DAN GUIDANCE: Featured Artist November 2012
Name – Dan Guy
Artist / Producer Name – Dan Guidance
City / Country – Bristol , UK
Cyber Locations –
• How would you describe the type of music you produce?
I make mostly Drum and Bass and Breaks occasionally. I think my music varies stylistically from tune to tune, but there are consistent Dan Guidance traits. Allot of the time my tracks are quite dreamy and atmospheric. I also use allot of instrumental samples like piano, sax, flute & guitar. Usually my tracks have a dubby element. I use delay quite a bit. I usually throw some vocal samples in as well. I love the vocal on the Orb’s Little Fluffy Clouds, and am always trying to do something like that. Also I like the voice samples in allot of Psy-trance – whether its doctors talking about drugs, or scientists talking about space, I quite often try and recreate this. There’s quite often a jazz, ska or dub flavor to my tracks too. I also like to use techno sounds too in the mix
• How did you get into making music?
Till I was around 15, I was into grunge and thrash metal! Which couldn’t be further away from my sound now. Then around ‘95, I started going to free / diy parties / raves and discovered dance music. I was already listening to a bit of ambient and trip hop, but just as background music to dream / trip out while smoking. These free parties always had many genres playing, but it was Psy-trance and Acid Techno that first grabbed me. Then, once I worked it out, DnB. Most of my friends DJed after a while and when I was about 16 I bought some shit belt drive decks and some records and started DJing too. I DJed for years, spanning many genres. Then, a few of friend started to make music on their computers and bought some synths and stuff. Around 1998 I thought I’d give it a stab and haven’t stopped since. At first I used cheap, basic software like Rebirth, EJay, Acid, and slowly progressed to Ableton, which is what I use now. Till a couple of years back I used to mainly make Techno, Trance and Deep House stuff. Then, after reminiscing with some classic late 90’s D’nB on YouTube, I started to making my own Drum & Bass. It’s become a genre I have stuck to, as I like the fact, especially with Liquid, you’ve got the ability to cross over the genres easier. And I just love bass!
• Who are your artist that influenced you the most and why?
Difficult question, as it has a complex answer, some of which , even I don’t know… but here goes….
One of the main people that influenced me from the start was a local DJ, Laurie Beeb (l0gs on Mixcloud), who would spin many genres, all quite deep, atmospheric and dreamy. I loved his techy 4×4 sets, but it was his warm up / wind down intelligent DnB sets that came to be such an influence. He’d play a lot of Moving Shadow, and this got me hooked on them. When I’d come to DJ, I would buy every MS record I could get. So EZ Rollers, Dom & Roland, Calyx, Teebee, Omni Trio etc are very influential, especially to my sound now.
My Dad is a jazz musician. He plays sax, flute, and piano, so I grew up around allot of jazz. I wasn’t too into straight jazz or even abstract jazz stuff. It was when I came across jazz infused instrumental hip-hop and trip hop, then I started to enjoy that jazz element, and I could share & listen to music with my Dad, which was good. We’d listen to allot of Ninja Tune, Pharcyde. I think parts of my music definitely reflect this time.
Techno, deep house and trance have also played big parts in my life. I often think about making more techy stuff, but always seem to go back to DnB! So 4×4 is a big influence and can be heard in all my tracks. I take away the 4×4 drum and keeping some of the sounds I love from techno/acid/psy. I quite often slip in a 303 stab into my DnB; a nod to the Stay Up For Ever sound, another label I collected allot.
In fact, I was listening to Salaryman’s new Ep ‘Over The Weekend’ , which was very trance / techno spiked Drum n bass… that definitely was an inspiration.
There are also lots of liquid artists I hear on Soundcloud that mix that trancey element in with their DnB. I’m really into this if it’s done well and not too cheesiily.
Talking of trance/breaks cross over, Hybrid, were and still are, a great influence. I’m always trying to do something like that, but am a long way from that!
I might as well give Hallucinogen a mention, while were on the subject of technical wizardry. He’s a magician, and I wish he’d reveal the secrets of his tricks… I probably would understand them even if he did! His 95 album twisted is still stuff of the future in opinion.
The obvious Techno cats, Ritchie Hawtin , Adam Beyer, Jeff Mills are artists that I definitely looked up to, but a much more influential Techno artist is Vince Watson AKA Nico Awtsventin. The way he layers sounds and melodies in a really hypnotic and emotional way, really takes you on a journey. A true genius. I wish I could produce like him, so am bound to try and emulate his sound some how in my music. So another great influence.
Since moving to Bristol, and living mainly in areas with a large Jamaican community, like St Pauls & Easton, I have really got into Dub, Reggae and Ragga Jungle, and this has had quite an effect on my music. You can’t escape the power of the bass! I love to ‘dub’ things up, with allot of delay and lots of bass. The 2tone ska skank keys/ guitar can also be heard in allot my tracks.
