Introducing Danny Daze
In the run up to Dekmantel Festival São Paulo 2018 - which will be happening this weekend - we will host a series of mini-interviews with a few artists from the line-up. Next up: Miami's very own electro-pride Danny Daze.
Can you introduce yourself a little bit?
Hi, I’m Danny. Started off break dancing as a kid which led to being the DJ at a lot of the break dancing battles we had in Miami. Got into the electro/IDM world around 99/00 and am thankful I’ve been able to continue doing what I love.
The first thing that caught our eye was the sentence “it was classic electro & Miami bass that conceived Danny Daze's love for the experimental Dutch electro & Detroit techno scenes of the nineties” in your biography. Why did you have such an attraction to these specific genres back in the days? What was it that you loved about it?
Miami is one of these places people only hear about but really don’t know the history it has when it comes to music. Miami has a very big connection to both Detroit and much of the West Coast Dutch scene. This can heared in many of the older Bunker, Clone or Viewlexx releases. For example, it was really common for me to mix old school Miami Bass tracks with Dutch records like “Get It Boyz” or “Los Hermanos Rodriguez”. The entire punk attitude these labels had is what drew me to them. To the point even the track titles represented a message I wanted to follow. I remember being around 16 years old and reading the track title “I Do Because I Couldn’t Care Less”. This had a massive influence on me, both sonically and ideologically.
You grew up in Miami. How was the scene back then and how did it evolve into what it is now?
I got into the scene in 1999 when I was way too young to hit the clubs, but went to all age raves. My main spot was a place called Malibu Caslte Park. It was an arcade/gaming venue which held raves every full moon. Miami has always been about bass music, so I used to hang out mostly in the electro and IDM rooms at Malibu. Back then, you’d be able to catch artist like Richard Divine, Phoenecia or Tipper playing these shows. This led me to start messing around with a cracked version of fruity loops trying to recreate those sounds they were doing. There seemed to have been a huge turn right around the time vinyl started dying out around the mid 00’s where the people who were going to these events simply stopped going out. This caused the younger generation to take over the party scene which led to a large gap in what we consider this certain scene of IDM/Electro music and what we have today. There were quite some prominent record labels that were based out of Miami that also seemed to have stoped releasing, more than likely because they were losing money pressing vinyl. Labels like Schematic, M3rck and Mass Transit Authority are the reason I’m here today. I still play a lot of music that came out on those labels and are still considered the fundamental sounds for me.
As a DJ, you’re known for your daring, more left-field/post-punk approach, even when it comes to the bigger venues you’re playing nowadays. What or who inspired you when it comes to your DJ-style?
Again, I think it goes back to the atitude these labels I followed represented. I was also into DJs like DJ Craze who were battle DJs, so the notion I had to stay within the boundaries of electro or techno flew out the window. I’ve always enjoyed DJs who take risk and although sometimes the risk may not pay off, at least there’s life behind the DJ set and it’ll be something the people on the dance floor will remember.
As a producer, you’ve released many EPs yourself, but you’re also running you’re own label Omnidisc where artists such at Drvg Culture, David Vunk, Black Merlin and Cliff Lothar released on. What’s the story/vision behind the label and what’s in the pipeline for the future?
Omnidisc is actually a continuation of a record label I had that ended in 2006 called Omniamm. My original reason back with Omniamm was to simply be able to release music from friends of mine and that’s pretty much the same story today. I especially want to try and give some artist in Miami a label they feel can be a familiar platform to release music on. Like I mentioned above, labels like Schematic and M3rck were a really big influence on me knowing they were based out of Miami when I was younger, so I’m hoping Omnidisc will influence some ears as well.
It’s actually your Dekmantel debut in a week. What are you planning to bring to São Paulo?
I absolutely love playing in Brazil. They know how to party their asses off out there, and I’m honored to be playing with such a great set of DJs. I tend to play quite aggressive but still try to push my Hispanic heritage through syncopated rhythms so you’ll be hearing Funky techno/electro and quite a few classic Miami Bass instrumentals which I play often that have become synonymous with Brazil’s Baile Funk scene.
Any other things on the schedule this year which you’re looking forward to?
I’ve been taking some time off here the last 3 months to work on my album, this Dekmantel show is actually my first gig since then so I’m really looking forward to hopping back on the decks. Also looking forward to finally finishing this album so I can finally walk across my room and not step on audio cables in the middle of the night. Haha.