It has been a few years since we caught up with one of the hardest working artists in our scene. Maher Daniel is a DJ, recording artist, promoter, A&R, the list goes on and on and on. As we quipped in our previous catch up it is a wonder he finds the time to sleep. Being one of the driving forces in minimal Maher has certainly not been resting on his laurels of late, no sir. He has been working away in the background hard as ever preparing fresh gems for his label The Other Side and of course nurturing his tour diary.
Being a close friend of Trommel it is always great to catch up with Maher, but time really does fly, “Hey guys, well first off, its great to be back here talking with you guys, it’s been a crazy 3 years since we last spoke about both the label and DJing. So, I’m excited to really catch up and dive into this feature.” With our last chat coming almost 2 years to the day a lot has happened in that time, namely COVID-19. It is always interesting to us to learn how travelling artists on the road changes, “There has for sure been a drastic change post covid. During the whole period, it really allowed me to reflect and concentrate on whats to come once we got back to some sort of normalcy. Im not gonna lie it felt like a bit of a blessing, both mentally and professionally as it allowed me to reset and really focus on the coming years. And as we can see its proven to be well accepted.”
When the gates finally opened up again this also meant that a lot of regions and countries that had perhaps been disconnected from the scene found a way to connect via streaming. With Maher’s roots it was interesting to hear more on this, “the MENA region has really been something to see, the way its developed and the way the scene is growing, makes for some exciting times for the region.” Maher continues to explain why this area has for a long time been bubbling under in the scene, “The underground scene has always had its place in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon which has an incredible scene, from its early days with venues such as BO18 and furthermore what was created by the Uberhaus team. Tunisia is really stepping up with the crew from Fabrika Festival, as well as the soundscapes guys, there is so much to talk about but it’s amazing to see such development out there. Especially being Middle Eastern of Palestinian origin.“
One Middle Eastern country that is drawing attention for a range of different reasons is Saudi Arabia and with strict licensing laws promoters and artists are faced with many hurdles in order to just to make a party. With the sheer scale of operation MDL Beast has in a very short space of time managed to attract some of our community’s main instigators. Maher gives his take on the mega festival, “It was honestly jaw dropping, 2022 was my second time performing there and I feel like it’s going to keep getting better and better each year. Baloo the brainchild behind MDL Beast and sound storm, has really put something special together and I can only see it flourish with the years to come.”
Moving on to Maher’s own tour and he has an indelible link to the US. He has a base in Miami and can be regularly found around the America’s spinning at the top of the biggest line-ups. With the prospect of 3 parties in 3 days next month his stint in the US is much longer than this. Beginning in earnest in just a few weeks Maher will be in Peru where he will play alongside Barac and Fumiya Tanaka. He then meets up with Dyed Soundorom in Washington where they take on Flash on 24th February and then Ally Cat in Atlanta the next night. It is however the main three dates that will be the biggest focus.
Taking his label The Other Side on the road is always an exciting time and he will be kicking off this part of the trip New York where he will hook up with long-time friends and Ricardistas ReSolute and Teksupport on Friday, March 3rd with Ricardo Villalobos playing b2b with Raresh, O.BEE, his sparring partner Tomas Station and Mink. From there Maher will take his band of artists and head inland where they will land in Chicago. The Windy City will be ready and waiting to welcome these artists to Radius where Max Jacobson and Tyson Dias will be waiting to offer their sonic support.
The final date on the tour will be where else, but Miami and 94th Aero Squadron Sunday, March 5th. The Other Side will be hooking up with dons Un_Mute and Where Are My Keys to present a 15-hour trip into the twisted minds of Maher, Ricardo, Raresh, O.BEE and Tomas Station. Speaking to Maher about his upcoming tour he had this to say on the finer details, “I have a long relationship with a lot of the promoters I am working with, so it was a no brainer for me to work with such exceptional promoters. Everyone chosen to be on the line is personal friends or artists on the label. For me it’s important to have people you enjoy being around and have a great connection with. that translates onto the dance floor and makes it even more special.”
Talk soon turned to the output on The Other Side and with there being stunning music coming from Ricardo and Maher’s joint jams it was time to look at new music. First up is the ‘Narcotic Oscillator’ EP form the super wide ranging Jay Tripwire. We ask Maher how the release came to be and also how Jay and Ion landed on the same release, “I’ve been a huge fan of Jay since his early days, a true legend in the tech house scene and one of the Canadian pioneers. He’s come back in full force stronger than ever with some serious heat. When he sent me the records there was no way I could sit back and not put them out. Ive always wanted ion on the label so I found it fitting to start with a remix, and doing a remix for Jay made a lot of sense. ” Jay has had a long and illustrious career and continues to do so. Maher explains what he thinks is the the secret to his longevity, “Jay is a warrior and has truly stuck to his guns, I think when you focus on what’s true to your music and what you do, things just naturally work. I think Jay’s longevity also comes from his past works which are more so relevant now more than ever.”
The next release is the absolutely huge remix package of Pheek and Kike’s stunning ‘Marigot’ LP. As the remix LP features tracks from heavy weights such Audio Werner, Flabergast, Lowris, Cabanne, Mihigh and of course Maher himself we were intrigued to learn how he chose which tracks he wanted remixed and who would remix them, “It was easy. These are all artists I wanted to have on the label and its truly amazing to have such amazing talent take part in what is an amazing project. . The decision making was a mix between myself Pheek and kike, the rest is history.” Maher was also very candid about his choice of track in ‘Solaris’, “For me it had the right elements, I was really excited to put my take on it that’s why I decided to do ‘Solaris’.” With these releases set to drop in the next 2-3 months there will be soon a slew of new music from Maher as he also has in the pipeline a new Creatures LP and more music from Ricardo.
You can grab tickets for Maher’s tour dates by heading to his RA page.
More info on Maher Daniel
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More info on The Other Side
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