As another (rather unusual) year comes to an end, we close off our 2020 Mix Series with a sensational hour-long recording from one of the UK’s finest electronic music producers – Daniel Avery.
Daniel’s mix, however, is far from the ordinary. We’ll let Daniel explain in his own words below.
“The act of DJing feels like it exists on another planet at the moment but, unemployment aside, I feel fortunate to have closed my eyes this year,” Avery explains. “I’ve found a real solace in my metal box down by the water, the doors of which seemed to have been locked from the outside. In a good way. It’s all meant that the pile of new music is bigger than ever and, when asked to make a mix for my favourite dance emporium Phonica, I had the opportunity to do something different. So, to round off the slow-motion blur of 2020, here is a mixtape made up of new and exclusive stuff: unheard demos, versions, live jams and studio experiments. Most of it was made for the club. Hope you enjoy and please pass it around. I’ll see you on the other side very soon. DA xxx”
Daniel’s latest album Love + Light recently landed via Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label. You can pick up a copy here.
Keep scrolling to check out our interview with Avery, where we find out all about his past, present and future plans, his collaborative project with Nine Inch Nails synth artist, Alessandro Cortini, and life during a global pandemic, amongst other things.
Hey Daniel, thanks for contributing towards our Mix Series. Can you tell us about your recording and what the idea was behind it…
The act of DJing feels like it exists on another planet at the moment but, unemployment aside, I feel fortunate to have inhaled deeper breaths this year. I’ve found a real solace in my metal box down by the water, the doors of which seemed to have been locked from the outside. In a good way. It’s all meant that the pile of new music is bigger than ever and, when asked to make a mix for my favourite dance emporium Phonica, I had the opportunity to do something different. So, to round off the slow-motion blur of 2020, this is a mixtape made up almost entirely of new and exclusive stuff: unheard demos, versions, live jams and studio experiments. It almost feels like another new album in its own way.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, perhaps where you grew up and what first got you interested in electronic music?
I grew up in one of the UK’s leading racist rivieras Bournemouth. My first love was guitar music so I’ve felt like something of an outsider when it comes to clubbing but I’m happy with it being this way. Saying that, my first gig was The Prodigy aged 11. My dad took me. It sunk in pretty deep.
Release wise, 2020 has been quite a year for you – with your most recent album ‘Love + Light’ dropping via Phantasy Sound. Tell us a bit about the album and what made you decide to make it…
I’ve made so much music in the last couple of years. At the beginning of the first lockdown I sat and looked at what I had with the view of making as club 12”. I soon realised that there was potential for so much more and, almost of its own accord, an album started to form in front of me. The whole project was an incredible force of positive energy for me at that time and I wanted to share it as quickly as possible so we surprise-released it immediately, just a couple of weeks after it was finished. The vinyl took longer, as was to be expected, but I’m very proud of the fact that the fires of the record have kept burning throughout the whole year and I’m happy to see everything is now finally out.
Your collaborative album with Alessandro Cortini ‘Illusion Of Time’ came out this year as well. How do you feel these two albums differ from each other?
They are entirely different records and I’m so proud of both but I guess the one common thing that links them together is the idea of escapism. To me they both feel like records that are able to take you somewhere else whilst the needle is down. That was the intention, at least. Working with Alessandro was a dream and an experience that taught me so much. Alessandro is a big believer in music having a life and a will of its own if you just let it. He’d rather a piece exist in a technically ‘imperfect’ state than stress over correcting everything. There is so much beauty in that idea and I believe you can really hear it on the album.
What’s your preferred method for finding new music – do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates or do you prefer to buy online?
Nothing beats being handed music by someone you trust who believes in it. It can be online or in person but that passion is unique. You guys are pretty good at that!
What are some of your favourite new labels that have emerged throughout 2020?
Radical New Theory, Hot Concept, Bad Manners, Fever AM.
And what about these crazy lockdown times we’re facing today. What’s been keeping you going through it all?
Raw is War circa 1998.
What can we expect to see coming up in 2021… any more surprise albums on the way?
A back-breaking amount of new music. I’m just cracking my knuckles.