Feeling out of place in the club at 3am wouldn't get the cogs whirring in most of us, but for the Austrian Wizard that is Dorian Concept, it's a sensation that allowed him to "embrace simplicity" on his recent Ninja Tune full-length, Joined Ends. Technically skilled, intrinsically fun and sparse with abstract antics, it's a release that was granted room to breathe and time to naturally age, whilst still seizing energy and a European elegance.

"That's funny, because an interviewer in Japan also said he felt it sounded 'European', it's really interesting for me to hear that that's somewhat audible" DC - real name Oliver Thomas Johnson - tells me. "Most of the tracks were started in 2012, I think it was important to see if they could stand the test of time in some way." His bewitching analogue spells, managing to deliver his vision as one that is both traditionally bold and euphorically modern. Live scenes at his solo shows involve him wriggling like a korg-powered rockstar, slinking his primary tool round over the back of his head, fingers frolicking at hyper-speed whilst onlookers are transfixed, enslaved in his compositions.


Concept, as I'll refer to him, has made it no secret that Joined Ends has taken an overall diversion, primarily, away from the MicroKorg and applied a further analogue influence. "I'd surely see [the [MicroKorg as an extension of my body somehow, I bought it back in 2005 and have been doing shows with it for the last 8 years... it really changed my approach to improvisation in general, as it's such an awkward and unpractical instrument when you think about it, so finding ways to work around these limitations have been really fruitful," he states, retaining an exuberance and an element of control threaded throughout his work, even if brilliantly unpredictable. There is 'Draft Culture's flamboyant arrangement that whirrs both erratic and more dense within his live sets, the vocal melodies on 'Nest Nest' playing further with textures, and omitting an unflappable sense of serenity - but is that easy to transpire all these intricacies over into a live setting?

Playing as a multi-instrumentalist under many different, amazing umbrellas throughout his career, including "surely the most intimidating venue I'd ever performed in", The Royal Albert Hall, as part of now-label home Ninja Tune's 20th anniversary celebrations, he'd also adapted into his role as part of Flying Lotus' live set-up puzzle on keys. "Up to that point I already had some experience with festival crowds, so I was used to playing in front of a couple thousand people, but having them all sit and stare [at the Royal Albert Hall] was something different..." he muses, "I've learned a lot from touring with Steven [Ellison], I've been a fan of for a while now, so I'm very grateful for all this having happened."

The Future

Working with a simple set up for the best part of the last decade, by wanting to create his own samples, or an aesthetic that reminded him of sample-based music, Dorian Concept expanded his own touring troupe to layer and broaden his own wide-reaching workings. Bringing in best friends and producers Cid Rim and The CloniOUs on board was a "dream come true", as well as an enriching move. "The solo show was quite backing-track heavy, so I wanted to get rid of that. We still play with a click, but there's a lot of live-looping and collective improvisation going on the chance of failure is the reason why performing and producing got interesting to me in the first place," he informs me.

So what is next for the all-embracing artist, as his sophomore Ninja effort is released? "I'm really excited, especially to travel with two musicians that I highly rate - I was really looking forward to the Japan show for the Red Bull Music Academy, I'm a huge fan of Japanese culture, people and food so couldn't wait to get back." And if there was one thing that he'd want us to take away? Well, with his constant-improvisational attitude and a straight virtuosity, it's simply that that we're all in this infinite loop together, and that really, Joined Ends belongs as much to me, you and each musician that painted their bold strokes across the fizzing release, as it does solely to Concept himself.

Joined Ends is out now via via Ninja Tune.