Today we have Detroit producer, label owner and DJ, Chuck Daniels. You may have noticed a premiere we had a few weeks ago for his label Sampled Detroit vol. 16. His track “What!” along with an all star selection of talent made up the release and if you haven’t checked it out I have it linked down below. Chuck put together a really incredible mix for us this week and I think you will all agree he has a special knack for getting people up and moving. If you are heading to Movement (Detroit’s Annual Techno extravaganza) this year you can catch him opening up with a special 3 hour set and this mix should be all the incentive you need to get your ass there early. We have a great interview down below along with the full track listing. Enjoy.
PZB: Hi Chuck, thank you for being with us this week and delivering a sensational mix. I have been grooving to it for a little while and love its flow so far. Can you please give our audience an idea of what what to expect from your selections this week?
Chuck Daniels: First off big up’s for featuring my tune and the mix it’s always a pleasure to have an outlet for my new music. My style is diverse and residing from the midwest much of my inspiration has been from Detroit, Chicago & New York. These three cities account for much of the music I grew up playing. My favorite music including House, Techno, Juke & Booty and of course the sounds of Motown was my early inspiration. My sound derives from these main sources and I try to include inspiration from all of these sounds in my sets.
This mix features a remix I did with my friend Oliver Dollar for an upcoming Osunlade song called “Same Same” which I am very excited about. I really enjoyed making this mix and I feel it’s a great representation of my sound from deep to some more banging cuts. The mix was done “live” in my home studio. No edits: just me on 2 CDJ’s and 2 turntables. Most of my mixes I do are done in one take. This method has always worked best for me and captures the energy of how I would play a show. I have never been one to worry about a slight mix error: for me that makes a mix more compelling and gives it that live feel. The vibe, music and flow are much more important than worrying about a slight timing correction.
PZB: As you just mentioned a few weeks ago we had the pleasure of premiering your track off the Sampled 16 Vol. 1 compilation you released back at the end of March. Yours was one of eight other tracks that made up the compilation which also has the like of Jesse Rose Ataxia, Piem and a few other notables. That is an impressive line up of producers. What is it like coordinating so many different producers to put together a compilation like that?
CD: Thank you for the premier and what a great way to kick things off! I have been running the label for 16 years and have been working in the music industry for much longer than that. My longevity in the industry has given me time to build some great relationships and work with many of the people connected to the release. I did a remix for Jesse Rose for his final farewell album that was very well received and I also had the opportunity to have him play last year at my Movement show.
PZB: Speaking of Sampled Detroit this has been a long standing endeavor for you and your team. Tell us more about the label and how it came together and what we should be on the look out for the future.
CD: The label was launched in May 2002 with the idea to release some of my friends’ music. Sixteen years ago we didn’t have the outlets we have now to share our music so easily. There was no Soundcloud, Mixcloud or really a great way to share our music without signing to a label or mustering up thousands of dollars to press a record. With the help of some friends, family and my partner in crime Jason Hodges we pooled together and released the first record during the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now called Movement.
We have some great stuff coming up including our first vinyl release in 10 years which will be launched during Movement this year and the continuation of pressing more vinyl. We will be adding some sub-labels to our company and have some really amazing music on the horizon for that. Our focus is to touch on more Detroit music. We have so much great talent here and we are keen to expose some of the darker sounds of Detroit and also some more soulful music as well.
PZB: I saw something you wrote recently about growing up Detroit. I have been fortunate enough to have some chats with Kevin Saunderson and he has told me a few good stories. Having never been myself I can only rely on stories I hear from other artists. What is a good story you have that you can tell us from your time growing up there?
CD: Kevin has always been a gigantic inspiration and is such a great person and an ambassador of our city. Kevin actually reached out to license our very first record in 2002 and although it didn’t make it on the mix we were truly ecstatic to see that he even noticed our fist release. Last year he came to one of my shows when I opened for Maceo Plex and after my set we sat down for a brief chat and he asked me if I wanted to be involved in a project he had coming up. Of course I was honored and excited to accept the offer. A few weeks later he hit me up on Facebook to ask if I would be willing to remix the re launch of his Inner City project. He sent me the parts straight away and the rest is history. Having the opportunity to Remix Inner City was a dream. Keeping within the Detroit vibe I decided to use a texture from Mike Huckaby’s Waves sample pack that provided a very nice minimal sound that I was looking for and it worked great. The remix was really well received and is still the number 5 tune on KMS at the moment. I also sent the remix to Mike not knowing what he would think about it and he messaged me saying he couldn’t even tell it was his sound. He enjoyed the remix so much he used it on his annual “My Life With Waves” mix he does.
PZB: Your work spans multiple decades and you have been an integral part of the scene in Detroit. 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?
