John Dimas has long been a firm favourite of ours at Nightclubber HQ, and for good reason too: when it comes to crafting intricate, fascinating sounds, he’s long been held up as a seriously impressive producer amongst those in the know. Though Dimas is probably best-known as a Greek producer living in Berlin, that barely tells half the story. Indeed, Dimas is actually a native of Albania, with his family relocating to Greece in the 90s following the fall of Albania’s dictatorship. All of which makes his appearance at the upcoming Unum Festival all the more fascinating. We caught up with John recently to discuss Unum, the return of the Voigtmas project alongside Voightmann and – of course – the chaotic past few months…
How have you been enjoying the extra time in the studio in these crazy times?
I’ve been experimenting with different styles and learning new ways of creating rather than just my usual flow. I’ve made a lot of music but I’ve also taken some time away from the studio to have a break and to take care my mental health and physical well being.
Have your productions encountered any new sounds or modifications due to the additional time you had on your hands? What would those be?
Definitely. I have improved my mixing and sound design also to include more details in the background and also refreshed my sounds thanks to being inspired by new styles of music and collaborating with artists outside the electronic music scene.
Knowing you have played all over the world in so many events and festivals, is there one you particularly miss? Why?
I miss all of it so much! It’s the people on the dancefloor that has been the most difficult to live without as the energetic exchange we shared at every gig was something very special and important to me and I can’t wait to have this feeling again.
You have been based in Berlin for quite some time now, but from my understanding you are part Albanian, is that right? Does that make you any more excited to attend UNUM in Albania this year?
Actually I was born in Albania and moved to Greece when I was 13. After the dictatorship fell in the 90’s, there was this mass exodus to Europe and because my father was a teacher, he was able to get us a visa to relocate. I’m super excited about playing for the first time there and my parents will come as well. It will be the first time they will ever see me play also!
If you could choose one event to go back to every year, where would it be and what makes you feel that? The experience you had there, the people you met, the event? Or something else?
Gottwood Festival in Wales is definitely that place. I’ve been going there since 2016. i love it so much, it’s such a beautiful location and the energy is incredible. I also have to mention Sunwaves of course as that is another one that is always unforgettable and there is no need for explanation, it’s just pure magic.
What are you doing to get your inspiration ? Are you following any process you’re following your instincts?
Before Covid I would meet people in the local scene in every city I played and hang out with other DJs, check record stores and share music which was always inspiring but also the past year at home, I’ve kept my inspiration alive by listening to all kinds of music from 80’s pop to liquid dnb and watched a lot of sci fi movies which have really interesting soundscapes.
Is there an advice you can give to artists that are having a lack of inspiration at the moment? What do you think is the most important thing that this past year has taught you?
I realised that I have my whole life to make music so having the chance of more time than usual to be in the studio doesn’t mean it’s necessary to feel pressured to make as much music as possible just because you feel you should not waste it somehow.
If you don’t feel inspired, it’s ok, just use this time in other ways, whether that be any other form of art or creative stream or use the time for personal development which I did. Then when you feel good again, the inspiration returns. In my experience, the more stress put on using this time because we have been gifted it, the less results are achieved. In the end we make music so we can release whatever emotions we experience and especially during these uncertain times there is a lot of fear floating around and that’s not the message I want to send with my creativity so I prefer to focus my attention on other things when I’m feeling like that and then go back into the studio again when I’m feeling balanced, energised and positive.
Keep up with John Dimas on Facebook here and check his Bandcamp here. John Dimas plays Unum Festival Albania (3rd June – 7th June). For further information and tickets, check https://unumfestival.com/