"I think an artist should have some sort of limitations to keep the artistic charme"
Daniel Monaco is a shrewd and inspired musician, who has made a name for himself through a handful of tasty releases for artists like Bordello A Parigi, Slow Motion, Pizzico Records, Italo Moderni, Emerald & Doreen and more, Daniel has been filling in gaps between arpeggiated melodies catchy.
Disco, italo, electro ... call it what you like, but Daniel Monaco's music is unmatched when it comes to challenging the dance floors. Close your eyes and let the sensations flow.
Do you remember when music was first introduced to you as a child? Was it through playing an
instrument, listening to the radio or through your family?
It comes from the family, my dad was a guitar player and my 2 uncles are bass players. I started with classical Piano when I was 5, back then in my house there were few instruments and I started to practice piano on a Yamaha dx11 I didn't know it was a synth I just new it sounded funny sometimes, then I switched to bass when I was 12 more or less. I never left the bass I came back to the synths at the age of 20.
Would you say music was a calling for you?
I think music calls everybody some remain to listen and enjoy the beauty of this call then other walk towards this call trying to understand it, replicate it maybe trying to become the "calling" themselves to create new streams and new calls for future generations. My choice is to humbly follow the call and try to make something for others and for myself to enjoy.
What was the first record that changed the way you thought about music?
Weather Report - Black Market
What makes a good mix to you?
Mixing in key rather than sync, I'de love to hear a jazz track mixed with a techno banger if those could be mixed gently together by using ears other than bpm logics.
What was the last record store you visited and what did you bag there?
I'm lucky enough to have a records store under my studio is called Painted Dog Distribution, the owner has got the best collection of all kind of music, from experimental to techno, jazz, new and second hand. Then there is always Bordello a Parigi in Amsterdam.
The last thing I bought Napoli Segreta volume 2 and that was from Painted Dog Records.
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it inflect
your approach to DJing?
I consider myself an artist that plays his own tracks edits remixes and all the rest of the music he likes, I don't really call myself a dj in the sense to please the crowd, I'm gonna play on a gig because people like my sound and the multiple directions it can go, lucky enough I play and I love Italo, Dark stuff, Italian Dance Music, Obscure Disco, 90s Techno & Trance so I can make the most happy without having to bend to please anyone, I have loads of respect for DJs that can please the crowd no matter what I can please the crowd with my own weapons and I think an artist should have some sort of limitations to keep the artistic charme.
Would you like to share a set? Can you tell us more about it? When and how was it recorded?
I actually have more than a set that I'de love to share, if I have to think of one only it comes difficult, but I would go for the one i made for Bordello a Parigi, it has Italo and Dark Stuff, at the time was full of unreleased tracks and still now it has some yet to be released jams, I also suggest the ones I often make for Red Light Radio, or the one made for Marcello Giordani (Italodeviance) and the ones made for Sinchi Collective and Seoul Community Radio, they are linked to the person I made the Podcast for, great sweet people with great sweet vibes.
You play a lot with disco music, what do you like most about playing with this music?
I play a lot of groovy obscure stuff I would say, and I'm still a P-Funk Disco Bassplayer I guess it comes from the bass and the need to mix it with the obscure side of electronic music, still trying to keep it progressive warm and with a "played live" feeling
How did you come to experiment with your own music? Would you mainly identify yourself as a
producer or DJ?
I'm a musician producer and performer I would rather use these words, I started playing Hendrix then rock progressive, P-Funk, Jazz Disco and Dub I had the honor to play with big acts from which I learned a lot although I felt something was wrong because I wasn't making anything of my own, I collected all what I learned from these artists to create my own stuff and feed my polyamory for different music styles, I started my own acid disco techno live trio called UMEME with which I played all over the world, from a 7 days rave at Boom Festival in Portugal to a 2 days rave on the Great Wall of China and many other countries, then about a year and half ago i started Daniel Monaco. UMEME is still up and running as with gigs planned for the summer.
What’s your studio currently comprised of? Any piece of equipment you’d never get rid of?
