Monday, July 28, 2008

luv DBX

some comments in response to the previous post reminded me that i needed to share this little beauty with everyone. it is 30 minutes of the livepa daniel bell played at 5 days off. there is a bit of crowd noise, but the recording is good enough to listen to, and to hear what we are all missing out on. and we are missing out for sure. DBX is playing a select series of live shows and that's it, back to dj'ing after that. and while his dj'ing his exceptional, well, his productions are truly special. i would happily sell an organ or two to see DBX live. unfortunately no one has offered me that deal, so i'll have to make do with this recording. and hope that he changes he mind and plays live again someday, when i can see him. and a bit of advance warning, the recording finishes while 'losing control' is still going. ouch. but we do get the full version of 'baby judy' and that is pretty awesome.

DBX livepa @ 5 days off


  1. Merlijn Hoek shame on you !!
    get an ear doc ASAP!
    Dan bell is amazing live or DJ

  2. if you are going to rip on specific people, at least have the guts not to post anonymously. we may have to remove the anon post function. getting sick of this bullshit.

  3. i think i'll listen to this before going to see him at fabric next weekend - thanks for the link.

    the bunker podcast is just so so the comfiness of the whole thing. quite Prosumer-like at times? - not what I expected from his productions. pleasant surprise!

    i'd love to hear a 7hr set from him in the right mood.

  4. Dear Anon,

    Chris is right ... it really is bad form to slam somebody while standing in the shadows.

  5. Hey Joe,

    Yeah, the bunker podcast is freaking fantastic. It's been on pretty high rotation for me.

    I've seen him DJ a few times, and he's always been smooth, professional and in control.

    Meanwhile, back in Africa ...

  6. caught the DBX @ the main-stage DEMF 08...AWESOME!!!!...there really isnt anything like seeing Dan up there doing his thing. Hands down my favorite DJ as far as Avant House and Minimal Techno is

  7. dan has always been a huge hero of mine ever since i first heard him and started djing. the guy is absolutely unreal behind the decks, and all his productions are fantastic. i was treated to a last-minute dbx live pa here in nyc at the bunker, then again at the demf, and i can now die happily.

    the guy is a legend, without a doubt.

  8. you lucky buggers that get to see DBX... joe, if it isn't already too late, i wouldn't listen to this set. save the surprise for fabric. the internet means sometimes livepas lose a bit of their magic. not sure whether he is so similar to prosumer. bell has a very dry kind of minimal funk, which differs from prosumer who has that real old school chicago vibe going on.

  9. it's not too late, so i'll take your advice.

    as for the prosumer comparison, i guess it's because of some tracks popping up that i recognised from the few prosumer sets kicking around. prosumer does go for a few more cheesy vocals/disco stuff yes definitely, and i'd say he's got a bit more soul. but there's something quite studied about him too at times i think (especially early on in his RA podcast) which i was reminded of by the bunker podcast.

    'minimal funk' is a very good way of putting what it sounds like!

    i'll let you know how i get on on saturday...

  10. wouldnt say prosumer has 'more' soul, just a different sound/version. what makes bell so unique is precisely the fact that he can put 'soul' (i hate this term) and funk into music which people presume must be devoid of such feeling. reminds me of this part of the RA interview with thomas brinkmann (which is an excellent read):

    RA: I recently saw Theo Parrish play here in New York and it was interesting to see how easily he could go between tempos.

    TB: These guys have lots of soul. Theo Parrish, Moodymann and even Dan Bell. I think he has much more soul than Richie Hawtin. Which is interesting. They are from the same area and there's this big hype around Richie and there was never a hype around Dan. He did fucking 500 Accelerate records there and 500 here. And it's some of the best stuff. Every Dan Bell record was wonderful and soulful, but he never became a big hero of techno music like some other people who, in my opinion, are doing less interesting stuff.

    That's what I'm worried about, you know? There is something missing these days. This soul. Everybody is doing fine technology-wise. But where is the struggling? Is music like a comment from the news, entertaining somehow? Where does music start hurting you? Where are the wounds and the scars? Where is the need and where is the fucking soul?

  11. maybe it's a lazy term for me - i mean he uses more songs, more melodies...i'm sure some people find soul in Pan Sonic, but that's not really what I meant by 'soul'.
    as for the Brinkmann, do you need suffering for music to be soulful? i get something of a bad vibe from a lot of the things i read from theo parrish where he sounds like he's implying that if you having suffered, if you haven't had people being horrible to you then you're not really able to produce good music with any authority. i'm a bit wary of that. suffering has produced great art over the years (millennia?) but i'm not sure it's essential or advantageous.

    and is richie hawtin really aiming for 'soul'?
    (i will contemplate this...while i sleep)

  12. fair enough re soul.

    as for brinkmann's comments, first, keep in mind these were before theo's recent rant. for me, i think the point brinkmann is trying to make (and perhaps this is more obvious in other parts of the interview, i cant remember) is that making music has become too easy. just using a computer program takes the pain, the suffering and the care out of the music that is being made. you can just knock something together with a bunch of presets and so on. but to make real music you have to invest something of yourself into it. you have to feel it. you have to suffer. this is what i read him as saying. and i think there is some truth in that.

