020: Close Your Eyes as DINO SOCCIO Conjures the Clubbing Vibes We’re All Missing
Updated: Jun 10, 2021
CHICAGO <> L.A.
Dino Soccio has added a distinctive touch to Los Angeles’s landscape of underground dance music producers. A Chicago native, Dino’s roots are undeniably house; his productions, however, cultivate the grooves of a variety of genres representing his wide range of influences from obscure 80’s remodels to international funk bombs, all manipulated perfectly to send the dance floor into a frenzy.
Dino has been at it a while. First, in his hometown of Chicago, as one half of the nu-disco production duo Only Children which released music on Razor N Tape, Nurvous Records and a few other major labels. Dino moved to Los Angeles in 2012. After a few years of earning a reputation in the City of Angels, he started his own party called Pleasure of Love (a reference to the 1981 Tom Tom Club song of new wave fame) in 2016, which filled reputable Hollywood venues Dirty Laundry and Gold Diggers for 3 years with a diverse cross section of discerning party people looking to get down to a proper vibe.
Dino also created a Pleasure of Love record label to release music that captured the fun-loving vibe of POL, while showcasing DJ’s and producers who were friends or who had played the party. With releases from Toronto’s Patchouli Brothers, Los Angeles brethren Daniel T and DJ Duckcomb, and Dino himself, these records are becoming rarer by the day, and are essential party starters for anyone interested in unique floor filling favors.
Dino is an expert dj who can rock a club or make a unique recorded mix for the headphones. Regardless of the setting, Dino draws upon his many influences from Afro and Latin music to house, disco and forgotten 80’s gems. While the Pleasure of Love party ended in 2019, Dino continues to fill out his calendar with gigs all over North America and to push out music productions on his label and others, including the recent release of BITE003 along with the Patchouli Brothers on Take Away Records.
Dino pushes up and coming DJ talent on his soundcloud mix series New Islands and hosts a show on twitch by the same name with his close friend and collaborator Patrick Billard AKA DJ Duckcomb.
In a recent conversation, Dino told me he’s planning on taking a break from sample based music and moving into the realm of original productions. Dino was kind enough to put together this 1.5 hour mix for us, which is meant to conjure up the mid/uptempo clubbing vibes we’re all missing at the moment.
Whether it’s your car or your home speaker system, find a nice pair of speakers and crank up the volume for a proper boogie down from none other than the Pleasure of Love Head Honcho and party provider extraordinaire.
DINO SOCCIO LINKS: IG | SC | RA | BANDCAMP | DISCOGS
Hi Dino! Thanks so much for joining our series. We’re looking forward to sharing your mix.
You’ve been quite active through these Covid months with your New Islands show and mix series and plenty of production work and releases on Pleasure of Love. While there is no replacement for clubbing, have you welcomed any of the adjustments to life under Covid? How has it affected you as an artist and DJ?
I definitely miss the energy of the club, the collective musical experiences, and I miss the random, imperfect moments of human connections that happen in those situations but...I feel very clear headed right now. I sleep a lot better, I love mornings, I rarely stay up late unless I’m working on music. Another side effect of no clubs is that I’ve found myself listening to other music that isn’t necessarily made for a dance floor. It’s been really nice. I’ve rediscovered Gigi Masin, listened to a lot of modal jazz, and gotten into “alte” and amapiano music.
Obviously you’ve created a nice dance community through your Pleasure of Love resident parties. Can you tell us a bit about this party, what it represents and where its hosted? Perhaps some highlights over the years?
I ended the run of Pleasure of Love at Dirty Laundry as a weekly back in September of 2019 after nearly 3 years. We did a few one off parties after that in LA and then signed on to do a bi-monthly at this placed called Gold Diggers in 2020 right as the pandemic came on. It’s all up in the air now of course. We had so many great moments with that party, it was in a dingy basement club in hollywood, total anomaly musically speaking compared to the clubs around there but it had a vibe. We had a lot of regulars who became friends over the years, brought in guests from around the world, and of course the label came about as the sound of the party emerged. I miss it in many ways. Alex from Tokyo party was pretty special, the night we had Jkriv was epic, but I think the many nights where local friends (Daniel T, DJ Duckcomb, Damon/Magic Touch. etc) played were probably my favorite because they were organic and made for a more loose, interesting night. Generally speaking, the party was about being an inclusive space, about the pleasure of dancing to house and disco music. I always encouraged DJs to take chances and do their thing- I think that can be kind of stressful for promoters but in the end it made for a more rewarding experience for party goers and DJs.
You’re a Chicago native. Have you always been into house music? What got you into this scene and what prompted your move to LA?
I had always heard house music growing up on the radio in Chicago but I don’t think it really stuck with me until I was reintroduced to it in my late 20s. But the sound and it’s message always drew me in. To me it was about inclusion and connecting with people across different backgrounds. I love Chicago, always will. Great city. I had to get out and LA came calling so I moved out here in 2012. I really feel like I refined my skills in my time here more than I ever did in Chicago so in many ways my sound is a reflection of both places. Many people comment that actually, which I don’t mind at all.
What are your label highlights for Pleasure of Love?
Here are a few of the favorite tracks we’ve released-
Azoto - Any Time or Place (Mix & Fairbanks Edit)
Daniel T, DJ Duckcomb - Caja Negra (DT & DCs Versión Acido)
The Patchouli Brothers - Made in France (Edit)
Air Zaire - Midnight Sun (AZ Edit)
Pau Roca - True (PR's Edit)
You’ve told me that you’re intending to shift from music productions that are based on sampling and editing to strictly original work. Can you tell me more about this change and if there is a particular sound you’re seeking?
It’s just time to revisit original productions. I kind of focused more on DJ edits for a few years and it’s always been something I’ve had a knack for but I think it’s time to go back and expand my sound. During the pandemic I was collecting a lot of “soulful” classic house like Mike Huckaby, Joe Claussell, Kerri, Larry, and all of the lesser known descendents of that sound and it’s inspired me. Combine that with some old school breaks and New Beat and that’s basically what I’ve been up to. I’m still writing so we’ll see what comes of it! But minimal sampling and I’ll probably sing on a few things.
Can you tell me a bit about this mix? How was it recorded / what’s the appropriate environment?
Classic deep house, some acid, new beat, housey breaks, and soulful dance sounds. Was recorded with 2 technics, a CDJ NXS2, and DJM900NX2 mixer. I did a dry run of the mix just trying to figure out some general cue points and then did one take. I was hoping to capture a live feel in the club so I hope it takes you there.
Finally, what’s next for you and the good people of POL? What should we be looking out for?
We have edit records coming out from Hysteric, Universal Cave, some original releases from Larry Quest, Pau Roca, and hopefully myself! There’s some other stuff in the works too, hopefully a busy year for the label.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your mix with us and your fans, Dino. We appreciate you!