plus one or two remixes I did with TJ Kong.
Darko Esser: So if I understand correctly, you arrange the drum pattern over the melodies in your live show? And the drums are from the Maschine and the MFB?
Nuno dos Santos: Yes, this gives me much more flexibility with breaks and stuff. But I really don’t know whether it’ll go over well haha.
Darko Esser: Exciting, you should definitely record it!
Nuno dos Santos: I will! Have you played at De Verdieping before? I think it’s a really special space with a totally different vibe then upstairs.
Darko Esser: Yeah, the first Tripeo set I did was downstairs. De Verdieping feels cool, raw and crazier. Upstairs is wicked too, but more housy. Downstairs really feels made for techno.
Nuno dos Santos: What do you think of D-Ribeiro by the way?
Darko Esser: A really talented guy! A great DJ and wayward as a producer, I think we’ll be hearing a lot of him in the future! I’ll be there early to here him play.
Nuno dos Santos: Cool, I’m excited. Good to talk to you again.
Darko Esser: Me too! See you on Saturday!