All I Need

Interview with Daniel Avery

All I Need

02-01-2014 | 18.34

There are very few artists you could proclaim they’ve honed their craft to the extent that Daniel Avery has. It was only after securing a vast amount of experience in the DJ booth that he decided to don the producer cap. He eventually dropped his Stopmakingme alias and a string of EP’s followed in 2011, culminating in Drone Logic in 2013, an album that enjoyed much critical success. His extensive knowledge of the dancefloor and its needs were to inspire its creation and we find out that one of the cuts was “made to be played at Trouw”. 
You’ve been on the other end of this conversation before as the journalist. Is that correct? 
I've never worked as a journalist but I did a few pieces for Dummy magazine in the UK. It's probably the path I'd have taken if the music never happened, though. 
What question would you pose yourself, if the roles were reversed now and how would you answer? 
That's a mind maze! I'd probably ask myself if I still had that Lostprophets CD I bought in my early teens…
2013 has been a big year for you. What was your highlight? 
It's been a year full of highlights. Releasing the album felt like a big moment but the thing I'm most pleased about is that I feel more confident than ever as a DJ. I've always been proud of my sets but I've really felt a significant gear shift this year. I feel like I could play for hours and hours in every city I visit. 
The year will always be synonymous with Drone Logic for many. Why was this the perfect time to leap into an album for you and not another EP? 
It was Erol (Alkan) who encouraged me. I've always wanted to make an album and thought the timing was right. I knew that I wanted to capture the 'flow' of a DJ set in a record - that was the main idea behind it and, whilst it took a lot of hard work, the whole creative process was extremely enjoyable. 
It was only the second year that you’ve been releasing music as Daniel Avery and not Stopmakingme. Why did you opt out of this moniker? 
I look back on the Stopmakingme period as my 'first band.' It was like a kid picking up a guitar for the first time and seeing what comes out. I listen back now and it all sounds so young and naive… because that's exactly what it was. I switched to my real name at a time when it felt like I was finally able to actualise some of the sounds in my head and, with that, could begin to carve out something of my own style. 
It was as Stopmakingme that your DJ career started back in the early 00’s but your first EP only came about in 2011. Why did you hesitate to release anything before then? 
I didn't hesitate; it was just something I had never even thought about in the early days. I started playing warm up sets around 2003 but, even then, it simply felt like an extension of making mixtapes for my friends but on a bigger scale. I instantly fell in love with being able to affect the mood of a room with the records I picked and that was more than enough to satisfy me. The idea of making my own records didn't come for probably another five years. It was a slow, natural progression. 
Your music is made for the likes of Trouw with its beat orientated minimalist approach. An indication perhaps of your experience as a DJ. How much of this experience finds its way into your music? 
Trouw is a dream club. Every gig really feels like a shared, communal experience. There's a level of trust between the DJ and the crowd, which means you, take things in all number of directions. The album is very much inspired by my time in different DJ booths and, in fact, some tracks were made with specific dancefloors in mind. "All I Need" was made to be played at Trouw. That's the truth. 
At the height of the Bass trend, you’ve opted for techno/electro sound that is rather more contemporary to Paul Woolford’s Erotic Discourse. Can I assume that this is a reflection of personal taste? 
I've been asked this a lot recently but the truth is that I come from a very different world to the Bass scene. Genres like funky, dubstep and UK garage don't mean anything to me… I have nothing against that music and I think people like Ben UFO, Boddika, Pev, Kowton and, of course, Woolford have a really interesting interpretation of it but I come from somewhere else. I do love the grittier end of it, though. A fucking heavy break from a rave/jungle record will get me every time but everything I do has a techno heart. 
I didn’t use Erotic discourse as a random example here. Naïve Response, as the title suggests is a response to this exact track. Is that correct? 
That's an interesting take on it but that's not the case. In all honesty it was an accident that it came out sounding like Erotic Discourse. But, of course, that track was one of the first techno records that blew my mind when I started going out to big clubs in London so it is buried deep in my head. 
I’m confused as to why you would consider it Naïve though. 
The first track I made with that vocal was called Reception. I then did a version for my fabriclive mix called Naive Reception and, after a year of road testing, the track turned into Naive Response for the album. Again, it was something that evolved pretty naturally. 
Will you be tempted to mix the two tracks into each other this coming Saturday for the HIFI & 50 Weapons night? 
I've watched Erol do it a few times. But I've also watched him mix it into Requiem For A Hit by Miss Kittin and, to me, my track owes as much that era as it does to Woolford's classic. 
For my last question, I would have to call on your Journalistic experience once again. What would your title for this article be? 
All I Need seems pretty fitting, I reckon. 

Text: Mischa Mathys