Sundowner. Mix #29 comes from Berlin based Artist, Producer & Mastering Engineer Dolomea. We recently sat down with the multitalented artist, after her recent debut at Berlin's Club der Visionäre, to talk about her work, her music, her roots and to share some advice with others that might wanna follow in her footsteps.
Moses: Hello, how are you doing?
Dolomea: Coucou, I’m good thanks, I just finished my day at the studio Moses: You recently debuted your new live-set at Club der Visionäre for System Error. How was that experience?
It was very exciting for me, since Club der Visionäre is a place where I enjoy hanging out. I’ve spent a lot of time myself listening and dancing to inspiring artists there, so at first it felt a bit unreal to be able to perform my live set there. I was quite nervous before the set, but in the end I really enjoyed it and a lot of friends supported me while playing.
That night a lot of different artists with different styles played, in the end I stayed until the very end, so I guess it was a successful night hehe We really enjoyed your live-set at cdv, can you tell us a bit more about how much work went into your live-set?
The idea of playing live started when my friend Lars from Hamburg asked me to DJ at a Remoto-rec party in Hamburg in March. I still enjoy mixing records and I am still digging a lot, but I guess right now I am more interested in performing my very own music. So I suggested to Lars that I could also play a live set. At that point I did not have that much material ready to be played. (Last year, I experienced a break from producing, since I wasn’t feeling too well. I now know that I can be a lot more creative when I am feeling in balance with myself.) So I decided to produce new tracks for the live set. I had one month to go until the party. Within that month I spent a lot of time in my studio. It felt really good to be working towards that goal. In the end I came up with around 10 tracks that I played at that party.
When you asked me to perform at CDV some months later, I took some tracks that I had already played at my gig in Hamburg and mixed them with newer productions. My goal is to always perform slightly different tracks when playing live.
Can you tell us a bit more about your live set-up and how you built it?
I am using a controller to navigate through Ableton Live. I have set up some midi tracks that trigger my Cyclone TT-303. For my set at CDV I also brought an Eventide Space Pedal and a Memory Boy Delay from Electro Harmonix. So it’s basically triggering and a bit of manipulating in real time. I am definitely planning to expand my set up in upcoming live performances. I remember hearing that you are not originally from Berlin? Where are you from originally and when did you decide to move to Berlin and why?
I am originally from Hamburg and moved to Berlin in 2017. At that time I had quit my studies (philosophy and psychology) and felt a bit lost in Hamburg. I really enjoyed the (music) scene there, but I also wanted to experience something new and get to know myself in another city. So I moved to Berlin. So the typical “moving to Berlin story” I guess… For how long have you been producing music? And how did you start?
I have roughly been producing since 2018 and started in my bedroom with a microphone and a DX21.
I wanted to also talk a bit about your Mastering Studio “Olo Mastering”? How did this come about? Where did you learn how to do mastering?
I attended a mastering seminar with Conor Dalton from Glowcast Mastering during my music studies. During that course I realised that this “obscure” craft is really something that interests me. It’s such a delicate work where you’re training your ears to be able to hear the finest nuances in the music. While operating on a technical level you’re still creatively influencing the artist's music. When mastering I experienced a totally new mode of listening to music that captivated me. So after my studies I decided to become a mastering engineer myself. First I only mastered my friends’ music. But at some point the word of mouth spreaded and I received more and more mastering requests. Meanwhile I am working at my studio “Olo Mastering” but also at another studio called “Scape Mastering”, founded by Stefan Betke (Pole) where I am currently also learning how to cut vinyl. There are not too many women in this profession at the moment as far as I’m aware of, do you have any tips for women who wanna get into this profession? Where and how should they start?
I don’t think I have any other tips for female engineers than I have for male or non binary engineers. If you really wanna go down the mastering rabbit hole you need to be very dedicated and work hard towards the goal of becoming a professional engineer. I still absorb every possible information or discussion about mastering, read books about that topic and inform myself online on various channels. I would try to get in touch with other engineers and seek as much knowledge from them as possible. Offer your mastering services to friends and acquaintances, start with taking some money but not too little, always be aware of your worth. And if you’re doing a good job, people will get back to you and recommend you to their fellow music friends.
