We are proud to announce that Dylan Lohrstorfer (Shadow Star) has just achieved his Purple Belt after his hard work, dedication and excellent contributions on 5 Producer Dojo Cyphers: Cypher 10, Cypher 11, Cypher 13, Cypher 15, Cypher 17. I caught up with Dylan to learn more about his journey and find out what’s next on his list of goals.
Dylan, Congratulations on achieving your Purple Belt! Tell us about your musical journey and how did it lead you to ill.gates, The Producer Dojo and the Class of 808?
Namaskar Sean, Thank you for the kind words as I greatly appreciate all the continued support I have received from The Dojo and my fellow Senseis/Ninjas thus far. My Musical journey can be summed up in three words like life “it goes on.”
I’ve always been addicted to listening to music like breathing air. I have a song for every moment like my little muse on my shoulder that knows what to play for the occasion. My father was the biggest influence to expose me to a diverse array of music in my childhood. He would wake me and my sister up to certain songs in the morning before school. It was his way of preprogramming us to creatively experience the world through an altered state of consciousness. It was like a kind of magic in our home. Music led us to a philosophical conversation and self-discovery. We still do to this day.
Fast forward a few years to when I accepted that music was my practiced expression of the self, I began seeking out the things I would need to be able to create what was in my head and the things yet to come. I started with a PSP game that you could make beats on (I still have my GOW PSP) that my friend Jesus turned me on to. Later I got a copy of Reason 4 which I still use today and not long after I got Ableton and it became life.
For years I made music and tried to start an alias to release it under and so on and so forth but it was just a dream that would never materialize. It was like a form of mental masturbation at some point. I had to get serious if I ever wanted my life to be supported by my efforts as a producer/DJ. I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people who I call teachers, friends, and family that helped me form this into my daily routine while working full time.
And then It happened, one night, I was sitting with the one person that no matter what I can trust and would take their advice had encouraged me to join the class of 808. Which I just happened to stumble upon at a time when the money finally became available to me for the first time to take a chance on something like this. Everything in my life has played out like a movie ( but not one you have seen to correlate.)
So every choice I make that has the potential to change my life, in the long run, I take into consideration with deep respect. When I saw what Dylan’s purpose was I took it as a sign and went in headfirst. Everything I was looking for technically and workflow wise was all in one place nice and neat. I was looking for the chance, this challenge, and I am grateful.
Where are you from originally? Can you describe your life using only song titles?
I am from Austin Texas Born and Raised. Sure, in abstract poetry
The usual (electric six) It was A Good Day (Ice cube)
The good times are killing me (Modest Mouse)
Afterglow of your love (small faces)
Too much of a good thing (The sons)
Fool in the rain, the ocean, all of my love, going to California, bron-y-aur, tangerine (Led Zeppelin)
Divine smile (Estas tonne)
Blinded by the light (Manford)
In my life, Across the universe, nowhere man, obla de obla da (Beatles)
Basic instructions before leaving earth (GZA)
Dimma (Hosni) Piano weapon (shadow child) Melancholy man, you can never go home, after you came, I know you’re out there, the story in your eyes, my song. (Moody Blues)
What made you want to become a music producer? What do you do when you are not producing music?
(A) My family, I idolized my father and the intensity he brings to the stage. I love the gracefulness my mother has when she plays the piano/keyboards. They showed me how to say or express myself through sound and make a living out of it.
(B) I like to study languages, theology, and philosophy I tend to learn things all the time that can help me understand the questions in my being. I enjoy games like DBS TCG, Disco Golf, and League of legends. Spending time with the sun and moon on the landscape of nature.
What is your Studio set up like and what are your top 5 favorite VST’s?
Well for the entire time Ive been in the dojo until Dec 2019 I used a mac book pro, skull candy earbuds, external HD.
Currently using: Macbook pro, Focusrite 2i2, Sennheiser HD 280, Bx5a M-audio. Top 5 VST’s are: 1. Diva 2. Serum 3. Levels 4. Baxters EQ 5. Massive
What are your plans for your music (both near term and long term goals)?
My current goal is to finish up my EP For the Dojo, it has been a goal of mine for some time now. While that is ongoing at the moment I am dialing in my sound more (deeper, emotional, and driving) trying to build my catalog for a full year of releases.
In the long run, I would like to accomplish the same as my teachers have done for me and return knowledge to the new up and coming producers. Seeing as I’m still in that crowd at the moment my long term goals are to grow my reach and influence.
I also am working on incorporating my productions into Radical audiovisual experience healing sessions. A/V therapy.
What are the top 3 “game changing” lessons that you learned as a member of the Class of 808?
1. DAY/Night time sessions
2. Workflow and organization
3. Collaboration and constructive criticism
If you could go back 10 years ago and advise your younger self of just 1 thing, what would that advice be?
Hmm, tiger king?…no trump?…no stock market…no
That love does exist as you see in the movies of your youngest years
So live the path of heart without fear and or anxiety.
The truth is gently falling in the rain.
Do you ever experience writer’s block in the studio? How do you overcome it? How often do you make music?
All the time! Writer’s block and I are well acquainted by now. Nighttime sessions are a go-to first. Sound design and tutorials. New synths or old synth patches with a new approach. Mostly taking breaks though and just living life to have something to inspire my soul to write a message of hope or a driving feeling of letting loose and dancing it all away.
I make music 5 to 6 days a week realistically. Some weeks are better than others but I shoot for a few hours a day before I have to take a break and manage social engagements and responsibilities.
What are your favorite genres of music at the moment and who are your top 5 favorite artists right now?
Rock N Roll (The moody blues, The doors, and Zeppelin)
1. Dan Heim
2. Sammy legs
3. Claud von stroke
5. Electrix six
Are you involved in any other music production communities?
I enjoy spending time in the Cymatics community as well as the defyre society (which it looks like their students are gaining some huge support in the later one with the teachers they are getting on board to show them how to find their sound.)
If you met with a music producer that was on the fence about joining Producer Dojo what would you tell them?
If you want to get from point A to Z like it’s A to B, you need a map but not just a map you need guides along the way to help you navigate the terrain you have yet to come upon. At the Producer Dojo They provide this and more!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
I joined the Dojo when I was starting to drive 18 wheelers cross country (OTR). If you can imagine for a moment what its like to be a truck driver let alone for the first time and still reach my goals as a producer you can understand I needed A “MAP” and “GUIDE.” I had a laptop that a good friend gave me. Skull candy earbuds and External HD. I used gas stations, terminals, and parking lot wifi to connect with the teachers for monthly lessons and cyphers. My output and quality went from a HD of unfinished music I was to close to finishing to finishing EPs making realistic goals and loving the whole process good and bad.