Samuel van Dijk is a multi-faceted artist who never stops exploring intriguing contrasts. His music is about meaning as well as movement and it comes under a number of different aliases. Each one takes listeners through a world rich in detailed sound designs, and whether served up as a dynamic live show or tightly woven DJ set, it is best heard in dark and cosy environments. It is in these settings that listeners can get the more immersive possible experience and detach themselves from the noise of everyday life.
The Dutch-born, Finland-based artist has a fluid creative process that can take him anywhere but often ends up in one of three distinctive areas: Mohlao was van Dijk's first alias and is rooted in heavy bass and dub, driving by pulsing deep techno rhythms and ambient synths. This has been showcased across numerous short and long-form releases on labels like Silent Season and Hypnus Records.
VC-118A has honed in on a broken beat, bass-heavy style that comes laden with atmosphere and forward-thinking sound designs. That has been proven across numerous EPs on Tabernacle and Frustrated Funk, as well as four albums. The last two came on Delsin and 2021's Spiritual Machines was another sublime and coherent fusion of dub, ambient, downtempo, electro and experimental. Live shows are cinematic electro affairs, while DJ sets are fun and adventurous explorations of educated electronic sounds.
Multicast Dynamics is all about deep ambient and abstract downtempo sound worlds. It is a hypnotic soundtrack made from stripped back rhythms and escapist drones. There have been nine albums to date on labels like Astral Industries and Denovali, with 2021's Language of Colours the latest conceptual album detailed with organic ambient, paired back downtempo beats and lush soundscapes.
van Dijk further broadens his musical horizons through his monthly Chaindata radio show but also enjoys the fresh perspectives that come with collaborating. He has done so with Rasmus Hedlund as Dialog, where the pair explore the interplay between dub music, field recordings and analogue synths, dynamic frequencies and evocative sonic imagery. He has also worked with instrumentalist and composer Sid Hille on the two-part album Metamorphosis, which was infused with his soothing keys and haunting theremin. It is yet another example of van Dijk working with others in order to further himself, to learn more and to level up his sound. Whatever he does, van Dijk never fails to translate his freeform and exploratory approach to music into something with its own sense of beauty, narrative and magic.