As we get closer to our sister label PUZL Records 1 Year Anniversary celebration we couldn’t resist tapping one of their esteemed guests, Daniel Steinberg, to be apart of our mix series this week. A few years back our own MR PUZL came across the Steinberg’s Arms & Legs outfit and since then has championed their sound in his mixes, reviews and sets. Their unique blend of funk, jazz, hip-hop, soul and house coupled with their passion and longstanding presence in the scene has made them staple in DJ sets and radio shows worldwide. Steinberg’s recent collaboration with Oliver Dollar is yet another reflection of the producer’s esteemed career and ability to stay in sync with the constantly evolving landscape of our industry.
While Daniel Steinberg may not be a household name here in the states (and in the deeply saturated market of Los Angeles even the world’s best and brightest can seemingly go unnoticed) he is certainly an artist we recommend you become familiar with. As always, we at LAMP stay firm to our commitment to not only shine light on local talent but those from cities and countries far and wide that inspire and influence our musical tastes.
MR PUZL: Daniel! It’s finally happened we’ve got you on the guest mix series AND we’re hosting you for PUZL Records 1 Year Anniversary. Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve made for us and what you were imaging when picking the tracks for it.
Daniel Steinberg: Woohoo Alex, so pumped to meet you guys and come to LA! As for the mix let’s just say I’m much better at making mixes than talking about them.
MP: You’ve had a wonderful start to this year with your Friends EP on your own imprint and a recent collab with Oliver Dollar that we can’t get enough of! You’ve been friends with Oliver for quite some time. How did you and Oliver first meet and what was the impetus for working together on this EP?
DS: Thank you Alex! Ollie and I met almost 15 years ago at WOM record store in Berlin back when I used to work there, he was regular customer and we bonded over the music. The record store closed down and then I started working for Jan Driver at his Grand Petrol label. Small world, Ollie is Jan’s cousin and was also a part of the Grand Petrol family at this time, so our lives continued to cross paths. In all these years of friendship we had never collaborated, so it was definitely time. We share a similar history and music taste so it’s so fun when we get in the studio together, hours of joy obsessing over a groove!
MP: Left Handed was a fantastic album that put you on my radar and subsequently my dive into your imprint and family of artists. I love the approach you all take to you work, not too serious but the passion and intelligence is there in full effect. How did the idea for the label first come about? Why the name Arms & Legs?
DS: Wow you’ve summed us up really nicely thank you! The idea for the label came about because as artists we like to be independent, its just the best to have full control over what you create. As for the name, Arms & Legs – we brainstormed together and it just fell out.
MP: Doing a bit of digging I came across one of your earliest records. A 12” press called Unknown Diskkow, that came out on a imprint known as TonKonsum. The mastering credits list your long time friend Jan Driver. Was this first project you worked together on?
DS: Jan and I have never actually collaborated on a release, but almost all of my releases since we met almost 15 years ago he has mastered.
MP: The EP features a lot of amazing analog work, field recording sampling, and experimental sound design that has undertones of acid house, breaks and so much more. Your work has continued to evolve since some of your early releases, so when you look back at work like this do you still see some of that resonating today? What kind of setup were you using back then? What’s your studio setup look like now?
DS: When I look back on my productions from the past, despite variations in style I think there is a signature sound that runs through all my work. As for my studio set up not so much has changed. For me it’s not about how much gear you have it’s about your idea and knowing the equipment you have really well.
MP: Your work spans more than a decade and you have been an integral part of the underground scene in Germany. What are some of the biggest changes that you’ve witnessed over that period of time that have helped the scene grow? What would you like to see continue to change or develop in the future to help it progress forward in positive way?
DS: I guess the biggest change which helped the scene grow was the digital movement, with the creation of Beatport, Native Instruments, Abelton, etc. everyone could create, buy, play and distribute music which they didn’t have easy of affordable access to in the past. As for positive progress for the future… in Berlin many clubs now have a photo ban, they actually put stickers on your phone over the camera lens. It’s fantastic. I understand the pressure for artists and promoters to capture a great moment and use it for promotion, I myself have been guilty of this but it’s sad because for me, electronic music and the club is about losing your mind and being completely present in the moment. I would love to see a photo ban in all clubs.
MP: Our guests always come from a variety of musical backgrounds. Some with classical training and others who’ve have been self taught. Where do you land in this spectrum and how did you first get involved in producing and DJing?
DS: I have no formal musical training or education but music has always been my obsession. As a young kid I was never interested in playing outside I just spent hours on end in my bedroom listening to the radio and wondering how the music I was hearing was created. At high school I made & sold mix tapes and used the money to buy my first bits of gear. We didn’t have youtube tutorials or anything back then so it was just trial and error, it’s been such a fun ride figuring it all out!
MP: It’s always fun to take a little peak into an artist’s record collection. What was the first record you ever purchased that you still play out today? Are there any tracks that you haven’t played in ages that you think might be coming back in style that you’re excited to wipe the dust of off?
DS: LFO – FLO. I always sneak a few classics into my sets, I love them so much they never have time to gather dust.
MP: As we head into the long awaited summer, have you got some new releases and tours that you can share with us?
DS: Yes! July is shaping up to be quite a busy release month – my next collaboration with Oliver Dollar drops July 26 on Play it Down, a new EP as my other alias Harry Axt will be coming out on Arms & Legs and I have a solo track on a charity compilation to aid the Homeless in the UK. Full steam ahead! Tour wise I’ll be heading down under for an Australian tour later in the summer, I’m really excited for that.
Thank you for your thoughtful questions, see you in LA!
1. Didier Dlb – Jammin With Max
2. Hector Moralez,Horatio – Jazzistan
3. Greenbay Jackers – Acid Pete Dub
4.Christian Burkhardt – Nonstop
5.JP Chronic,Gramma Fu – Body Talk
6.Arturo Gioia – Me estoy Ba ando
7. Andydy – Kiss
8.Benjamin Buttons.D Lysio – Random Knights Remix
9.Jan Driver – Hoelzl
10. MD X–Spress, Simon – God Made Me Feel It (Claptone Edit)
11. Daniel Steinberg – Alien Funk
12. Nick Barna – Move Your Night
13. Antelm – A L abri du Zephyr
14. Mirko Gorelli – Bliss
15. Steve Lawler – Show The Way
16. Oliver Dollar & Daniel Steinberg – Another Gale
17. Larry De Kat -Diks On Gruds (Phill Weeks Remix)
18. BRYZ – Soarele
19. The Swiss – Double Or Nothing (Renaissance Man Remix)