Today we’re pleased to be speaking with Ian Desmond, AKA Dev-Lish. Head of Detek Music and a regular face in the scene since the 90’s, Ian has remained a well-known presence since his first release on Fresca Recordings. We got to catch up with Ian ahead of his upcoming appearance on ‘The Theatre’, a various artists EP on the recently formed Detroit label, Infolines.
Ian, welcome and thank you for speaking with us today! How are you and whereabouts in the world are you based at the moment?
I’m doing amazing, all things considered. I’ve recently moved back to Royal Oak, MI a few Miles north of Detroit.
For our readers that may not be familiar with your sound, how would youdescribe it in your own words?
Well it depends on the day! My musical taste has a lot of range, I tend to listen to it based on my moods and make music based on my environment and the time. I love musical instruments and recording. For the Dev-Lish act, I’m going to focus the sound on my take of Detroit Techno, Chicago Acid and the fragrant memories I have from raving in the 90’s.
Where did your Dev-Lish moniker first arise from?
Develop + Delicious? I’ll probably answer this question differently every time I’m asked – for my own amusement..
We’re big fans of yours and the enigmatic Maxlow’s track, ‘Faith In The Machine’, that features on the new Infolines release ‘The Theatre’! Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the track and how it found its home on the Detroit label?
You’re too kind! This track was largely inspired by a new synthesizer I purchased and brought to the studio for a jam session. Some nice acid sounds started coming out, we got into some recording weirdness, had a strange conversation, and then recorded the vocals. This song came together with nice fluidity and I like how it captures the time we spent together creating it.
What was it like collaborating with the Maxlow on this release?
Better than most? lol. We were just having fun! We hang in the studio, we make beats, love synths, and are people that speak music. This was just one of those times we wanted to share it, or we felt it turned into something worth sharing.
As someone who is both a producer and a recording engineer, we’d love to hear a bit about your studio set. What are some of your most prized pieces of equipment?
Show my age? Peek into a 25+ year musical instrument & studio obsession..The one that makes that one sound in my head.. I love all of them at the moment, my DSI Pro2, Moog Sub37, Akai MPC, Behringer Neutron, I’ll be in the sack with another synth soon..With Dev-Lish I’m making sure to include semi-modular mono synths that are available today & can be bought relatively cheap.
We read from your bio that you’re an inventor too! Please tell us more!
I’m not ready to go there just yet.
In a time where the nightlife industry is under a lot of pressure due to covid circumstances, we’d like to try and draw some attention to why this sector is so important to look after. What does nightlife culture and music mean to you?
There’s a lot to address, not sure if I’m in the headspace to do it appropriately. It’s beyond difficult to witness collective compassion deteriorating..Seeing capitalisms’ shortcomings (sick people going to work the venue or dance in it), being denied interaction with other humans, while figuring out where I’m at on the “Be Safe” COVID spectrum – so I’m basically going insane. Living a largely virtual life (fighting a social media addiction like its smack) except a small group. We need some solutions, I often think without rapid testing we will most likely just kill ourselves off. Nightlife Culture/Music shouldn’t necessarily be conflated. Music is art & nightlife is just when the freaks come out to enjoy it.
Thanks again for your words today Ian. To round things off, is there anything else from yourself that we can look forward to in the near future?
@313ian on IG – stay tuned for videos of my studio, weed, dog, food, family & friends (not necessarily in that order). In terms of shows – not there yet. In terms of releases: none in the wings but I hope to successfully shop some tunes in the coming months. Another Dev-Lish track was just released on the Stay-Up Detroit Label 8/2020… https://stayup.bandcamp.com/track/roger-got-zapped-original-mix
Infolines 002 ‘The Theatre (VA)’ is released 23rd October 2020 on 12″ and digital