Oliver Johnson aka Dorian Concept latest album “What We Do For Others” is out now on Brainfeeder Records. It’s the third studio album by the Austrian producer and synthesizer savant, famed for his singular, beautifully detailed sonic tapestries and wild, utterly joyful live keyboard jam videos.
“What We Do For Others” is a relaxed, quietly confident and intimate record, founded on delightfully loose arrangements, feedbacked soundscapes and blessed with snatches of his own cryptic vocals that are presented more as additional instrumentation rather than lyrical phrases. All the elements and layers were recorded without interruptions and deliberately not edited. “I think that’s why this record has something of a ‘band sound’” says Oliver. “It’s me playing all kinds of different key-instruments, singing and using fx-units to create these freeform compositions.”
The title came to Oliver in a dream and stuck with him. “One thing I often find interesting about my creative process is that when I believe to be making something that others could like, it tends to not really connect with people,” he says. “Whereas when I get to that special place and just work from my gut – the music tends to often speak to the outside world naturally.” Johnson says that he tried questioning his internal voice of self-judgement and temper his constant urge for improvement during the making of the album.
In the early years Dorian Concept climbed an ascent perhaps exemplary of this generation’s brightest production talents: after experimenting with production software, piano and saxophone throughout his teenage years, he studied multi-media art at university before catching the internet’s attention with virtuosic video footage of himself shredding on a microKORG and dropping out to pursue music-making more seriously. In the span of a few years he had caught the attention of such sonic agenda-setters as Gilles Peterson, Benji B and Mary Anne Hobbs; released a flurry of EPs; performed with The Cinematic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall; joined the ranks of other promising upstarts at Red Bull Music Academy; got spotted by Flying Lotus and invited to tour in his live band. After finding a home on Ninja Tune, he enjoyed underground success with the release of an album “Joined Ends”, dizzyingly intricate singles which made the rounds on experimental dancefloors worldwide, and subsequent live touring from Glastonbury to Sonar to MoMA PS1’s Warm Up.