Daniel Avery has spent most of his adult life in some way associated with club culture.
First as a fabric resident, then as an internationally known producer and DJ, the London-based talent has continually sought out new pathways, new avenues.
Debut album 'Drone Logic' was a titanic statement, and it's allowed him plenty of fresh opportunities.
Agreeing to craft a unique selection for the DJ-Kicks mix series, the producer sought to include some of his own work, and it's resulted in a truly absorbing document with an identity of its own.
In the press note, Daniel explained: “Electronic music is unique in that, whilst it has an immediate effect on the body, the culture surrounding it has the ability to run deep into your life. Whenever I’m in a club, I want to give myself up to music. This is the very thing that excites me the most. Witnessing a DJ create an atmosphere in a room from the ground up takes patience and effort from everyone present but when the pivotal moments hit, your watch stops ticking.”
A succinct statement, perhaps, but one that still left Clash with plenty of questions...
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Why take the DJ-Kicks commission? Are you a fan of the series? And which instalments stand out?
I’ve been DJing for over a decade and it’s a huge part of my life so an opportunity like this felt right. I’ve always admired the DJ-Kicks series. Recently the Nina Kraviz and Actress instalments stood out as interesting pieces of work.
Why do this now? Do you feel the need/urge to focus on the craft of the mix? Or is this a stimulus to get back in the studio?
This mix represents my three years on the road since 'Drone Logic'. I’ve had people try to compare it to the album but that is firmly missing the point. The DJ-Kicks mix was designed to stand as its own piece: a representation of the things that have inspired me inside clubs. Those DJs who are able to take you somewhere else. Those who say “This is going to be a trip. You can come with us but we are going at this pace and in this single direction.” I wanted to give my take on that idea.
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It becomes like a dream from which you don’t want to wake up...
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The mix shifts through different textures and moods, did you have any guiding criteria for the tracklisting?
Whenever I go to a club, I want to give myself up to music. It’s a communal experience but it has a focus. Witnessing a DJ create an atmosphere in a room from the ground up takes patience and effort from everyone present but when the pivotal moments hit, your watch stops ticking. Every detail of every record is crucial because the mix as a whole ultimately becomes the most important factor. It becomes like a dream from which you don’t want to wake up.
You include three new tracks – was that always the intention? And was the new material prompted by the themes/sounds included within the mix?
Yes I wanted the mix and everything in it to exist as its own entity. The new tracks I made were designed to fit specifically into the mix. It was interesting to work within those boundaries.
You describe the artists on here as “music by like-minded souls” - what do you think threads through these different voices? Is it an approach, an attitude… or something else?
Underground electronic music is in an interesting phase. Techno is being influenced by genres like ambient, noise and drone as much as anything else. I count myself as one of a number of outsiders making and playing club music. Before I began I knew I wanted to include labels like Semantica and Northern Electronics alongside artists like In Aeternam Vale and Rrose. That was important to me.
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Underground electronic music is in an interesting phase...
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In the press quote you discuss music that is “unreal” - do you think that club culture is at its most potent when offering a juncture away from the ‘real’? Is that it’s role and purpose?
Its role is more crucial now than ever. The outside world is fucked and full of rampant, unabashed hate. Club culture is based on love and positivity. It is exactly the energy that is needed in the world right now. It’s a tiny piece of the overall puzzle but the balance has got to be re-dressed somehow.
Exciting news that you’re back in the studio – should we take the three tracks on this mix as an indication of what could happen next? And how close is a follow up to ‘Drone Logic’?
The DJ-Kicks is only a one indicator of where my head is at - it is one idea played out. Whilst it comes from the same place, I see it as totally different to a full album. I’m excited about the new stuff. Some finish lines are appearing on the horizon.
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'Daniel Avery - DJ-Kicks' is out now.