Stream: Doc Daneeka & Benjamin Damage – Creeper (50Weapons)
When we last spoke to Mial Watkins, also known as Doc Daneeka, he announced a new release on his imprint Ten Thousand Yen by the Dutch electronic mason Presk, who offered us up a Truancy Volume a couple of days later. Needless to say we were excited about this carrefour of blaze, and they delivered with the Love Again EP that was released last Autumn. The two of them have been quite in motion since then: Presk seemed to win a dozen grants and put out a collaborative release on the young label Audio Culture, for which Doc Daneeka delivered a remix in turn. Around this time, Doc Daneeka put out the “Creeper/Infamous” single (stream the former above) on Modeselektor’s 50Weapons in collaboration with fellow Cymry producer Benjamin Damage, and they delivered an LP named “They!Live” on the same label at the beginning of the year. Soon, this Saturday to be more precise, they’ll be celebrating all of this mercy at Amsterdam’s Nachtwerk party. In preparation for the night, Presk took over our pursuit and spoke to Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage about the better things in life: hard dance and beer.
“When I first met Doc Daneeka, it was at one of Broke’s legendary parties in the south of Holland, about a year and a half ago. We got talking, and I asked him to check out my live set because he was DJing afterwards. The Doc seemed to like it, and a few weeks later he asked me to do a release for his Ten Thousand Yen label. As you can imagine, this got me very excited, even moreso because they were about to put out a few big releases from the likes of Julio Bashmore and XXXY. Coincidentally, it was also around this time that a few friends and I started the Nachtwerk parties. Every two months we would run the club up on a Friday night, focusing on DJs from Amsterdam that were into the upcoming “bass music” genre but basically endorsing everything that had a proper solid groove and a floor-shaking bassline with an underground feel to it.
Fast forward to 2012 – It was about two months ago that DJ+ and I headed over to Berlin to witness the release party of They!Live (Doc Daneeka & Benjamin Damage’s well-received debut album for Modeselektor’s 50Weapons label), where we witnessed them tearing the whole place up until early morning, which is exactly what they are about to do at the first Nachtwerk of 2012. On top of that, we have moved from the Fridays to the Saturdays, which means we’re now hosting not one but two areas. This is why we asked Piro, Kennedy and Dish of the aforementioned Broke crew to join us. Now that’s a heartwarming full cycle story, right?
Anyway, in anticipation of the event and in order to celebrate this special occasion I had the opportunity to ask Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka a few questions about certain hot topics such as the tribulations of being an artist, the Berlin bohemian lifestyle, burgers, the hardstyle scene in Wales and some other things, too.”
Stream: Presk & Cinnaman – Sweat (Doc Daneeka Remix) (Audio Culture)
Presk: “So you moved to Berlin to produce the They!Live album for Modeselektor’s 50Weapons label, and suddenly you ended up living there, why’s that?”
Doc Daneeka: “Well, I’m not exactly sure… except for the fact that it is pretty awesome. We planned to come out for three months, but about half way through we both were like, we’re not going back are we?”
Benjamin Damage: “We can’t leave now, we’re too used to the pubs being open 24 hours a day.”
P: ”What I find really hard about being in Berlin is picking out the best beer from the fridge, because there are so many to choose from and they sell beer figuratively everywhere. What is your brand of choice?”
DD: “I was all about Augustina Hell to start with and then went on to Tegensier, but now I’m going for the slightly sharper Rotthaus and Berliners. I’m into the dark ones too. It’s a problem, but a cool one to solve.”
BD: “Tegensier all the way!”
P: “After using Modeselektor’s amazing studio to produce your album, isn’t it depressing to go back to the lonely glow of your 13” laptop screen? Or do you still sneak in there when nobody is watching?”
BD: “We secretly made copies of the keys so we go back in there when nobody is around. Modeselektor always tweet #studio when they’re on their way so we know when to leave.”
P: “What was the most important item you used in the studio when writing They!Live? The answer cannot include musical instruments, recording gear or anything computer related!”
DD: “Cigarettes and Club Mate.”
P: “So that’s the secret! They don’t sell Club Mate anywhere but in Berlin, or so it seems. Now let’s say making this album was the final thing on your musical to-do list, what would you be doing now if you were to stop making music?”
DD: “Flipping burgers! Seriously though, I would like to own a burger bar one day.”
P: “Since I know you’re both originally from Wales, I did some research on the ‘Music Of Wales’ page on Wikipedia, which states that “There is also a notable movement of Hard Dance music in Wales, often seen as a progression on the Italian Hardstyle sound, with an emphasis on reverse bass. Escape into the Park and Bionic Events are examples of the Welsh Hard Dance scene.” Tell me more please, I’m intrigued.”
DD: “Haha! Man, Escape into the Park is just unreal, it’s like an alien gathering, like over a 100.000 sideshows crammed into the park near my parent’s house – all ‘gurnin’ their twats off mette (sic). It’s kind of amazing! That said I did actually see one of the best sets of my life there, from Kenny Dope. The tent was quite empty though, because everyone was in the hardstyle bit. You can check out some photos a friend of mine took here [Presk’s advice to readers – you really should have a look at this].”
P: “I’ve heard rumours about a few dancefloor tracks you wrote that didn’t make the album but might get a separate release, true or false?”
BD: “It could be true, or maybe we just keep them on promo. I think too much stuff gets released these days.”
P: “Well, hopefully we get a chance to hear them this Saturday at Nachtwerk, then! If you had to pick out one track you’ll play for sure, what would it be?”
DD: “Deaf Siren.”
BD: “No One.”
P: “Alright, looking forward!”
And so are we! We’re giving away two pairs of tickets for Nachtwerk at Club Up this Saturday, inviting Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage alongside Nachtwerk residents Presk, DJ+ and Mattikk as well as Eindhoven’s Broke crew. In order to win, give both Nachtwerk a like on Facebook here as well as ourselves here and leave us a comment below (don’t forget to fill out the e-mail form). The lucky winners will be notified by Saturday morning. See you there!