I've recently gotten a chance to ask Flemming Dalum, a fixture in the Italo-Disco and DJ'ing community, a few questions about music and things...
KP: First of all, thank you for accepting to do this interview. If there's anyone I would like to do an interview with right now, it would be you.
As someone who was once an eager fan, how does it feel to have fans of your own in the world of Italo-Disco?
FD: Well I don’t think much about “having fans” – but I really appreciate that people like my mixes, edits and remixes. That’s great and gives me motivation to do more. I simply just love to present different music from my big collection… Over the last 7 years my music has brought me in contact with a lot of nice people from all around the world. That’s great!
KP: Are there any records you dislike very much?
FD: I try to listen to music which I like…. So not much focus on music which I dislike… and fortunately the italo genre contains many fantastic records… so always good possibilities for me to listen to different good records each day.
KP: Have you ever experimented mixing other different genres of music?
FD: Yes I really experimented mixing a lot of different genres over the years:
My mixing started with italo back in 1982. In the late '80s I also mixed hip hop, house, acid, new beat… then later around approx. 1990 it was techno for some years… and after techno I mixed break beat/breakcore and then later on I moved to electronic german dub (small sub genre)… etc… etc.
KP: What is your take on the so-called format war between digital and analogue sound?
FD: Oh a war!? Hehe I didn’t notice… Anyway I grew up with analogue sound and that’s fantastic – but lately I’ve noticed many skilled artist who are also able to create almost the same sound with digital gear....amazing … you know with different “tricks” etc..
Personally I’ve been stuck with the good old vinyl format for the last 30 years, I enjoy to hold and read on the backside of a record sleeve…checking information regarding producers, remixers, songwriters, catalogue number, label info etc…etc.. I think that’s difficult with only a simple mp3 file.
KP: When did you first start getting into music seriously? Were there any songs in your youth that made a special impression on you?
FD: First records bought back in 1979 – but in 1982/1983 I really got hooked and started collecting and mixing – and I also played in a band (I played synths.)
If I should mention one record which really made a special impression to me - it would be KOTO – “Chinese Revenge” …..pure synths and so strong electronic style…. Almost a trip into space for me…hehe, you know after many years with more traditional and commercial music.
I was totally hooked on italo from that day! So much that I had to travel all the way from Denmark to Italy to get more of this style. I was on 11 trips from Denmark to Italy in the years 1983 to 1986… just to buy italo records. Super nice to visit Disco Magic, Il Discotto, Non-Stop Distributizone and a big number of fantastic record shops...etc.
KP: What is the first record you owned?
FD: My very first record was Electric Light Orchestra – “Discovery”
KP: In the late '80s and through the '90s to today, Italo-Disco became what we know as Eurobeat. What is your opinion on this genre?
FD: My first and biggest love is italo… no doubt. Over the years I also discovered many nice records from this genre… Basically the music means the most to me…not the style or genre. Good music is good music no matter style!
KP: What is your experience in DJ'ing live?
FD: To be honest, Denmark wasn’t ready for italo back in the 80ies – so not much potential to play a pure italo DJ set in a club. Danish people typically liked to listen to radio hits instead… in 1984 I had the great chance to play a pure italo set at a local disco in the northwest of Italy… it was great fun and a nice memory indeed.
KP: Have you got any other hobbies that you're fond of?
FD: Well I also played a lot of badminton back in the early '80s… But now my music passion takes all my free time.
KP: What was the "golden year" for Italo-Disco, in your opinion?
FD: 1983 was great!
KP: What is your favorite label?
FD: I used to be a big fan of Memory Records back in the '80s… now I just love all the classic original italo labels. :)
KP: Is there any advice you can give to people new to DJ'ing and/or mixing?
FD: DJ’s have different styles and taste, but for me it worked to create an overall theme/idea for the mix… try to create a vibe/atmosphere…. and pick interesting or classic tracks…
I also love to make the actual mixing with many details and with very complex editing… The first 25 years I was mixing traditionally with 2 turntables, which was great … but after winning the first megamix contest at Cybernetic Broadcasting System I was presented to Ableton Live. I think it’s a very creative and intuitive program to use…opens up for a lot of possibilities…. so I really enjoy playing around with it since 2005.
KP: You are stranded on an island with nothing but a turntable and five records of your choice. What is that turntable, and what are those five records?
FD: The list could easily be very long – ok 5 of my all time favorites would be:
KOTO – Chinese Revenge
CHARLIE – Spacer Woman
TROPHY – Slow Flight
‘LECTRIC WORKERS – Robot Is Systematic
KLAPTO – Mister Game