Back with Basic: award-winning artist dné releases second LP
Czech electronic music artist dné released his debut LP several years ago, picking up multiple domestic awards and millions of streaming plays. Now dné, known to his friends as Ondřej Holý, is back with a long-awaited follow-up, Basic Living.
These Semi Feelings, They Are Everywhere, dné’s debut LP, came out in 2016. It earned the producer and composer both the Vinyla and Apollo prizes for LP of the year, as well as the Best Electronic Music gong at the Anděl awards.
Now dné, AKA Ondřej Holý, has finally released a follow-up record.
“The album is called Basic Living, so it’s basically about me watching YouTube, or sitting at home, or just waking up and launching Instagram to see if the girl I liked followed me back. Like anybody I know, single or in the city, lives.”
The mesmeric Basic Living is mainly instrumental but also uses understated vocals to great effect on some tracks. It is more diverse than dné’s first LP, with the sound perhaps reflecting the artist’s international outlook.
“My main inspiration is Japanese ambient, for the softness. Also artists like Shlohmo, for his field recordings and beats, and Toro y Moi or Alex G for his guitar tracks. I wanted to try different things with this album. A lot of inspirations came together, but they could show up just for a couple of seconds, or minutes, on the album.”
These Semi Feelings, They Are Everywhere was half an hour long, while Basic Living flies by in only 21 minutes. Why the brevity?
“This is all I could do, basically. I had a 30-minute demo in 2020 but half the songs kind of made me feel sad and they were not the kind of melodies I wanted to put out in the world. So I cut it and made 20 tight minutes of music that makes sense together for me. I think it’s cool that the tracks are so different from each other – no-one can say they blend together.”
Ondřej Holý is planning to do some live shows in support of the new record, including album launches in September in Prague and Brno.
“I made it easier for myself to play and to carry things. In the past I played on a huge keyboard and there were all the piano parts. But now when I leave out the piano parts and any elaborate melodies I have allowed myself to have a smaller set-up. It’ll be just me with the stuff on a table and just a smoke machine and nice lights.”
Asos Model Crush on dné’s debut LP has had over 11 million plays on Spotify alone and some of his instrumental tracks would seem ideal for sampling by, for instance, a hip hop artist.
“I wouldn’t mind. Actually I would love it, because it’s easy money. It’s never been done to my work, but it would be a nice experience. I’m all for new experiences. If it was someone bigger, it might help my music, to shine a light on it more and take it to new audiences.”