I shall never get Rid of the first Electric Bass a fender jazz from 1999 that my father bought me I shall not get rid of my own signature bass that Sandberg Instruments gave me the honor to make for me, and shall never get rid of the Polysix and Korg Stage Echo from my father plus I'll never give away his guitars, I have loads more stuff I won't get rid of like the DX11 not the one I used when I was a kid because that got stolen but a friend gave me another the DX11 as a present time ago. I also will never leave my YamahaRY30 drum machine in other hands.The list is long but I stop here otherwise it gets boring.
What are your favourite spots to hang out in town?
I don't hang out that often in Amsterdam, I rather hang out in Italy where I come from, mostly I love to stay in studio and work until the next tour kicks in because then I have the chance to go all over the world, but if I really need a break then I go to Cafè Belgique in Amsterdam a small place full of nice people and friends, or I just walk along the river next to my studio which is pretty cool, that is about the daytime otherwise if it's about party time then I do have few places I love to hang out like Thuishaven in Amsterdam West, Radion, Marktkantine, Garage Noord, De School & more.
How are you coping with confinement for C19 with your work?
It's bad in terms of work but it makes almost no difference to me in terms of Quarantine although I must admit it's pissing me off knowing that I have to stay locked in and it makes me wanna be outside...
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do
you think this situation can lead to?
My creative prospective stayed the same more or less about the implications, well it's hard to give the right answer, nowadays feels like we are all little experts of Corona and stuff like that. I see all of a sudden many of us know the difference between DNA and RNA and what does Spread means in terms of European Economy and all that, the truth is most of us know little including myself so I can tell you what I feel.
I feel somebody it's gonna earn shit loads of money from this crisis some other will lose everything and us musicians will be hit quite hard but the underground ones will keep on helping each other like we always did because our skin is hard. We live the crisis constantly these conditions make the most of underground artists and some of us thanks to this can keep produce high quality non commercial music with a consequential little stream rather than mainstream, that is what keep us rock 'n roll that is what makes underground almost always a synonymous of art and that is what in some cases makes our vinyls be worth 100 euros more after years from their release, I hope that artist that get booked with more than 5 zeros will reduce their chacet and I hope people will get down. Dancing soon for people like us that never left the stage even in these crazy times because we cannot afford to take long vacations.
If there is a positive side of all this, is that by putting the most activities on hold worldwide we don't disturb nature that much and we kind of giving a break to planet Earth.
What makes you happy?
Be able to dream figuratively and also when I go to sleep plus then many other small things and for sure keep on doing what I do without compromises makes me really happy despite the difficulties.
What pisses you off?
That bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt made by Mosquitos when they wake you up at night.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects? Where can we continue to see
and listen to Daniel?
I have quite few releases to come very happy abot it, I try to keep them in a distance of 2 months I can tell you few; I released with Italo Moderni in Februrary and in January with Emerald & Doreen and the month before with Pizzico Records. Before then my First Release was on Bordello a Parigi, they all got nice reviews and a warm response from the people, I'm constantly making remixes for Slow Motion, Logical Records, Esthetique Records, Golden Soul Records & More and I'm gonna release on Slow Motion my 8 Track Album which is called Summer Twilight date of Release 6th of April 2020, then I will release on Espacio Cielo, I will release something hot with Shubostar soon on Wonder Stories, something else with Ricardo Ruben on Spa in Disco, also a solo EP with Spa in Disco, plus more stuff on stuff on Logical Records with some very very nice remixes Franz Scala to name one, also in the summer I shall release an obscure Italo track made with Futuristant I cannot announce label and date yet... also will have the pleasure to release with Dogs & Vultures cannot tell you much about that but it will be a really nice release... and I can't remember now if there is some other release that maybe I forgot to mention, truth is that I'm very focussed now on the upcoming album with Slow Motion that fills my heart with joy, so don't forget the date is April the 6th !! you can go check it out now already on Slow Motion Bandcamp there is also a track yo ucan download for free!