On Point: Doc Daneeka

We’ve had an eye on the Berlin-via-Swansea producer since his debut ‘Television’ EP on Pattern back in 2010. He went on to release a wealth of top-drawer electronic music “under the vague guise of house”, for labels such as Ramp Recordings and Roska Kicks & Snares. In 2011 he released ‘They!Live’ alongside long time collaborator Benjamin Damage to critical acclaim, an album that perches comfortably on the fence between the dancefloor and home listening. The same can be said for the idyllic ‘Toby Jug’ recorded with vocalist Abigail Wyles for his own Ten Thousand Yen label.

Ahead of his performance at this years Red Bull Music Academy x Major Lazer Notting Hill Carnival Party, we had a quick chat with the man himself to discuss Ten Thousand Yen, Berlin and his time spent at the Red Bull Music Academy…

So for anyone who doesn’t know, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Doc Daneeka – I’m a music producer who makes music under the vague guise of house and I currently live in Berlin.

Where are you from in Wales and what was your musical heritage growing up?
I moved from London to a shit hole (that I love a lot) named Swansea when I was quite young – there I was always into music – mostly band stuff – and also studied cello til I was 18.

Ten Thousand Yen’s first release was back in 2010 now, could you tell us the story behind the label?
Me and one of my best friend had talked a lot about setting up a label when we were younger and it just got to the point we could. We were sat on loads of great tunes and basically wanted to share them with people – we were driving a rickshaw round India at the time – and we just figured it out then.

Did you anticipate the success of Julio Bashmore following the release ‘Chazm/Footsteppin’ on Ten Thousand Yen?
Definitely – his stuff was always great – and just the way those tunes were received showed us how much people got him.

When did yourself and Benjamin Damage start collaborating?
We’ve known each other for years and in fact, Ben actually taught me how to use all the music software. We collaborated before on a kind of jungle project, and were always in touch over music – it was a pretty natural thing to do a collab – that said I don’t think we ever started thinking we’d do an album.

We understand you guys moved out to Berlin specifically to record They! Live? What was the effect of having this period of time in new surroundings to record the album?
It was essential – we wrote it from pretty much zero in 10 weeks so it’s really all about us in that time – where we were at. The condensed nature of it and just pure stimulation of the move and surroundings made it what it is. I’ll be able to smell Berlin autumn in 2011 when I listen to that record in 20 years.

Are you still living in Berlin and now, if so, how would you describe the city?
Yeah – it’s like a massive adult playground!

You’re working on a solo album at the moment, how’s that coming along and have you enjoyed process of working alone on an album?
I’m currently finishing an ep for 2020:vision and then I’ll move on to the album proper – I hadn’t planned on doing a solo album, but doing They!live made me realise the scope of what we can make.

Can we expect anymore collabs with Abigail Wyles?
I have done some production work for her solo record.

Who would you cite as some of your main influences?
Hmmm, Dilla, Calibre, Mizzell Brothers, Dillinja, Bill Evans…

And some current DJs or producers who you’d like to recommend?
Presk and Chesus.

We would like to touch on your time spent at the Red Bull Music Academy. How big an effect has it had on your career and what were some of the highlights from your time in Madrid?
The amount of amazing people I met through it is what has been overwhelming – knowing a far greater network of good people has been the best thing.

This August Bank Holiday, you’re playing the RBMA Notting Hill Carnival. Have you been to carnival before? Are you a fan?
You know what – this is crazy – but I’ve never been! Always meant to but never done it – which is going to make it extra special!

What should we expect from a Doc Daneeka Carnival set?
Well I think it’ll be me on a bumpy party vibe – we’ll see!

Catch Doc Daneeka playing at the Red Bull x Major Lazer Notting Hill Carnival Party on on the 27th August 2012. From 10am tomorrow (16.08.12) tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis, follow this link for full details.