best source on Dorninger is: Wikipedia http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorninger or electronically yours! http://dorninger.servus.at (Dorninger's blog) Wolfgang "Fadi" Dorninger It is really difficult not to call Wolfgang "Fadi" Dorninger, the electronic music man from Linz, a "workaholic". In the last 16 years over 70 recordings were released with him contributing as either musician, producer, remixer or publisher.
Wikipedia http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorninger or
electronically yours! http://dorninger.servus.at (Dorninger's blog)
Wolfgang "Fadi" Dorninger
It is really difficult not to call Wolfgang "Fadi" Dorninger, the electronic music man from Linz, a "workaholic". In the last 16 years over 70 recordings were released with him contributing as either musician, producer, remixer or publisher. He has also been an active partner - true to the spirit of 80s "Cassette Culture" - of the legendary Die Ind cassette-only network label, presenting yearly updates (Fadi Sampier, Tape Report), and in the 1991 singles-only project 7inch12.
In addition he has turned out a large number of works for multimedia performances, films, videos, theatre productions, exhibitions, advertising trailers and commercial video clips. With bands like Monochrome Bleu (active since 1982), Josef K Noyce (terminated in 1992), Wipe Out, Aural Screenshots and The Smiling Buddhas he has been involved, and still is, in a wide range of live activities in Austria and abroad. As if this were not enough, Fadi was also in charge of technical management for the Ars Electronica in Linz from 1988 to 1992. From 1996 his own programming for the festival (Sub'tronic, Ars Electronica Quarter Presents, @vent, Ridin' A Train) has been attracting steady attention.
These events (where you could see acts like Autechre, Pulsinger/Tunakan, Sabotage Communications, Alois Huber, John Duncan, Farmers Manual or Pan Sonic) have brought a long overdue opening-up of the Ars Electronica towards the modern and advanced electronic culture of the outgoing 20th century, oscillating back and forth between pop and techno and high-low-tech avantgarde. And since a day has more than eight hours, other activities, too, are among Fadi's favourite occupations: Lectures and seminars, a weekly radio show, a real-audio site (hhtp://www.servus.at/fadi), the collaboration on the SR archives he helped found in 1993 (an electronic database for research on Austrian popular music) and his own label base records ("a platform for my near surroundings and a kind of virtual inn where people like to meet").
lf you visit Dorninger, who is invariably described as a "pioneer of Austrian analogue electronics" in the trade papers, in his Sonic Sound Studios, situated on the fringes of Linz and finally to be found in a converted garage, then you see little trace of hectic activity, and every sign of concentrated work.
It also becomes clear, soon enough, why the artist is increasingly accredited with the notion "electronics with a human face". In a way, Dorninger is an electronic story-teller. His studio is his street organ and instrument. Inside it, he seems more like a director of drama than like a cocooning homestudio worker cut off from the rest of the world.
Without any pathos or circumspection, he declares "Man" to be the focus of his creative interests and activities. Therefore, a lazily defined notion like ambient, hurled at him again and again, reaches not far enough. And against it speak all the tiny little splinters of ideas, all the labyrinthine branchings-off and the radical breaks inside his music. That is why he prefers to go to bed with a concept like environmental music. "This contains all Ihat is important for me - people and the ambient. And that is probably where that 'human touch' comes from. I also see myself more as a pop musician than as a conceptual artist'." This may also be a reason why Dorninger's live performances - no matter what band or what constellations he is in always contain a strong physical element. Mind you, it has nothing to do with rock'n'roll's hard-working sweating-it-out, but belongs, rather, in the category of "communicating with the audience as effectively as possible". In the electronic-experimental sector, says Dorninger, "you need to be particularly precise about how you approach people". Therefore the the setting, the seiection and design of locations, become so important. We are talking about something we could not commend more, namely ways of making live presentations of electronic music that, precisely because it is not primarily glancing at the dance floor, absolutely wants to resist the eliminiation of (communicative) factors like fun, entertainment and party!
Fadi, who is also well-known as a passionate dancefloor-clubber, calls this communicative, ideal live condition for the mind, body and soul simple fult body massage, and adds: "At the end of the day, playing live is the best thing about music. Then my ideas leave the I-world and, if everything goes well, they become multiple I-we-worlds." Fadi brings this commurlicative element to the forefront also in his work for film-, video- and theatre productions. "What I love is collaborating, with artists who use different media, to tell the same story. I'm interested in the manifold cross-currents between language, sound, the acoustic environment and music." Although Dorninger admits he has nothing against melodies, and is a selfprofessed "synth pop fan", such factors are of only secondary relevance in his music. Sounds, then, become even more important. "Every musical piece begins with a sound. This singular sound triggers off a story. And more often than not it contains the whole story. lf I had the courage, I would leave it at at that when producing a track." This also explains the reductionist quality to Dorninger's music. But he will have nothing to do with minimalism. Quite the opposite. There are hypnotic trance-effects in those very tracks where "several stories, meaning different specific and singularly created sounds, flow towards and into each other." But there is no pool-side or coffee-table listening here, either.
Venturing into Dorninger's music is like booking an auditory adventure holiday with stage decorations that may all be known in advance, but will still be placed on foreign ground, on terrain still unmeasured, un-chartered or impossible to charter due to constant sedimentary shifts. The key to the specifics of sound (which could also be described as Dorninger's "handwriting") lies in their mode of production. Mostly, these sounds are generated by analogue synthesizers or based on material he samples himself and then alienates digitally. (This is the case with Asten, a work for the Resocycling project within the framework of the Festival of Regions in Upper Austria in 1999.) For Dorninger, synthesizers, like all electronic digital tools in general, have one function above all - "to overcome traditional forms of musical expression". To be sure, this statement from the notes to the CD The Media Pump by Aural Screenshots (1996) is an old household electronic truth which, all too often, provides little more than another occasion for the corset of Western functional harmony to dance on the tables in fashionably contemporary electronic/ technocratic drag, and to be dragged on from one electronic/digital innovation to the other.
Dorninger is well aware of this problem, too. "Novelty turns into 'traditional form' ever faster, thereby re-producing traditional modes of play and attitudes. New technologies are not there to perpetuate old dependencies or to sublugate people. Therefore, Itry to counteract the tendency towards artistic entropy by leading a lively political and social life. I do not wish to be tempted into allowing change to happen on the level of aesthetics alone. Coagulations can only be broken up from the inside out."
Text: Didi Neidhart - SKUG