Dittomaster is the Portland-Bred Rocker who infuses frenzied energy over his dance-punk inclining music.
With influences that draw from the touchstones of France's Justice, England's Depechemode, and America's, LCD Soundsystem, this emboldened composer utilizes everything between the drum to a synthesizer to manifest the striking sonics he hears in his own mind.
His debut from late June, "Happy Hour," granted him notoriety that extended far into the Summer months of July and August, and now, on the starting ticks of September, he's released the Sophomore single titled, "Straw Man"—an industrious Electro-Dance and Punk escapade that evokes synergistic choreography from our own feet.
"Straw Man," gains effectiveness from a Synth pad that freely borrows from Justice's "Phantom"—from their eponymous self titled debut in 2007—but adorns his own prophetic glaze in the form of a vocal part that susurrates through the impactful layering of two vocal takes that fuse into unity. Here, much of the measure is similar to the aforementioned song, with a crispy downbeat that produces nostalgia invoking of that year's emanating brilliance.
As his oscillating sampled pads resound over robotic stilettos—weaving between a scintillating bass-line and an affecting electric guitar riff—Dittomaster magnetizes the edges of his electronic-dance mix with a charged up electricity that finds a spark in his elegist-affecting hook. "Be still my beating heart, you make my blood run cold, be still my beating heart." He glides over his words with a propelling synergy that sticks like adhesive over his main top-line synth, and as the mantra engraves itself into our memories, he closes with a short slash— effectively shutting off the musical dynamo he's created through channeling his most magnetic influences on "Straw Man."
Hello Dittomaster and welcome to BuzzMusic. How did you develop your affluence for the instruments you've listed as being able to play, and what stands as your primary choice when faced with songwriting?
That’s a good question. I started with guitar lessons in the sixth grade. Then in junior high, I was in a punk band and after we practiced I started playing our drummers drums and started to get comfortable. Then we formed another band with friends and I played the drums in that band and many other small bands after that. When I was playing drums and singing in the Flying Eyes, I got a microkorg and started to mess around with synthesizers and started making recordings and writing songs that way on a laptop by myself. I also got a bass at some point and started playing it. The bass is really similar to the guitar, just minus two strings and the strings are bigger. I would say I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. When writing a song, I usually start with a vocal idea, that may end up turning into another instrument, but that’s usually where the idea for the song comes from- a vocal melody. If you want to see me play all of these instruments, you can check out my Instagram or YouTube.
What have been some methods you implore to effectively avoid running into creative blocks with relations to instrumentation, melody construction, and your mix's balance as a whole?
Voice memos. Sometimes I could be driving down the road or talking to someone, doing literally anything and a melody will pop into my head. So I’ll just kind of sing/hum it into voice memos and save it for later to develop. Even if there are people around you, you just have to stop everything and record it. When those melodies hit you, you have to record them, otherwise they’ll just fly away and never come back. It can lead to some funny moments of me excusing myself to go hum into my phone, but it’s worth it. After I have the basic idea, I’ll pick one of the vocal melody ideas and start to build it out in Logic, starting with software instruments and then adding real instruments when the composition is more realized. I usually just listen to the song over and over and if it’s boring me I’ll add elements, or take elements away, or write a new part, etc. It’s basically just an exercise in entertaining myself and hoping that it transcends to an audience. Regarding the mix, I try to keep things not perfect. I don’t want the recordings to be completely perfect, I want them to be raw and visceral. Kind of punk rock. I think there’s an emphasis today on perfect production and I do admire the skill that takes, but I don’t think every song should sound perfect. Some songs aren’t meant to sound like that. Turn it up.
Do you have a team that supports you from the moment you conceive a creative idea, and to the point of its eventual release? Or has this been a solo venture from the get-go?
No team, just me, myself, and I. I was in a band before the pandemic, but the pandemic kinda ruined our plans for this year. So I’ve been putting a lot more energy into the Dittomaster project because I can practice by myself much easier than with a band lol.
When you think about the narrative behind, "Straw Man," what would you describe as being the biggest take away your audience should attain from this experience?
Lyrically, it’s a song composed of polar opposites. Idioms that shouldn’t be put together or don’t make sense. I wanted to play around with that because the United States right now- it doesn’t make a lot of sense some times. Everyone is so diametrically opposed to one another in so many ways. And opposed to outright facts. And the leader in chief feels more like a sick clown than a leader. At least that’s what it feels like when you turn on the tv or go on social media. So if the song lyrics evoke some confusion- that’s kind of the point. Boiled down, the song is about wanting to love America as a whole, but being repulsed by the hateful rhetoric and division that has been sown between us over the last four years. Why is it so hard for people to be reasonable and truthful with each other and themselves and love one another?
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
My son. Hands down. The next Dittomaster song “Always” coming out October 2nd is about him. We just adopted him this year during the pandemic, so that has been a crazy whirlwind. Honestly making music helps to keep me inspired as well, especially during this time where there isn’t a lot of inspiration floating around in the world. Music helps to break up all the bad news I hear every day.