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Danny Howells - Danny Of The Decks

Author: Fat Tony
Monday, November 3, 2008

English progressive / tech-house producer Danny Howells is the latest producer to release under the Renaissance Mix banner. He’s also heading to Australia. 3D’s Fat Tony interviews.

As you can imagine, Danny Howells does a lot of his production in airport lounges and hotel rooms, his hectic touring schedule dictating the location where those creative urges can be digitised. The legendary DJ is going through something of a production surge at the moment, and can barely get enough time in the studio to satisfy himself.

“It’s still quite refreshing and quite challenging again for the first time in my career to be producing on a regular basis,” Howells explains. “Before it’s been very, very sporadic.” He’s managed to get together about 15 new tracks in this last year, of which about eight will be coming out. “The rest of them will stay hidden away. They do range a lot, there’s a few bits at about 100 BPM, a couple that are 112, I’m getting really stuck in some down-tempo, mid-tempo kinds of stuff, then there’s some deep house, and a few bangers. They do range from 95 up to sort of 130.”

The congenial south Englander will be releasing the tracks that made the cut on his own label Dig Deeper that he’ll be launching at his club night of the same name later this year. The first release is scheduled for December, and initially the imprint will purely be an outlet for his own work. “As of January onwards I’ll start working through the backlog and hopefully work towards an artist album. With the range of things that I’m making, I think it would work well. That’s my goal once this tour’s done. I’ve got some cool remixes coming through as well, again quite a diverse range, from down-tempo to drum n bass. So I’m really excited about that.”

The premise of the Dig Deeper nights is that Howells plays from open ’til close. He was holding the London events at The End, which has recently shut its doors, so has now moved them to Ministry Of Sound. “I’ve had a long residency in Amsterdam, London, New York, Montreal, Toronto as well. It’s basically enabled me to go in and do the whole thing myself, from the warm-up, through peak-time, and then close it up whether it’s five hours later or 12 hours later.”

The double mix-CD for Renaissance that Howells has just finished mixing contains over two-and-a-half hours of fresh and often exclusive new material.

“A lot of the music that I did select stems from the original productions that I’d made, and I knew the ones I really wanted to use on a compilation, which in turn dictated the vibe a little bit of the album,” he says. “More so than any other CD I’ve ever done this one works as a continuous thing. Disc one leads straight into disc two, it’s a whole two-and-a-half hour set. It wasn’t on purpose, but in the past I’ve actually given them two more distinct sounds, but this one does actually really flow one disc into the next. It’s representative of what you’d hear me play early on in the night, rather than taking the peak-time approach, it’s kind of like a warm up set really. If I was playing a Dig Deeper night, this is how it might sound in the first few hours.”

WHO: Danny Howells
WHAT: Renaissance: The Mix Collection through Renaissance / Stomp / Plays Club Club at Chinese Laundry
WHEN: Out now / Saturday 8 November