Long time Skagit County resident Dave Andersson AKA Dawnchaser sits down with SAM to discuss his hypnotic electronic music and wide ranging list of projects.
Dave Andersson, also known by his artistic tag Dawnchasher is a busy guy. I managed to catch up with him this month, and it was tough keeping track of all the creative projects he mentioned. His official job is Director of Social Media for the Skagit Valley College radio station KVSR, but beyond that, there is a lot more he is working on.
Dave was born in California, but has lived here since he was 2 years old. Music has always been a big part of his life.
I played trombone when I was young. The rest of my family is into classical and jazz music. I started listening to EM (Electronic Music) in 2001 because it was one of the few kinds of music my parents weren’t into.
He started composing EM in 2005, and was signed to a Florida EM label in 2007. While producing music for the label, Dave was introduced to EM with an ethnic flair. Music from Israel and South Africa caught his ear. Dave began to develop his own sound which has a distinctly Northwest flavor, partly due to his love of the magnificent scenery around us; more about that later. He recently created his own label, Kulshan Recordings. Dave handles pretty much the whole operation of Kulshan, including marketing, and signing of new artists . You can find more information and follow his blog at Adventuretrance.com
His latest complete work, Fly Toward the Sun, is currently available on Spotify and Sound Cloud. I gave it a listen earlier this week. Along with the infectious pulsing, swelling synthesizer backdrop of EM, Dave’s music also contains samples of Northwest bird songs, rushing water, and intermittent human voices. The driving beat of EM is nicely balanced with the mix of natural sounds. The tags for his work on Sound Cloud are Uplifting Trance, Hard Trance, Downtempo, Ambient, Progressive, and Breaktrance. One of his main influences is internationally known DJ Armin VanBuuren.
Underrepresented was the word he used to describe the current state of EM in Skagit County. Dave mentioned performing his music at a couple now-defunct bars in the area; Gee Castle in Sedro-Woolley, and The Glow Nightclub in Bellingham. In 2016 he did help organize an outdoor EM event in Deming. Dave has also collaborated with at least one other EM musician\DJ in the area, Mikail Bolar.
The titles of Dave’s works reflect the influence of the natural world on him. When I asked him what about the world around inspired him, he took a moment to ponder. “It’s pretty much all of it, the aspect. I think that being in the wilderness puts us in touch with the primal essence of humanity, our basic selves,” he shared.
His attitude toward wilderness adventures seems to include charging out into the woods at full speed. He recanted several tales of near death experiences. One fateful bike trip from Sedro to Winthrop, during which he more than likely suffered from heat exhaustion, inspired one of his works. Another time, he and his brother were up on the Anderson\Watson Lakes trail, and Dave decided to free climb Mount Anderson even with a significant amount of snow. The trip ended up with an ER visit, but he did survive.
Travel is also one of his passions. Dave describes his life now as semi-nomadic with immediate plans including a move to Europe. He worked for the government of the Republic of Georgia several years ago. Dave described the area as, “A lot like here, but with more booze. They have better mass transit, but we have steady power. Georgia is like the Sweden of south central Asia.”
Our conversation then drifted to how competitive the EM market is. Dave attributed that to the amazing variety of music software and electronic devices available to people. Here is a list of the equipment that he uses. In the studio I use a Roland JP8080, an Access Virus TI2, a Moog Slim Phatty, and a Waldorf Blofeld synthesizer. I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface to record all the synths. I built my own studio PC from scratch. When I perform, I typically use Pioneer CDJs (CD turntables), and an Allen & Heath mixer.
When I asked him how he differentiates himself from the rest of the genera, he replied, “I try to be original and tell compelling stories.”
Along with his creative energy, Dave seems to have a natural entrepreneurial spirit. He talked about creating posters from images of some of his adventures. He is also working with another local media artist, Blake Mussleman on some graphic designs. I gave up trying to recap all the projects that he had going. His last words to me were that he plans to write about 50 songs a year. Best of luck to Dave in all his endeavors. We’ll enjoy following this local guy as he travels the world creating unique and original art.
Entertainment Writer Mark Perschbacher…A man who will cross great barriers to find exceptional music, art, food, and beer. Mark is a long time Skagit County resident, contributor to, and supporter of local arts. Photos courtesy of Dave.