CD: I never bash or frown upon on music even if it’s something I don’t enjoy that would be like making fun of someone for wearing a color you don’t like. To make fun of or even frown upon someone for their musical taste is really silly. In Detroit some of the mainstream parties and even the sounds of Dubstep have helped to bring kids out to the party scene. Some of my close friends do some of those types of shows and I have steadily seen these kids starting to explore other music and begin to migrate over to House and Techno shows. Music creates community and in the end brings people together. I think it’s so great that you can now go to a festival and have all different types of music in one spot and have those same people enjoy all the different sounds. This has allowed the scene to grow and unite so many different cultures.
PZB: 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?
CD: Some of the very first records I purchased were actually not House or Techno. Many of them were funk, Jazz, R & B and Soul. It’s hard to remember the very first ones a bought but it was stuff like Stevie Wonder and Bob James. Funnily enough I just had an opportunity to dust off some of those records to play a very eclectic set for my long time friend Vincent Patricola who does a really nice weekly at a local Distillery here in Detroit called Two James. Vincent has also been a long time staple of Detroit and worked at the infamous Record Time. Vince also runs a magazine DEQ which features Detroit Artists, Promoters and Businesses here in Detroit. The magazine normally also comes with a vinyl release and I know he has something special planned for Movement this year.
PZB: I just saw that you got added to Movement with a nice extended 3 hrs set. Congratulations!! Im sure you have barely wrapped your head around the idea yet but what process do you go through when you are preparing for a set like that which is longer than the typical 1-2hrs?
(Side note I am just finishing the mix now and if you take your listeners on a journey like that for 3 hrs they will be in for a real treat!)
CD: Thank you so much for the compliment. It’s an honor to represent my city and to have the only 3 Hour set is really something special. I have to give a big shout out to the Movement crew for all the support they have showed me. My sets have always been very off the cuff. I normally just compile a bunch of tunes I know I want to play and for a longer set I may categorize them from deep to peak time. Trying to meticulously plan a set would be a painstaking process for me. The most important thing is to try and catch a groove, to get comfortable and when you do the crowd sees that too and reacts. Being confident behind the decks is key: if you aren’t feeling it the crowd will know and it will be hard to capture their attention.
PZB: When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started? Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song?
CD: Normally I don’t go in with any real intention unless it’s a remix but I do sometimes have an idea or think of a catch phrase I may want to use for a vocal. Usually everything I do in the studio happens pretty organically. If I know I am doing something specific for a label I may lean in a certain direction. I make all types of music from House to Techno and I also produce and engineer for all sorts of different sounds. Most of my personal tracks and Remixes always start from the heart of my studio which is an EMU SP1200. I usually build a drum kit and make a beat there and then multi track record it through my analog console into my DAW.
PZB: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you want to get away from all the house and tech stuff?
CD: I’m a sucker for male R&B and feel good funk and jazz. Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Bob James, Milton Wright and Marvin Gaye are some of my favorite artists and really make me feel good.
PZB: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
CD: I mentioned earlier about a Remix I did for Osunlade that I have been anxiously waiting to come out. I also have some really cool collaboration coming up that I can’t talk about just yet but be on the look out. Of course Movement weekend is something I am really looking forward to. I have an Official Movement afterparty happening Sunday at Marble Bar which is going to be a very special evening.
We also have a Vinyl record coming out during movement with some amazing music I did with Amp Fiddler, Oliver Dollar, Claude Young and Mike Clark and 2 other tunes by Andrés and one of Sampled’s long time artist’s Tracey Cooper. The record should actually be available by the time this interview comes out and was pressed at Archer in Detroit and distributed by FIT.
PZB: Thank you again for your time and delivering an amazing mix to us.
CD: Thank you for providing me an outlet to talk about all the exciting stuff I have on the horizon and big up’s to your crew!
1. LIL MARK – BLUE PLANET
2. FRAG MADDIN – FOCUS (KEVIN OVER REMIX)
3. OSUNLADE – SAME SAME (CHUCK DANIELS & OLIVER DOLLAR REMIX)
4. DJ MOREESE – MARS 1
5. WK7 – RHYTHM 1
6. KASPAR – SO RIGHT (GERD’S OLD SCHOOL REMIX)
7. ALESSIO COLLINA – TOMATO (KASBAH ZOO REMIX)
8. EAT’S EVERYTHING FEAT DAJE – THE TRIBUTE
9. DJ HAUS – READY 2 JACK (SHADOW CHILD REMIX)
10. KAPOTE – L.O.V.E. (ART ALFIE REMIX)
11. LUPE FEAT JOSH CAFFE – GIVE ME BODY (SPENCER PARKERS WORKMIX)
12. MR G. – 4AM NYC DOWNLOW (TS VERSION)
13. GABRIEL ANADA – DOPPELWHIPPER (MARCO FARAONE REMIX)
14. KIKO NAVARRO – DOPE HIGH