The sounds of high energy samples, funky guitars, heavy bass lines and filtered rhythms come through loud and clear on In Stereo, DJ Dan's new release for Kinetic Records. After transforming the 90's into a decade of dance, the West Coast DJ jumps into the new millennium with his most exciting mix to date.
For his new release, DJ Dan fuses together an impeccable listing of 18 songs tenderly balanced out to gratify the most discerning house music fan while making the vibe accessible to those not totally convinced of house music--yet.
"It's very raw and true to the way I spin," remarks DJ Dan. "In fact, it was one of the most inspiring sets I've played out...It's funky, guitar-based, on the tweaked out house party vibe and has a bit of 80's electronic influence. A lot of the inspirations on this CD come from my older sound."
Heavy with bump-boogie-n-shake tunes such as Joey Beltram's "Push," Scanty's "Get Next To The Opposite Sex" and Todd Terry's "Can't Play Around" make In Stereo a fine representation of what West Coast mix is all about. "This is definitely a party CD," says DAN, "...and it's not trying to be anything but that."
A native of Olympia, WA, DJ Dan first experienced music as a welcome escape, surrounded as he was by nine brothers and sisters. By age 14, he'd figured out how to rig his tape deck to the turntable to record to tape. Around this time, he also developed a passion for clothing design, so much that he was later accepted into Seattle's prestigious Thomas Edison School of Design, from which he graduated at the top of his class. Attending his first rave in L.A. in 1991 put his design career on hold. "Something flipped, " he recalls. "I realized my true calling. I knew this was something I must do." Dan spent every waking minute learning the art of mixing, scratching and programming, and soon he was ready to test his mettle in the club scene.
He hooked up with L.A. DJ Ron D Core, and by 1992, Dan had emerged as one of the cities top DJ's at a time when the city's rave scene hit its peak. "The parties were so fresh, so colorful," he remembers. "There were no categories back then, nobody came in with preconceived notions of what the music should be. Those were the moments that started the trends." As the L.A. rave scene waned, Dan and Ron launched No-Doz, a musically diverse club that set a new standard for after-hour parties. Meanwhile, Dan was also beginning to get frequent bookings in San Francisco, eventually causing him to move north.
His involvement with the Bay Area DJ collective Funky Tekno Tribe was a significant milestone on the establishment of what is known today as the signature West Coast house sound. The sounds of the DJ's--which included fusing funk and hip-hop with breaks and melodies--were a great influence on Dan, and caused him to revisit those sounds he loved so much in his youth, thus morphing into his own personalized sound. DJ Dan's international profile expanded exponentially with the release of the groundbreaking "Loose Caboose" by the Electroliners, a classic track he co-wrote and co-produced with Jim Hopkins. It was soon picked up by XL Records in the U.K., which led to a fruitful partnership between Dan and famed DJ Carl Cox. The Electroliners continued to create many remixes, which only bolstered DJ Dan's reputation as a producer. Since then, he's remixed projects for Keoki, Groove Armada, Filter, A Tribe Called Quest, Olive and Orgy, the latter of which obtained platinum status with "Blue Monday."
In Stereo is the first release originating from a West Coast artist for Kinetic, which boasts an eclectic roster of high profile artists from different electronic genres, including Sandra Collins, LTJ Bukem and Sasha & Digweed. "They are very interested in everything," says DAN of his new label home. "They see where the music is going. They agree with my vision and have given me an open door to do as I wish." This also marks DJ Dan's first major release since departing Moonshine Music where he released his popular albums BEATS 4 FREAKS (1998), FUNK THE SYSTEM (1999) and ANOTHER LATE NIGHT (2000). Previous to that Dan released URB MIX VOL. 2 (Smile, 1997) and LOOSE CABOOSE (VRG, 1996).
When asked about the direction of music today, Dan says, "Music is hard to categorize now than it's ever been. Techno guys playing tracks slowed down could be house...speeded up could be techno. I don't think it should be classified. It should be based on if it's good or not. A good record is a good record."
As for his own persona, DJ Dan defies the conventional wisdom that the DJ has to retain a kind of standoffish mystique. "I got into this," says Dan, "because I love how people unite on the dance floor, bringing in their own energy and excitement. So, I never turn my back on the crowd." And they've never turned their backs on him. DJ Dan remains a towering figure in the world of dance music, always a step ahead in bringing new musical styles to his fans. He is a DJ for the people burning up dance floors around world.