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28 Feb 10

#39 'Take Your Shoes Off" by Daniel Paul

 
 

Mixed by

Daniel Paul

Location: Berlin, Germany

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Cabinet Records boss Daniel Paul talked to Timo about his long career in electronic music. He also found the time to mix an excellent cinematic guest set for your listening pleasure.

I've always been a big fan of Cabinet Records but did not really know too much about the label and actually learned very late that the man behind it was indeed Daniel Paul. Daniel's one half of Slope, produced for Clara Hill & Dirk Rumpf, and remixed Fat Freddies Drop, 4hero & 1Luv - that'd look quite good on your CV too, right?

After his recent solo album, "Night Shift", hit the store late last summer, I realized Cabinet Records was back with a bang. Do yourself a favor and check it out, one of the best albums of 2009!

I decided to contact Daniel and see what he was up to. We discussed his roots, the electronic music scene in the early 90's Berlin, his relationship with Richie Hawtin, Cabinet Records, the process that eventually materialized as the new album and of course, the excellent guest mix he did for us!

Hey Daniel, what's does the coming weekend hold for you? Gigs, studio work or just relaxing?

- I'm going to the studio with my friend Jens (Dj Zky) to bring our next release as Warten Borgmann a bit further. After that I'll relax :O)

What are your fondest musical memories from your childhood? What was the first record that made an lasting impression on you?

- Good question! I think it's a mixture of classical german children songs with a GDR touch & 70's disco funk & soul. My father at that time was really into that.

Actually, I believe the 70's was a great time in the history of music. Maybe the most important decade of the 20th century.

'It's raining men' by the Weather Girls is my first musical memory. I did not even know what they were singing about but the music really took me over & I danced to it like crazy when 12 years old.

What are your favorite pieces of music you've owned and why?

- Ohh there a lot. For example:

benny_maupin

Benny Maupin: Slow Traffic to the Right, 1977

Benny Maupin 'Quasar' - a jazzy piece which builds and builds and explosive at one point like a firework. wow.

Cameo 'Throw it down' - shakes my hips

Starfire 'Make the most of it'

Agustin Pereira Lucena 'Guayabass' - great sound & great composition from argentina!

Chez'n'Trent 'Morning factory' - perfect house music

Moodyman 'Black mahogani' - perfect sample work & groove. Timeless!

Claus Ogerman 4cd's box. Just beautiful! Including my all time favourite 'Double Rainbow'

... just to name a few.

You've made a long career in electronic music - as an artist, record store owner and as a label boss for Cabinet Records. Your first release came out around 1994 I believe. What was the scene like in Germany in the early 90's when you started?

"East Berlin part was absolutely open for everything. Techno was fusing both halves of Berlin together."

- Yeah, techno techno techno. Inclusive every type of it. The scene after the wall was getting bigger every weekend.

We had big Dj's from around the world here, mostly from the US.

Some of them moved to Berlin because it's a peaceful & nice place. Sexy and poor some people say.

East Berlin part was absolutely open for everything. Techno was fusing both halves of Berlin together.

In the east, there were a lot of abandoned factories, closed down basements & empty halls. Clubs like WMF, Tresor, E-Werk, Berghain,... were all born out of that.

Dj Zky and I released our first records around 1992 on a friend's label from Berlin.

Do you have any good stories to share from the past 16 years?

daniel_paul_circa_2002

Daniel Paul in the mix circa 2002

- Felix da Housecat visited our Melting Point record store which I founded & worked at. My arm was broken, and he signed the plaster with: "Can you see the light?", it was a hit record by him. My english was bad at the time & did not know what he meant. Now i understand it.

(....later in this interview i'll tell you more stories.)

How did you start making music, what was the motivation behind your own label and what are your favorites releases to date?

- It all started at school with a close friend Jan from my class as a dream around 1986. I was 14 years at the time. We were into Human League, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Morrissey, english electronic pop & of course Kraftwerk.

