Logan Square resident Dave Bollinger started making music around 2005, collaborating here and there, but has settled primarily into solo work. When you hear Bollinger’s music, produced as Daav B., you’ll understand that he is creating a total sound, a complete range of coordinated frequencies that stand on their own as vast, epic tracks. No band required. Although he claims punk as an early influence and later began producing electronic pop music, Daav made solo ambient work his primary creative plug sometime around 2011, around the time he recorded his first tape. With just a four track cassette mixer for a studio, Daav dedicated his creations to acetate.
The sum of Daav’s electronic instruments is impressive: synthesizers of several kinds, drum machines and effects pedals comprise his rig. Watching Daav at his workstation is like getting a private concert from some kind of retro-futuristic organist. Daav was also so kind to LoganSquarist as to record two brand new tracks just for us. One shows off his knack for pop; it’s a short, infectious blast, reminiscent of classic new wave. The second track is experimental in composition, a deep, meditative ambient track. That one’s the type of stuff that Daav typically (maybe incessantly) puts to tape because, put simply by Daav himself, “It’s fun.” Check out my conversation with Daav B. and links to his brand new tracks below:
How long have you lived in Logan Square?
Two years. I’ve lived on the Boulevard, and now here on Kimball.
How often do you perform live? What are your favorite spots to play in Logan?
Once every 3 months or so. Whenever the opportunity comes along, or friends book me. Playing The Whistler (2421 N Milwaukee Ave.) was one of the best experiences I’ve had playing at a venue, ever. Everyone was super nice and genuine.
Oh, the Whistler is awesome. When’s your next show?
How do you think living in Logan Square has influenced you musically?
It’s been really cool to live close to a lot of small venues to see live music. I’ve met a lot of really cool people and musicians here. I’ve also had great luck on craigslist buying gear in the neighborhood.
So, when you’re not performing you’re obviously still creating. What is your approach to songwriting?
I get some loops started. Build an ambient, dreamy base. I set up my microphone and sit down with a drum machine and guitar and work on vocal melodies. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
Right on, and recording is obviously really important to you. What drives you to keep making tapes? How do you decide what material to record?
I make tapes because I think it’s fun. I try to record lots of stuff, sometimes when you’ve got something going you’re not super into it, but if it’s recorded you can dig it up later and have a completely different perspective on it.
What makes ambient/abstract music so satisfying?
There are just so many options as to how you can go about forming the music. I still have a lot to learn about the gear that I use, and it’s exciting to think about diving further into music synthesis.
You mentioned meeting other artists in Logan Square. Is there a sense of community among local synth and electronic musicians?
I’m not super connected in the music scene, but like I said, I’ve played shows with friends like Kyle and also Gardener that have been fantastic. Everyone I’ve met around has been super supportive.
Say, in a fire, God forbid, you gotta part with your whole rig except one piece. What would you save?
Aw man that would really suck! I’d probably want to hold onto my microKorg, but I’d dearly miss everything else!
It’s OK, there’s no fire. What’s one of your earliest musical memories?
My dad had this old piano in the house that no one ever used. I remember plinkin’ around on it when I was real young. I never did learn how to play keys.
Do you have a favorite time to create or any rituals related to recording?
I like to create on days where I have no obligations whatsoever. I can take my time doing whatever without having to worry about leaving the project. But I also have to be in the mood to play music as well, if I’m not inspired then there is nothing I can do.
Other hobbies, interests, passions?
Lately I’ve been playing lots of video games and watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Anything else you want to say about yourself, your music, or whatever else?
Yeah, thanks for the interview and everything! I’ll have new music up on the internet soon!
Want to get your hands on one of Dave’s tapes? Send requests to [email protected].