Introducing Daniel Avery (formerly Stopmakingme). He’s just released his 'Airstrike' EP on Relish, his 'Light Into Dark' record comes out on Throne Of Blood in May, more music with Justin Robertson plus remixes for The Horrors, Mickey Moonlight, Munk – busy lad!
Rob: Hello Dan how are you? What are you doing?
Daniel Avery: Ah hello! I just put some Bowie on.
Rob: Which album?
Dan: 'Station To Station', 'Heroes' is my favourite, though.
Rob: That’s an Eno one?
Daniel Avery: 'Heroes' is, yeah
Rob: Have you seen the BBC4 doc about krautrock?
Daniel: No, don’t think so …
Rob: There are interviews with Rodieleus and Moebius (Harmonia, Cluster) who worked with him at their studio and they taught him all the studio techniques he would later use to make Heroes. It paints him as a bit of a rotter actually all told.
Dan: My latest record was actually mixed on Connie Plank's old desk, no joke. It is a thing of true beauty. He hand made it whilst he produced all the early Kraftwerk stuff.
Rob: I’m sure there’s some good voodoo going on there! What was your first big dance music event that had an effect on you and did that feed into Djing and you weren’t always into dance music how did you come to love it?
Daniel: My dad took me to see The Prodigy in Bournemouth when I was 11. I loved it. There was something about the pulse of it all, which must have embedded itself
Rob: Ah brilliant first gig at the BIC as well! Big up the Cherries!
Daniel: Dance music didn't figure in my consciousness for a large majority of my teens. I went down the path of rock music. Nirvana, Black Sabbath…Bands like Queens Of The Stone Age, Deftones, The Smashing Pumpkins – that was my thing. I used to listen to Mary Anne Hobbs on Radio 1 and I discovered her Breezeblock show that featured a lot more experimental, electronic music. A Chemical Brothers ‘influences’ show was revelatory for me. They played Death In Vegas, Bob Dylan, Mercury Rev but the BIG moment was when they played 'Temptation' by New Order. I was hooked – I knew my Dad had some of their stuff along with other Factory stuff. From there, I became truly obsessed with absorbing as much music as possible from everywhere. This was when I was about 17 and had just started going out to a fantastic 'alternative'/indie night in Bournemouth called Project Mayhem…
I think it was a genuinely exciting time for music. The Indie clubs I went to started playing things like Peaches, Tiga… all the electroclash stuff. The two tracks I remember distinctly were 'Silver Screen Shower Scene' by Felix Da Housecat & Miss Kitten and 'Autobahn 66' by Primal Scream I still listen to both regularly, they are perfect records
The guy who ran Project Mayhem also worked in an independent record shop called Essential Music. He would put up the latest Project Mayhem club charts (I miss people doing stuff like that). One day, there was a sign up for a warm up DJ for the club. I had zero previous aspirations of being a DJ but I made a playlist, got the job and immediately fell in love with playing loud records to other people. Soon I discovered DJs like Erol Alkan, Andrew Weatherall and Optimo and they then lit the road for me! One of the biggest revelations for me was when I went to see Richard Fearless, only because I liked Death In Vegas, but he played some techno that changed my head alongside 'You Made Me Realise' by My Bloody Valentine.
Rob: Speaking of Mr Weatherall, how was your gig for ALFOS at Corsica Studios (Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston's anything under 125 bpm night)?
Daniel: It was fantastic! A total honour to be asked and the gig went great. Just Optimo and me all night in Room 2. I could watch Optimo play for days on end
Rob: Did you see this? I think Andrew nails it about too much choice these days the analogy on too much jam on the shelves and having filters I agree with whole-heartedly …
It’s important to limit and filter out stuff I listen to the radio and peoples mixes & avoid things like Spotify, I know you can make playlists and stuff but whenever I’ve gone to peoples houses and they have it on and some right rubbish has come on, totally unfitting one minute its Pink Floyd (Relics) the next it's Joe Cocker. I think its important to buy and put a record on, its depressing seeing record shops struggling, any thoughts on this?
Daniel: There is one huge advantage record shops have over online: the idea of a filter. There is SO much music out there that, sometimes, it's great to have some figures whom you trust picking out the best stuff. And staff can get to know your tastes and personally recommend stuff you'd never think of trying.
Rob: There is that danger of when you have a really great salesman and you come out with a load of tracks you aren’t sure of though! Let's go back to what you said about Richard Fearless and DJs playing unusual tracks one of the best moments for me was hearing David Holmes at Glastonbury do a northern soul set and playing techno as well….
Daniel Avery: Well, I think that spirit is exactly the reason I fell in love with the club Trash; it was a huge influence on me. “Seven Nation Army” isn't a 'dance' track but, when Erol played it, it sounded bigger than anything else. He recognised that pulse, that energy within it.
Rob: To me it is a great dance track! You can mix it!
Daniel Avery: Yeah exactly it IS a dance track but not in the conventional sense. Erol would play records at Trash which all shared that same energy
Rob: There’s a lot to be said for the indie club attitude to mixing, each track needing impact and to shift the mood
Daniel: I agree. You have to pick stuff to keep people engaged.
Rob: Back to the formative clubbing experiences…
Daniel: The beauty of Trash was that you had DJs (Rob: Just want to say Rory Phillips and The Lovely Jonjo as residents at Trash DJs are huge DJs as well and vital to Trash’s success) playing new, exciting music but the crowd staying with it and not leaving the dance floor if they didn't know a record.
Rob: I miss The End some of my best clubbing experiences (Thank you Sam F and Rich G!)
Dan: Me too, I really do.
Rob: I miss Madisons, the Manor, Consortium and The Opera house before it went all cheesy. Free Party’s from the DSS posse as well, incredible times!
Dan: Bournemouth definitely has a really interesting clubbing history.
Rob: Do you think that crowds are not so manic these days? Do you think people are more afraid to let themselves go? I noticed it in Berlin people were off their face but they were pretty restrained as well.
Daniel: Well, if people took as many drugs as they did in 1990 they would be howling!
Rob: hey steady I was only 10 in 1990. I'm not that old !
Dan: ha ha, I really don't want this to seem like another "the past was better" rant, things are still great now, it’s just different. It’s still basically just people in a room wanting to forget about the outside world – I can’t ever see that desire amongst people disappearing.
Rob: True! – So who do you think is making great music at the moment?
Daniel: I love these producers from Portugal called Photonz. They have that spirit of acid house but with a modern feel to it. I think Laurel Halo is really interesting, I'm really looking forward to her new record. Babe, Terror on Phantasy is mind-blowingly good.
It’s like Spacemen 3 meets Four Tet – and every bit as good as that sounds! Factory Floor have something special. I hope they can capture that with their album. Duke Dumont's new stuff has really impressed me. He is one of the most talented producers around in my opinion Have a listen here.
I also want to mention Daphni. Dan Snaith is on unstoppable form right now
I’m also just really excited about my upcoming releases. The next one is on Throne Of Blood (The Rapture’s label) and Weatherall has done a remix for it which is a dream come true.
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Words by Rob Jessup