Also right from the start I tried to build myself a solid working environment: You need to be able to objectively judge the material you’re working with and this only works in a treated room with a proper sound system and decent converters. I was able to get funding for these investments, so I always suggest looking out for grants.
Besides the organisational side, you also need to be really good at communicating with your clients. You need to have a sense for their needs and expectations regarding their music. I really enjoy this part about mastering. You get in touch with so many interesting people and it’s quite funny that you connect through their music while often not having met in person.
You just mentioned having received funding, I think this is something really important that a lot of people don’t really know how to approach. What funding program did you apply for? And Where did you find out about it?
Actually I received funding from the Jobcenter Berlin. It’s called “Investitionszuschuss” und “Einstiegsgeld” and is aimed for freelancers that just started out with their business. It’s a lot of paperwork and you need to write a whole business plan but it really helped me be more clear about my endeavour. They also made it possible for me to get a loan, which can be paid off at very good conditions.
I can really recommend the website “Kreativ Kultur Berlin”. This is where I found out about the Jobcenter funding. They offer really nice webinars and also have a database of different funding opportunities on their website.
What are 5 of your favourite projects you worked on this year that we can already listen to?
At Olo Mastering:
Rupert Marnie’s new album on The Press Group https://thepressgroup.bandcamp.com/album/evocative-rhythm-experience
Gent1e $oul’s EP on Fast Castle https://fastcastle.bandcamp.com/album/silk-armor
Polar Soft’s album on VDR https://verydeeprec.bandcamp.com/album/polar-soft
At Scape Mastering:
nthng’s new album on Transatlantic records https://nthng.bandcamp.com/album/there-is-a-place-for-me
Sweater’s and Post Play’s EP on Pearled Records https://www.discogs.com/release/27068394-Sweater-7-Post-Play-Perspiration-Nation
What are your plans or goals for the next few years? What’s next for Dolomea?
In terms of mastering: I wanna deepen my mastering knowledge and continue to train my precious ears. And I’d really love to continue working with lots of inspiring musicians. Hopefully I’ll also be able to cut records on my own in the next year. I am also planning to work abroad for a couple of months and intern at another studio.
In terms of producing: I really wanna release my first EP on vinyl : ) And I would love to continue playing live. I wanna get to know my instruments even more.
Also I don’t wanna necessarily only produce and perform music aimed for a typical club environment. I love going to listening sessions and attending live performances, such as the Absurd Lustre format or the Kinship parties here in Berlin. So right now I am also planning an album that is more aimed towards being played at home while for example experiencing an emotional hangover after a night out haha… I wanna work with fellow musicians and record them here in my studio. Sundowner.: Who are 3 artists that really inspired you along your way as a producer and can you share one of their favourite tracks with us?
Andrea Parker together with David Morley
What is something you would like to see more in our scene in the coming years?
I would really like to see more listening sessions, more events, where people gather, potentially lie down and create an intimate space, where you solely listen and spend some time together, without the constant presence of consumption and smalltalk Sundowner.: And what is something you can’t see & hear anymore?(Note: musst du nicht beantworten wenn es zu schwierig ist aber vielleicht fällt dir was ein)
Cheap remixes of music from the 2000s…. and the constant presence of mobile phones on the dancefloor Can you name 3 artists that we should be looking out for in your opinion?
You should be looking out for the Remoto-Rec crew from Hamburg both in terms of DJing and producing. Doxan on the decks and the productions of Aii PS and Rupert Marnie
Where can we hear and see you play next?
TBA : )
Do you have any new releases lined up that you can share with us already so we can keep an eye out for them?
I have some inquiries but nothing specific is planned yet. I will keep you posted hehe
Thank you for taking the time, this was very insightful and we’re happy to have had the chance to learn a bit more about you & your work and we are looking forward to hearing and seeing more of you in the future! Two short last questions for you before we wrap up this interview: What's the worst advice you ever received? And what's the best advice you ever received?
Worst advice: It's crucial to have a thorough understanding of your style before sharing any of your productions
Best advice: Listen and embrace the unknown! Amen to that!