Sound of the Week: Dinky

‘Valor’ tells a deeply personal narrative for Chilean born and Berlin based DJ and producer Dinky, made during a period where her life was in danger, her sixth album acts as a pinnacle to her steadfast and illustrious career and brought on a momentous change to her personal journey. Esteemed for her decade long DJ residency at Berlin’s infamous Panorama Bar and past productions on labels such as Cocoon, Visionquest and Crosstown Rebels, Dinky AKA Alejandra Iglesias is a trained classical guitarist, singer and keyboard player. Her voice is an anchor to ‘Valor’, it’s crisp definition loaded with intensity. We spoke to Dinky about the gorgeously distinguished album and what more is to come.

KALTBLUT: Let’s start from the beginning – you were classically trained as a musician at a young age, how did this eventually evolve into music production? Do you still find yourself going back to ideals/lessons that were once taught?
Dinky: As a kid I learned suzuki piano method so it wasn’t a rigid education musically. I had a long pause and then I retrained in classical guitar and voice as an adult. The lessons and theory are definitely present when I compose, I do apply theory and what I know about jazz and composition in my music, but I don’t like to stay too classical or conservative. I use my training to help me resolve ideas and tighten things up musically but mostly like to improvise, experiment, play and record.

KALTBLUT: Your sixth album Valor has been described as deeply personal, could you tell us what it represents? And perhaps how it’s evolved from your earlier work? Do you have a preferred production method? As to maybe environments and hardware, etc, especially when it came to creating this album?
Dinky: It represents a period of my life where I had to be a real warrior to get through what was happening to me and my family and that gave me a lot of inspiration to write. My earlier stuff is always different. I tend to do very different albums depending on what I am doing and how things are going in my life. I don’t have a fixed production method other than record once I like what I hear, being bass or hooks first. It always changes. I use hardware a lot (I love dave smith synths) but also virtual instruments and samples -hip hop style. I do use a lot of e-guitar and voice on this album, I think that gives my music a bit of a human touch!

KALTBLUT: Being a resident of Panorama bar for ten years, how is it that you were initially involved in the club? How have you found the scene, both people and music, evolve over the years? And how do you manage to keep your connection with your audience?
Dinky: The owner called me one day in 2004 and invited me to play, someone from Groove mag told him I was “suited for the job” lol. After that, I started playing every month there and collaborating with the label. I love it so much still and I prepare my long sets carefully every month. This is very important. I think this is how I stay connected with the Panorama bar audience as I alway try to bring my own thing there , and put a lot of effort into playing what I love.

KALTBLUT: With the UK’s club scene rapidly declining, do you feel it is something Berlin and major cities should worry about too?
Dinky: Berlin definitely hasn’t got much to worry as the government is open minded and supports electronic music as its considered culture and art, but the rest of the world might face a crisis. I have the feeling this is already happening.

KALTBLUT: Are you working on anything new right now? And will you be working with anyone?
Dinky: I am working on my live set for the album. Its a hardware live so its quite complex and time consuming but I enjoy the challenge. In the winter, I plan to do an acoustic album with guitar and voice and an electronic album with my husband.

KALTBLUT: What are you currently listening to on repeat?
Dinky: Yo-yoma’s ‘The cello suites” (inspired by Bach).

KALTBLUT: What artist (of any kind) are you keeping your eye on at the moment?
Dinky: Angel Olsen

KALTBLUT: What are you most grateful for this year?
Dinky: My family.

‘Valor’ is out now on Crosstown Rebels