Over the last 25 years, New York born and raised DJ/producer Dino MFU has forged a storied career living in Athens, Greece, and is now one of the most widely recognised artists in the country. He has held long term residencies at the top venues in the country including Cavo Paradiso, Scarpa and Bolivar, releasing his unique house cuts on labels like Vega Records and Nite Grooves. For his latest release he returns to the legendary King Street Sounds imprint, bringing long-time friend and collaborator David Morales along for remix duties. As with much of Dino’s production, it’s hard to classify Not True in a single genre. Incorporating elements of both progressive and soulful house and well as touches of electro, the atmospheric breakdown builds to a huge crescendo before Dino unleashes a stunning, neon-flecked synth line that takes the record to another place entirely.
Welcome to DMC Dino – how’s the year been for you so far?
Thank you for having me! As for most people I think its been a very difficult year coping with the new way this pandemic has brought upon us, I’ve been keeping busy with music, my other business and have had a chance to spend more time with the family since travelling is to the minimum. You worked as a promoter for Louie Vega back in the day… can you tell us about some of your favourite shows or memories from that time?
Is that how you started to get into your own music, from being around artists like Louie? Or had you already started by that point?
It was roughly from 2001 until about 2011, it was the most influential decade of music and the way of DJing of my life, there were so many amazing shows, thousands of people and being around an artist like Louie can only get u really deep into music. Louie was all around a phenomenal artist, a wonderful person and an absolutely 110% professional when it came to his job. His attention to detail , the strict protocol he had for his Ryder, the way he always wanted to make sure the sound was as good as it could be for the crowd to get the best experience possible where just a few things that taught me so much, you see I was a 20 year old kid that was suddenly the promoter of this Legendary artist just watching and learning every single time. Louie’s way of playing, the way he would mix through any genre and the way he would change the mood of the room, WOW! His flawless mixing with two or 3 records at the same time and always but always the last track surprise are what inspired me throughout my career… I still go back and listen to the mixtapes from those nights from time to time when I’m looking for some musical magic.
You’ve had a long residency at one of Greece’s best clubs, Cavo Paradiso. How difficult has it been that the pandemic has put a top to so many gigs like this?
I have been one of the local residents since the summer of 2008, that is 14 years straight, my first show there was supporting the MAW event on the island with 4.000 people and me playing on the famous Masters At Work setup. Last summer was the first summer in 14 years where I did not travel to Mykonos and for this reason did not play at Cavo Paradiso, that was very difficult for me but on the other hand its been a very difficult time for so many artists around the world and all the people involved in the entertainment industry, emotionally and economically. All I can wish for is that this nightmare is over as soon as possible and everybody gets back to business!!
Tell us about your latest single on King Street… for us it sits somewhere between progressive and more soulful house, which is a difficult balance. Was there any specific inspiration behind this?
Yeah its somewhere in between there, it was a special project that was completed last march during a very hard and total lockdown in Athens, I would be jogging my morning run and the streets where absolutely empty , it was like the twilight zone in real life! that gave me the inspiration I needed for this song! I had a lot free time with my amazing sound engineer George Deligiannis in the studio experimenting with my Moog, Prophet and Nord synths and this was the result.
Alxndra’s vocal is amazing – is she someone you’ve worked with before?
Yes she is an amazing vocalist! No I had never worked with her before, she sent me an email with some rough ideas and one of them was Not True, as soon as I heard it I was like this is the one!
How did you first meet David Morales? He’s probably one of the most famous remixers in the world… how does it feel to have him work a track of yours?
David was another mentor for me during all the years growing up from New York to the crazy sunrise events he would have in Greece, I had met him through Louie in Mykonos and we would always say a hello, we got closer over his events at Bolivar in Athens where I am also a resident there. David helped me on this record a lot, I mean its a dream come true having someone I admired my whole life, someone that has inspired me over the years work a remix for an original song of mine, but it’s also that he helped me so much with the original also. We would have like songwriting sessions on Facetime during the lockdown and I really put his advice to good use on this record! I’m so happy I say ‘’record’’ and it’s actually pressed on vinyl, an actual record!
King Street are one of those labels that have a huge catalogue including some seminal records from over the years, do you have a particular favorite?
King Street are fantastic, I am lucky to be working with them and I am happy that this project is signed to them, they go way back with David also so it’s just perfect! One of my fav would be Hangin On, 95 North Ft Lynn Lockamy, that was a 1993 record that sounds so good even today!
What else should we be looking out for from you this year?
I’m excited that I’ve been in touch with Abigail Bailey and we are in the talks for a follow up after Not True.
Finally, what’s been your go-to album outside of dance music you’ve listened to over the last year?
That would be The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a 1998 masterpiece.