Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Exclusive Interview and Mix: Daniel Solar
Daniel Solar's brand new "Dirtiest Clean" EP on Kolour's sub-label Undertones is out today and to commemorate it's release we are pleased to give you an exclusive blog interview with Daniel. He discusses this new EP, his music, and more. Hope you enjoy!
1. What brought you to electronic music and how did you get interested in making it?
I actually started making music before I got into this whole house and techno thing. I've been making music now for about 15 years or so. Primarily Hip Hop and Break stuff. But I wasn't too serious about it and I kind of stopped doing it for a while in the late 90s. Things changed a bit some years later, when I finished school. I was going to electronic music parties for a while and I finally thought I might just give it a try and do some tracks myself.
2. Some consider Germany to be electronic music’s homeland, as a producer from Germany have you spent much time exploring those artists that have given Germany such a prestigious honor?
That’s a good question indeed. As I said before, I'm still pretty new to this whole electronic music thing and I was never diggin' too deep in its "history". Of course, you stumble across guys like Sven Väth, Tanith, Westbam and guys (and girls) like that. I mean I think the honor comes basically from the early techno party's, especially here in Berlin.
I don't think Germany was too popular for house music back in the days (OK, I probably embarrass myself here). I would rather consider US, France and probably UK as being the homeland of house.
On the whole you can say that I don't think about these things too much. But it's nice living here, as a lot of electronic musicians move here and you have the chance to meet a lot of cool people involved in that electronic music thing.
3. Are you a big fan of music? Is there music you listen to that inspires you that people might be surprised by?
I obviously am. I think you cant be a musician if you aren’t ... Well I'm not sure if anyone might be surprised by that, but I certainly listen to a lot of different styles in music. The fact that I'm doing electronic music and that I'm playing it, as a DJ shouldn't mean I don't listen to other stuff. I still like rap music and I listen to a lot of singer/songwriter, independent and experimental stuff. I think it’s always a good thing to not only being stuck to one musical style.
4. Your new EP coming out for us has an amazing remix from Delano Smith, how do you feel handing off your music to be remixed by someone else?
That's funny; I talked to a friend about exactly this some time ago. He was certainly amazed by that Delano Smith remix. I'm always a bit unsure about this whole remix thing. On the one hand it's like I'm doing my tracks like I want them to be, so there's probably not much that could be improved from my point of view. On the other hand it's always interesting how people interpret my music in their own way. Delano's remix for example is pretty cool as it just takes the basic idea and translates it to a more "peak time" context.
5. Do you enjoy remixing as much as making your own music? Can you tell us a little bit about the process you go through when you remix someone else?
Well, that depends a bit. I really like remixing, but I'm pretty picky towards the tracks I remix. I need to have an idea, what to do with the track. Thing is, if you start remixing without an actual idea, you can have a very hard time making a good track of it. I usually start listening to the original a few times and if I have that basic idea I start working from this point as if I was doing an own track. So it's not much different from doing originals, but you start from a certain point where the idea is already there. If that make sense?
6. In this time of the disposable mp3, how does it feel having this EP released on vinyl?
That’s a good point and we could probably discuss that for hours. To cut a long story (a bit) short(er): I love having my own tracks on vinyl. But I can't really tell you why. I mean I'm actually playing digitally. So for me it just doesn't make much sense having a vinyl. On the other hand I'm running a vinyl only label (which will be digitally available soon as well, by the way). It's probably a matter of value.
7. Have you been playing some of the tracks from this EP in your sets? How has the reaction been so far?
Yeah, I've been playing it quite a lot recently. Reaction has been pretty good. A lot of people asking me for the release and it’s getting a lot support from all the people around me. I’m really excited about it!
8. I have seen your music categorized as everything from Deep, Techno, Minimal, and Tech House. With electronic music drowning in sub-genres, are you comfortable with how your music has been labeled?
I prefer to just consider it as "Music" actually…… or probably "Electronic Music". I mean this whole genre thing is pretty much a mess. I understand that record shops, magazines, and stuff need to categorize it in any way. But I don't care much about that much regarding my own music or the tracks I'm playing as a DJ. Either I like them or I don't and it obviously doesn't have much to do with the genre. But it's funny when an EP with three tracks gets listed in three different categories on Beatport. Besides that I have to admit that I indeed do, and did, a lot of different music, so I see that categories like "Deep", "Techno", "Minimal" and "Tech House" might actually fit (if you feel the need to find a genre for each one of it).
9. I really enjoyed your track “Soundtrack” with Ingrid Hakansen, do you enjoy working with vocalist and is that something you would like to do more with?
Thank you. I really like this one as well. Yeah I like working with vocalists. In fact I like working with other people on the whole. It's cool to see how things develop when you’re working with other artists. And to come back to the initial question: I just like vocal tracks, so I obviously want to do some from time to time. In fact I just finished a new track with Aniya Ouu from Melbourne Deepcast. Watch out for it!
10. What do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
Well besides the release on Undertones, there's going to come a new Dikso release which features on track by me and there are two release to come with Mario Aureo on Einmaleins and OFF SPIN. Furthermore I'm currently working on some remixes and new tracks, which will most likely come out as well anytime this year!
Here is an exclusive Blog Mix that Daniel recorded for us recently, if you missed it, here is your chance to download this amazing set!
Downtown Brooklyn Inc. - 10 Jay Street (610 Dub) [Ibandan]
Andy Hart - Keep On [Dikso]
Hot Toddy - Won't Let Go [Smoke N' Mirrors]
Stainboy - Sparks (Pional's Remix) [Hivern Disc]
Daniel Solar - Walk In The Park [CDR]
Sally Shapiro - I'll be by your side (Tensnake Remix) [Permanent Vacation]
Sleazy McQueen - AnnaDue (Social Disco Club Remix) [Wiskey Disco]
Alex Niggemann - Trippin' [Tsuba]
Caribou - Leave House (Motorcity Drum Ensemble Remix) [City Slang]
Max C & Roberto Rodriguez - Ride With Me (Burnt Island Casuals Remix) [Compost Black Label]
Pettre - La Verdad Flota [Hivern Disc]
Nemecek & Tomic - Niente [Consistent]
Andreas Saag - Deep Rising (Deeper mix) [Rebirth]
Kirby feat. Redeye - Be Happy [Kolour]
Claire Ripley - Slow Loris
Superlounge - Off Rhode [Soulfooled Detailed]
Interview by Glen. (C) KOLOUR RECORDINGS. Do not steal this article without giving full credit and a link! Thanks!
Posted by Glen at 11:34 AM