  13. that's mostly true I suppose - although conversely there are several people who suffer no end for their art and still end up making crap...
    but I'm sceptical about it being a bad thing that more people have access to easy methods of 'making music'. it means more people get off the ground in the first place (i.e. you can have fun playing with a pirated copy of ableton rather than shelling out £££s for a vintage synthesizer) and I don't see that as a bad thing. OK it probably means more stuff floating around out there that 'isn't genius' but does that mean there's less truly good stuff out there too?
    the way i see it, people complaining about the ease of musicmaking and the proliferation of crap tunes are mainly carping about the fact they have to do more sifting. tough cheese, finding good music has never been 'easy', it's something you develop a nose for, i reckon.
    good thing we have top DJs (and others like yourselves) with good senses of smell.

  14. agreed up to a point. but mediocrity becoming the norm - which is one very possible consequence - is hardly a good outcome from everyone being able to publish their own half-baked productions.

    pete did a interesting with mr. scruff recently, who had some really insightful things to say. hopefully we can post it up on ssgs soon. i think we are waiting for approval from scruff (pete?).

  15. i'm pretty sure mediocrity IS the norm. same as with any genre of music, isn't it? if you drew a population pyramid-style diagram of all the releases out there, i'm pretty sure it'd taper extremely sharply for techno just as it does for guitar-based music, or drone metal...fact is, only a few people are ever any good at a particular thing, compared to the number that try.

    maybe it's more a question of how visible that 'mediocrity' is. all those half-assed productions that would otherwise have been kept at home are now swiftly posted up for dissection.

    i don't know enough about the early years of house and techno to know what the hit rate was, but if I was asked to speculate I probably wouldn't come up with a romantic vision of only amazing productions being put on vinyl, and only good DJs getting any attention.

    looking forward to the scruff piece - will be interesting to hear from someone whose popularity is relatively astronomical compared to most of the 'superstar' DJs we're used to hearing about.

  16. I suppose I could just paste in the scruff here and no-one would notice...

    ... but I'll wait and post it for real (just contacting his peepz).

    @joe: "conversely there are several people who suffer no end for their art and still end up making crap..."

    So very fucking true.

    And some people make genius records without any control or awareness of what they're doing.

    Of course we might set out to deliberately make such-and-such, but it doesn't mean it'll come out the way we intended. Nor do we have any control over where it's heard, by whom, and in what context...

    Here's a context from an interview I conducted with Isolee in 2006:

    "No expectation of success, no system, no end? So where do all the wonderful sounds come from? How
    come it works so well? From what he intimates, there’s a will to remain open, to keep experimenting, to
    find unique sounds and develop them with a unique, ad-hoc approach. He also emphasises that it’s
    important to create limits. “...(I)t’s very inspiring to limit yourself. It’s very difficult to have lots of
    possibilities. I tried a lot of things that now I know I’m not going to use them... ...and that was sometimes
    very annoying as well, because I ended up in lots of versions and couldn’t know which one was good or
    even if there’s only one which is really good and not just ten which are only half good.”
    Isolée’s modesty belies a real affection, a care for his music. It takes time, and love. You have to live with
    the machines, talk to them, let them be your monster, or you be theirs. He stresses that old equipment can
    be the most inspiring to work with, machines that are not made with a directly obvious ‘making dance
    music’ function in mind.
    “I have an attachment for a lot of old equipment. ...For instance I bought an old tape recorder that I use to
    record the track onto it, and put it back into the computer. Sometimes I want to make things more...
    give them a character which comes from a machine which is not perfect in its way, I have this – it’s like a
    religion, maybe... I’m not sure if it’s really an advantage, but it’s really more fun to me if sounds go
    through old guitar stomp boxes, or a nice mixer.”
    Isolée could also be about ‘isolating’ that jack-in-the-box, trapping the animal – that’s my interpretation.
    But, he stresses, each is as valid as the other. My monster is as good as yours. “...I don’t think that any artist
    can – is always conscious about his work, whether it’s gonna be a great work, or a bad work. Sometimes
    it’s just with time and with reaction of people listening to it that you will see if it’s something good or
    something bad or if it’s important... Of course you have some idea when you do that, but you might be very
    wrong as well, as an artist.”
    Its success is our happiness, he says. Only you and me can make ‘we.’ “I make the music not for myself. It
    only really makes sense when someone listens to it, so I want to make something that people can enjoy...
    that’s what I’m happy about.”

  17. lol at around 11:04

    somebody (DBX?) sez: no thats the filter

  18. love how he works the mic. dude is such a pro

  19. i recently caught Dan Bell at Club de Visionaire on a Thursday evening (with the roar of Europa Cup cheers in the distant background). There were prhaps 10 people there. Dan Bell didn't care, he was just enjoying the music he was playing, back to back with another DJ I didn't recognise. Unfortunately the guy at the bar was hell bent on getting me drunk on Tanqueray gin and I enjoyed it less than I should have. But every time I see Dan Bell ther eis a clear passion for the tracks, and his DJing reflects that.

  20. @noel...

    he does a weekly during the summer at club der vissionaire called "deeper still" - which week was it and maybe we can narrow down who it was?

  21. the other DJ or the guy who got me too drunk?

    actually it was around the 3rd week in June and i think it may have been Barbara Preisinger

  22. hi chris,
    thanks again for posting this, acts as a great reminder of the night.

    (ps are you going to post about Watergate01 at some point? was wondering why you're lukewarm about it)

  23. i downloaded the legend's live set yesterday and now i m listening to it, just a couple of minutes now i m listening and is enough to start shiverring!!!

    Oh my God!


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