US born, Barcelona based Maher Daniel is a label head, artist, and touring DJ that seems to be one of these anomalies in music that seem to be able to fold space and time and in the process, seems to be in many places at the same time. For example, Maher is consistently cropping up at the world’s best parties and festivals while running one of minimal’s finest exponents all the while finding the time to produce some of the genres hottest releases. Delivering the next edition of our podcast series we find Maher hitting his stride at the recent SNRS48 party at Club Guesthouse and true to form Maher also found the time to answer a few of our burning questions.
You recently joined SUNRISE agency roster, tell us more about that and why you chose to sign with them over other agencies?
It all stems down to relationships, and I believe that myself and along with the whole team at SUNRISE have a really good relationship and bond, apart from having the same musical taste and playing alongside many of the roster, it’s extremely important in my eyes to work with an agency that has the same views and goals including the same level-headedness. Many agencies in such a saturated market promise a lot of things and do not deliver which creates frustration, I think my choice to work with SUNRISE stems a lot from my bond with the whole team, a bond which is not based on business, but more of a bond based on friendship and family values, this creates such a beautiful and organic working relationship.
Your TOS stage is back at SXM but you are going solo, why did you choose to go it alone rather than a collaboration with another promoter like last year with drums?
This year is an important one for me and the label, with many things taking shape it was important to step back in collaborating with others and having full control. I think it’s important to work and collaborate with others, but also do your own individual thing. I and the team have worked really hard on the lineup for this one and it was extremely important for The Other Side to stand out with this showcase for the 2020 edition of SXM Festival.
With festivals like Episode and SXM growing in popularity year on year do you see destination festivals outselling those found in Europe?
I think it’s important for the market to develop in such a way, for starters it brings forth our culture and scene to areas which are unaware of it, or do not have access to it, bringing something fresh and new also bringing new experiences to different countries worldwide. I think there is a symbiotic relationship between the destination festivals and those standard festivals found in Europe as it brings people from all over to experience both. The beauty about destination festivals is it allows event-goers to experience new countries and new scenes in a more intimate vibe than your regular big 20 to 50 k + people.
Tell us more about the inspiration behind your Creature edits? How do you decide which tracks should be reworked?
The Creature edits really just come naturally, it’s about a feeling and my love for the old school anything 80’s 90’s influenced really get me going. Example Creature 004, Suzanne Vega – Tom’s Diner came about while I was on the way to my New Year’s gig in Romania, the original came on the radio and I instantly said I need to edit this. When I got to the hotel, I managed to find the instrumental and the acapella and drafted the first version which I tested out at the event. The reaction was amazing so I decided to finish it up properly and thus it was born.
Part one of your collaboration with Ricardo Villalobos dropped a few months ago, what can we expect from parts 2 and 3?
It’s hard to explain really but driving grooves loads of minimal trickle effects and some serious modular processing. You will hear hints from part 1’s changes in Changed. But all around just influences from both myself and Ricardo emulsified into the 3 EP’s. The third and final EP which is set for the end of May / June will feature the last track of the studio session with Ricardo and a single of mine which I have been trying to find the right track to put with it.
Where did you record the EP?
The EP was recorded in July, initially, I had requested for a remix from Ricardo and he said yes, he also requested that I join him in the studio during the whole process. When I got to the studio in Berlin I proceeded to show him other unfinished projects I had started, he asked me if I would be interested in just doing collaborations rather than a remix, I could not say no nor pass up this opportunity to work with one of my heroes. We sat down, buckled in and created these 5 records in one session.
Do you prefer working on an EP in person or are you just as happy to work on a music project remotely?
I prefer working on an EP in person, it makes such a difference working together in the same room being able to jam live and bounce ideas off of each other, it’s really a call and response which plays such an important role in the production process. Working remotely requires time for replying back and you lose the energy and flow in the session, so it’s really not my thing at all.
What other releases do you have coming up on TOS and on other labels in 2020?
2020 is going to be a great year for the label, 2 more ep’s with myself and Ricardo to finish off the series, I have signed a Guy From Downstairs EP with a remix from Petre Inspirescu, and a new one from Dubfound.
There is a new Creature coming out which is myself and Shaun Reeves, a record we did 2 summers ago I won’t disclose who the edit is of, also a remix I did for BLTS album on Skint BMG, plus I’m currently working on my 2nd album which will be very different from the regular 4/4 and more experimental and electronica based.
SXM aside, how does the first half your year look gig wise?
The first half of the year is looking great I start my North American tour in SF on the 15th of February at Phono bar which is probably one of my favourite small rooms to play in, then it continues all the way through to march and finishes off at SXM. I’m really looking forward to hitting the US and South America before SXM Festival.
Jan 17th Berlin
Jan 18th Kyiv
Jan 31st TBC
Feb 1st London
Feb 2nd Barcelona
Feb 14th San Francisco
Feb 21st TBC
Feb 22nd Atlanta
Feb 26th Santo Domingo
Feb 27th Miami
Feb 28th TBC Chicago
Feb 29th Available
March 3rd South America
March 4th South America
March 5th South America
March 6th South America
March 10th to 17th SXM festival 2020
March 21st Madrid
Check below Maher Daniel new podcast for Trommel
Maher Daniel will play alongside Ricardo Villalobos, Sonja Moonear, tINI and more at SXM Festival March 11-15, 2020. Tickets and info here