Loco Dice is a larger than life personality with a sound to match. He’s an effervescent creative on many different fronts; someone with a unique perspective and the ability to get his message across in various ways from beat making to soundtrack design, clothing lines to DJ sets. His music, like the man himself, bristles with character. It is informed by his rich personal history and comes coloured with a world of influences that stretch into fashion and film. He might have been at the forefront of electronic music for two decades now, but he still has a sense of drive and vision that stands him apart from the crowd.
The trademark Dice sound has always been built on chunky drums and an innate sense of the hip hop funk that so defined his early years. It is meticulously planned with a directorial, cinematic outlook which permeates Dice’s everyday life, and means his music exists in the fascinating worlds in between house and techno. It is a space where delicate sound design and reflective atmospheres can be married to direct and irresistible grooves. A Loco Dice track never fails to get you in your chest and make a physical impact, but there is also a widescreen design to it that makes it all the more immersive and evocative.
As a DJ, too, Loco Dice straddles different worlds with a skill that only comes from thousands of hours of experience. Of course, he has had era-defining residencies at cult clubs like Tribehouse in Germany, iconic Ibiza super clubs like Circoloco at DC-10, Used & Abused at Ushuaïa and on the Amnesia Terrace. But he has also gone against the grain and played in smaller clubs on his Under 300 Tour, which proved he can connect with the headiest crowds in the most intimate of settings, as well as make thousands of people lose their minds in the open air. Whether playing six hours at Panorama Bar or 20 hours at Space Miami, then, you can always be sure that you are going somewhere special when Loco Dice is at the helm.
Loco Dice was born in Düsseldorf as the son of Tunisian immigrants. He grew up hearing soul and funk in the kitchen, North African and Middle Eastern folk music on holidays to Tunisia with his mother, but it was hip hop that dominated his formative years. He was steeped in the culture on many levels, from graffiti tagging to rapping, releasing some key singles, getting props from Death Row Records then tour- ing with giants like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. As the scene grew stale, however, Dice’s attention turned to techno, where he made big moves just as quickly.
After a tour with Timo Maas he hooked up with long time production partner Martin Buttrich and after breakout hit “Phat Dope Shit” in 2002 he went on to set techno’s agenda with music on key labels like Ovum, Minus, Cocoon and Cadenza, and remixing everyone from Kevin Sanderson to Moby, Black Coffee to Disclosure. The first chapter of his story was completed with the landmark 7 Dunham Place album on his newly minted Desolat label. It was a comprehensive artistic statement that laid down a blueprint for stripped back house and techno that had real warmth and soul.
Never one to repeat the same tricks, his second album, Underground Sound Suicide in 2016 on Ultra, featured collaborations with notable artists from a wider spectrum such as heavyweight hip-hop producer Just Blaze, British rapper Giggs and soul icon Neneh Cherry, and his third, Love Letters, was a return to his club roots across 16 tracks of vital house and techno. His latest move, meanwhile, has been to unveil En Couleur, a brand new label reserved exclusively for his own music. It will show another side to Dice’s ever evolving sound, one informed by “the diversity of cultures I absorb and artists I meet on my life journey.” Of course, Desolat will continue to be a place for club ready dynamite from legends of the scene as well as the hottest new talents coming though, all with Dice’s vital stamp of approval.
Besides music, Loco Dice is interested in visual imagery derived from elaborate film scripts. This has been manifested in a number of ways including being part of the 2004 PlayStation2 game “Decks & FX” (both appearing in the game and also on the front cover) and also as a moderator for MTV Germany back in the noughties. Fans will know of Dice’s love of fashion thanks to his ever expanding and on point line of “cut and saw” merchandise, but he’s taken this further by collaborating with Amsterdam fashion label Daily Paper and pro sports hat purveyors New Era. This passion has also resulted in Dice writing criti- cally acclaimed runway soundtracks for Italian fashion designer Marcelo Burlon during Men’s Fashion Week in Milan for both FW20 and SS20. Add in Serán Bendecidos – his own series of releases and events based around the concept of unity, community and freedom – and his FKD Dice side project, which is a place he explores music outside the house and techno realm, cooking up his own ideal fusions of hip hop and electronic music, and you have a man who never sits still.
While they say that life goes in cycles, Loco Dice is one to always break the chain. He is an insatiable creative powerhouse who would much rather plot his own path, take his own chances and evolve, adapt, and explore new musical forms, just as he has always done.