Guitar Hero: La Luna and an Interview with Dimi Kaye

There is one name that’s synonymous with amazing guitar work in synthwave, and that name is Dimi Kaye. We are excited to feature a full review of his album La Luna and an interview with the man behind the music. If you haven’t already, head over to Bandcamp and check out the amazing stuff he has on offer. Whether it’s amazing synthwave you’re looking for or intricate guitar solos, Dimi Kaye has you covered on both!

Dimi Kaye’s latest full length, La Luna, came out in December. For me it’s a breath of fresh air in a genre of music where the trend these days tends to lean toward being as dark as possible (not that I dislike dark synthwave…I just like a variety!). The album begins with a soaring track called “June of ’92”, and it couldn’t set the tone for La Luna any better. “Our Roof is the Night Sky” continues the warm summer night feel. Funky beats, warm synths, and good vibes abound. “All Night Long” greets listeners with a great piano hook and a bass line that is sheer perfection. “Long Drinks Paradise” is French disco meets modern synthwave, with guitar work so impressive it seems as if it’s talking. “Smooth Moves” feels like just that…it’s a smooth track with an easy and relaxing heartbeat. “Hard to Get” transitions us into the second half of the album with another disco infused fun time.

“Lovers in Trance” could have been cut out of a movie soundtrack from the late 80’s to early 90’s. “Stars Fall in the Distance” has a sultry sax that meanders over great keys and a bass that hits home. “Daylight” features Oceanside85 and it’s a banger. The vocals are pitch perfect and the song evokes a great deal of emotion. “Tearing Down the Walls” closes the album out with great harmonies, and showcases Dimi’s talents on the keyboard.

La Luna is a brilliant album and fits right into the Ethereal Delusions coined phrase, #SummerofSynth.  It shows that Dimi Kaye is just as talented on the keys as he is on the guitar.

Alright! Are you ready to hear from Dimi Kaye? Here’s the full interview:

For those who may be hearing you for the first time, who is Dimi Kaye?

Hey James, thank you for having me! Dimi Kaye is a dreamwave/synthwave producer from Greece and currently based in Germany. This is the name I use because it’s easier for people to pronounce it than my actual full name hahaha! I began producing back in the early 2015 taking part in The Annihilator compilation and after that I released two albums and took part in numerous compilations. Most of the people might have stumbled on my name because of my guitar solos in collaborations with some pretty cool dudes, like my brother from another planet Volkor X, Vulta, Timestalker etc.

You’ve done some amazing guitar work for other artists. What are some of your favorite contributions?

Thank you! The fact with every collaboration is that it pushed me to become better in my art, either by trying to follow a certain feeling that the track had or by trying to make up different ideas for a single part, in order for my collaborator to have more options in their music. That makes me thing outside of the box and in the end makes me progress in something I love. So, let’s say that all the collaborations I did were special and the ones that I will do in the future are exciting.

How long have you been playing the guitar?

I have been playing for 15 years and I am completely self taught in every aspect of music. I played in black and thrash metal bands, I had a post rock project and a a progressive metal project amongst others. Maybe that’s why with Dimi Kaye I do more dreamwavy stuff, because I already have an outlet to express my extreme feelings.

Your latest album La Luna came out in December. Now that it’s had time to settle in, how do you feel about it?

La Luna is the most complete work I did up unti now. Everything I’ve learned from my first release, Dream Sequencer and all the tips my friends gave me about production, I used them there. If I consider what my ability was at that point, I am very happy with the result, it sounds as I want it and with Volkor X’s mastering, it becomes ten times better. The thing is that I only release tracks that still make me feel excited when I listen to them after 100 times and La Luna achieved that. There are though some small things that, when I listen to them after all of this time, give me pointers of where to focus and what to avoid in the future.

What is your studio set up?

My home studio setup is pretty spartan. A keyboard controller, my seven string guitar, an audio interface and my laptop. I will definitely invest in monitors in the future because at the moment I mix only by using headphones and I miss a lot of information from the tracks I am working on.

What is your writing process like?

I just sit with my keyboard and jam. Most of the times I will start with some chords and a melody, then add basic drums to keep the rhythm and after that a bassline to feel how the spine of the track will sound. I build from there by adding harmonies, maybe some guitars and if the track needs it, a solo. I make it a habit to compose something each time I sit down and play, even if it won’t become a track, because it’s good for practice. When I do have something I really like and am happy with the arrangement, only then I add variations and finally I start mixing.

If you could work with any artist, who would it be?

I always loved the voices of Bjork and Mylene Farmer. In my wildest dreams I see myself producing for them. Also, at the moment I have a track that the voice of Colin Hay from Men at Work would fit greatly and another one that actually needs Morrissey, so yeah, I’ve got pretty far out wishes for collaborations. Realistically, I would love to collaborate with Miami Nights 1984 and Timecop1983 because their music actually inspired me when I began producing dreamwave. By the way, I am looking for singers for my next EP, so if anyone is interested, send me a tweet!

Who have been your musical influences over the years?

I have many influences from different genres of music. On guitar I would have to say Steve Vai, Johnny Marr, Paco de Lucia, Ihsahn, Abbath, Francisco Tarrega. As far as the music I produce, it is greatly influenced by Duran Duran, Men at Work, Spandau Ballet, Cyndi Lauper and many more. Whenever a piece of music or the work of an artist excites me and makes me want to listen again and again, I will study it and try to incorporate what I liked into my stuff too.

Favorite album of the 80’s and favorite album of the 90’s?

From the 80s definitely Business as Usual by Men at Work. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to this album over the years. From the 90s there was a greek artist that was pretty huge back in the day, Mihalis Rakintzis, and the music that was in his album Etsi m’ Aresei (which translates to “That’s how I like it”) is music that I remember listening in the actual bar La Luna back in the day. I really love that one.

When you aren’t shredding it up on guitar or laying down great synth tracks, what do you do for fun?

Shredding and producing synthwave is great fun already ahahaha! But yes, when I don’t make music I play videogames and review them. I used to write for IGN Greece but now I am part of the team of and we cover the art that is indie games. I’m still a kid at hart mate, music, videogames and no school!

What’s on the horizon for you?

Definitely an EP is coming pretty soon, hopefully in the summer. I am also working on collaborations with Microchip Terror and Hubrid, and on the soundtrack for a visual novel game. Also, there is something coming in the future that MoTER and I have been talking for a while. Can’t say much now because it is in the early stages but I will definitely let you know when it is ready. I love working with people and I rarely say no to collaborations or compilations. I like keeping myself busy musically.

Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out?

First and foremost thank you James for the chance to be on Echosynthetic! Keep supporting retro inspired music the way you do. Shout outs to my brother from another planet Volkor X, my brother from another mother MoTER, the cool guys at /r/outrun discord channel, my brothers and sisters in The Wave Cave, Microchip Terror and a huge thank you to everyone who listens to my music!

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