Through his various roles such as creator, sonic sculptor, curator, label manager and radio host, Dr Doctor has been a powerful unifying force on the underground electronic music scene. His work with the E.L.M Collective label has brought together a variety of producers on three superb compilations. The latest compilation “psionics” has just been released and here we discuss his involvement with esoterica, electronica and psychedelia.
You have put out four eclectic compilations to great effect and in very little time. How has the experience been for you as curator and promoter?
The entire E.L.M. Collective project has been an truly amazing experience, I have met so many talented artists along the way that have inspired me. Each compilation has had its own challenges in terms of curation, but you can also see the natural growth of what we are doing throughout our releases. Starting at Nature of Chaos: Volume 1 with 15 tracks, to Egregore with a mighty 45 track count! I am all about the ‘album experience’ and listening to a whole release in one epic sitting, but I think a lot of people were intimidated by the track count of our last compilation. This time round I’m focused on making shorter more curated listens and I want to start putting on parties and contributing to the dance floor.
Has this experience reflected on your own creative processes and the selection criteria for your own material?
Massively! My first album As Above So Below and follow up EP Dancing in Limbo were just collections of tracks I had been tinkering with throughout my Uni days. AASB certainly maintains a sonic theme throughout but Dancing in Limbo was exactly that, me playing around with some new gear in between deciding what the next focused release would be for myself. Now i’ve ended up working on three very different releases in tandem that are focussed on specific listening experiences.
To wind back a bit, “Egregore” was the third compilation on E.L.M and all of them feature references to occult language and phenomena in their names, sometimes in their content too. Has your work with the E.L.M Collective and the Egregore compilation contributed to your own ideas on meta-consciousness?
I think our world is currently full of Egregores, and not all of them are positive. I wanted that album to reflect that collective thought can yield incredible results and have a positive impact! I knew it was going to be a strong release the moment I listened through all the different submissions. You have something in there for everyone that's into IDM and Braindance. My impressions have changed around it, its still an amazing album but not everyone can sit through 3 and a half hours of music, no matter how great it might be! It’s a catch 22 because you want to show how many amazingly talented folks there are globally (we had contributors from every continent besides Australia and Africa!) but you also want to make it a manageable listen for the audience. We are all growing as a community still and we’re all on the same page so we are an Egregore in the truest sense of the word.
Your own creative work such as the album “As above, so below” also references occult teachings. How would you say these have influenced your sonic explorations, interests and style?
I would like to say I’m a total Magus and that all my music has hyper-realised intention but a lot of the time these are ideas that I want to push into other people’s minds. I see magic in, as the literal translation from medieval times, ‘The Art’. Art is the mechanism used to reach people's subconscious and if I can reach there and put in some positive vibes or some solace in the madness that is 21st century life then I feel I’ve accomplished what i’ve set out. Saying that, there are occult principles I do try to apply to sonic creation such as ‘solve et coagula’. Breaking an idea down to its absolute bare essence and building up from there, so I would say there is feedback from the sonic and meta-doctor side.
I really like that your sound seems suitable for exploration under altered states of consciousness. For you, and a creator and listener, how important is crafting sound which can serve as a spiritual guide?
That was certainly my intention with most of the tracks on AASB and Master of Your Own from Dancing in Limbo. Music needs to move the listener and the playback environment is a big part of what builds that experience, because a lot of my music is downtempo and the quicker tracks have such irregular beats - I knew that it was never going to be used in a DJ set. A lot of my music is geared towards a solitary intimate listening experience and that lends itself naturally to the shamanic exploration of consciousness. I’m also an advocate of psychedelic experiences and believe there is so much to be gained both in terms of personal growth and healing from those experiences. If I can create music to be listened to and aide that experience then mission accomplished!