2013 has seen quite a meteoric rise for the young producer/DJ from Detroit known as Jay Daniel. Starting as a DJ and co-organiser of the Detroit-based Fundamentals parties with Kyle Hall, Jay now has a record on one of the most esteemed labels in House, namely, Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature label, not to mention the fact that he’s also been touring extensively through Europe with appearances on Boiler Room and NTS among others. There is definitely nothing groundbreaking about the new EP Scorpio Rising but there is a timeless quality to the tracks that is hard to deny. Considering that Jay has said that these songs are “amongst the first few tracks that I ever made” this makes the seasoned and timeless quality even more impressive. With such a strong start and backing from many key Detroit figures the future looks bright for the newest in the long-line of talented young producers to come from the Motor City.
In the search for reference points, many people have been quick to make comparisons to fellow Detroiters Kyle Hall and MGUN but, in our opinion, there is something about this EP which is undoubtedly Jay’s own, and that’s the percussion. This is hardly surprising since Jay’s musical background is drumming, stating several times himself in interviews just how important this aspect is to him “I have a sense of rhythm and I think that’s the most important thing in DJing and producing. You have to have your own timing, that’s what separates you from other artists”. There is something very novel about his drums, whether it’s the unexpected thundering snare on “No Love Lost” or the popcorn-esqe crackles on “I Have No Name“ and, in general, it’s the keys that serve the drums and not the other way around. Unfortunately, when this strength is pushed to the background on third track “Bubble Cougar“ the music loses a lot of its vibrancy and, for me, this is the only weak track on the EP. However, considering the fact that Jay works closely with Kyle Hall and his forthcoming record, which is due in the coming weeks on Wild Oats, promises to be “melodic and not as hard as the stuff for Sound Signature” it seems that this apparent weakness will not be long lasting.
Stream: Jay Daniel – Scorpio Rising (Sound Signature)