Chapellier Fou, this mad French musician, who plays violin with a loop pedal among other things, has also really captured my imagination. A true modern musician.
I’ve also come across some really good music on Soundcloud, who provide daily inspiration. There so many talented DNB producers out thereand to list all the ones I rate would take to long, so I’ll just name a few off the top my head… Pennygiles, has a quality sound.. a very clever sampler. Artists on Soul Deep, Focuz, DNBB, Liquid Brilliants, Celsius, Have-a-Break, Chillax Trax, Asbo Audio, Inertia, Loodma Recordings… I could go on and on. Thesis, Freebird, MsDos, Roebuck, Clart, BigBud… all I really rate, and are just a few, that I listen, for daily dose of drum n bass.
My mood and memories will very much influence my tunes / ideas as well. Going through a sample bank also gives me a lot of inspiration.
• What equipment do you use to produce? What do you like about it the most?
I just use my laptop running Ableton, a load of MIDI Instruments and effects, samples, an EMU Keyboard and aN APC40. I have spend allot of time building up a sample library. I don’t usually have much of an idea of the tune I’m going to make… ill just start off, going through a sample bank and finding something to start with and build around that. I get my samples from all over, from my dad’s sax/ flute licks to the toilet flushing! My library is huge, and has grown from hard drive to hard drive. I haven’t used many other DAWs really. Ableton seems to work just fine in the studio and live, so I’ve no plans to change just yet. My plan is to build on my studio, when I get a spare buck or two!
– How do you create a track? Can you describe how you start a track, and then how do you finish it?
I don’t have an idea of what track I want to make when I start one, and I don’t have a ‘set in stone’ way I work everytime, but usually I will usually start by making a drum pattern. Then I make a bass. I will then jam some synth stuff over the top, recording many tracks, and seeing which ones work together. I will also go over sample packs throwing different instrumentals, fx, voice into the loop. I will do this until I have most of the elements needed for the track. I then will lay out the primary stage of the track. Then go over the track lots of times, adding and deleting parts, adding effects, reaaranging parts, adjusting volumes etc . Once I happy with it I then mixdown the track, and listen to it many times on different soundsystems to find any bits that need changing. I may do a number of changes until I decide it’s finished.
– From a mixdown/mastering point of view, can you give one technique on how you make your tracks sound so good?
I try to keep my levels in check and use groups to ensure the overall level being fed to my master output is well below 0db. I aim to finish my mix with the master fader at Unity gain (0db) with around 3-4db of headroom.
• What are your ultimate goals in terms of musically?
My ultimate goal musically has always been to get a band together. There are so many talented peeps in Bristol, who could be part of an amazing live DnB set up, but it’s hard to get anyone together for long enough…. everyone’s got there own stuff going on. Recently I’ve been jamming with my Dad playing sax and flute, which we definitely plan to do more of. He’ll definitely be feautured on some of my new tracks. My sisters also a good jazz singer, and am always badgering her to make a track with me. I’m also hooking up with a live drummer and DJ soon. So my ultimate goal is to help piece it all together into something special. A live DnB act would be my dream. Watch this space.
Another goal is just get technically better. .. There’s still a lot to learn. Mastering especially.
– What do you have in the works that our readers should know about?
– I am working on a couple of tracks with the Berlin based vocalist Mandy Freigang AKA Identified, which will be coming out on Liquid Drumz and Good News Boppers.
– Other forthcoming releases are :-
1) Part of Something EP featuring Part of Something and Dubwah, forthcoming on DNBB Recordings
2) The Ins & Outs and Blissful Thinking, forthcoming on Liquid Drumz
3) Somewhere Else, forthcoming on the South West Rising EP, on Good News Boppers, with tracks also from Sound Tactix and Self Definition
4) Boomskeng and Sun Scorching, forthcoming on Ambra Records
5) Easton Dubs, forthcoming on Soul Deep Recordings
6) Hybrid Genesis – Cerpow (Dan Guidance remix), forthcoming on Offworld Recordings
7) Back In The Day, forthcoming on Connessione Recordings (Including remixes by Seathasky and Fishy)
8) Just What Is It?, forthcoming on Simili Recordings
– Released work is
Dubwise Brilliants Vol 2- Liquid Brilliants
Introspection EP – Point Audio
From The Art – Liquid Tones
Access EP – Asbo Audio
I Love 1995 – Good News Boppers
So Good – Good News Boppers
– I am also working on a collaborations with Norwegian producer Fishy and Bosnian producer Daeda
– I am also just about to start playing in a live DnB band