We were imagineing to build a studio with synthesizers & atari computers. Soon we realized that this could only stay a dream. Because a synthesizer like a Yamaha DX7 cost the same in the GDR as the Trabant car. So we would have to work for 10 years to earn that much.

Dream over. When the Berlin wall fell, I got a job and was still hanging out with Jan. We shared a flat & lived together like a pear.

The dream woke up again and we were running around in West-Berlin's music instruments shops and hitting every knob on synthesizers we found.

1991 we bought our first equipment: Casio VZ1 & Boss Dr.Rhythm. Later a Atari plus Cubase. Step by step we built a modern electronic analog studio.

After a while i realized that my partner was a good entertainer but not a good singer & he did not really pay enough attention to make it somehow professional.

I found nu soulmates in the scene like Jens (Dj Zky) & Hans (Dj Honesty) to record music with.

cabinet_records

Cabinet Records came to existense in 1994

Cabinet Records was born in 1994 after the 12" we did on Stickman Records. And with that a new studio came along that was situated under our record store.

The next tracks we did together were different and had its own signature. We were nearly every day in the basement and realized that this needed a new platform.

One of the first tracks were 'So Closed' by Horseshoe, Karo Zwo 'Zwo Fremde' & 'Gliding' by Compass. I love them the most.

The Stickman guys said they would love to support us with their pressing plant ACME and distribute the releases all over the world.

Richie Hawtin & John Aquaviva also owned a part of ACME. So everything came together.

Plus 8 records curated the excellent "Cabinet Unreleased classics" 2 x 12" compilation a few years back. What's the story behind the release?

skitched

Cabinet Classics And Unreleased (1994 - 2005), Plus 8 records ltd. 2006. Information on Discogs.

- Richie (Hawtin) and us knew each other thru music before we met the first time at his fire station in Winsor, Canada. We were there on the way from Toronto to Chicago via Detroit. The Stickman records guys (our Cabinet records pressing plant & distributor) made it happen for us. We used Richie's house as our travel base. Actually we stayed in his second studio room for a couple of days in 1996. There we made 'Michelle' and some other still unreleased stuff.

Richie then contacted Mad Mike of UR and we met up at Submerge. Mad Mike showed us his studio, it reminded me of our one but it was much smaller. He said they made every hit there.

It was really impressive to meet all these people and feel the vibe of Detroit. Moodymann showed up also.

Richie and us influenced each other a lot. He played our stuff and says he always has a Cabinet record with him on tour.

We had lost contact and were going our own ways. In 2005 he licensed 'Messenger' from Cabinet for his DE9 mix.

I told him that we had a couple of unreleased tracks and we could do a classic and "unreleased classics" release. So I went through all of our DAT tapes(50) to search for candidates and made the artwork. After a year we had everything together and released the package in 2006.

Actually, yesterday we worked on a remix for the Plastikman rerelease on Plus8. Hopefully soon this is done and we can play it to him in the end of next week!

Are there any other plans to re-release the Cabinet Records back catalogue? I know there are some sought after gems in there that are hard to find!

- It's all available as digital downloads on Beatport, Zero inch, Juno, Finetunes, iTunes, Emusic...

Making vinyl makes no sense these days to me. I mean, it's just too expensive and a big risk. I would love to do it but it's just not the right time for it.

Soon we will release "Cabinet classics vol.2". For this year we've also planed to do a Warten Borgmann album which I'm really looking forward to letting out :O)

You've collaborated with a lot of people as well, like with Hans Schaaf under the Slope alias. Are you and Hans still making music together?

- We've just split our studio but that does not mean we won't continue making music together anymore. For Slope we are still collecting ideas. I hope end of this year we can make realistic release plans. We also need to find a new label partner.

You've also done numerous remixes for Clara Hill, 4Hero, 1Luv & Fat Freddie's Drop to name a few. Are there any other collaborations or remixes coming along?

- I'm doing a version for Andre Lodemann's 'Vehemence of silence'. But i'm not happy with what I did so far. We'll c.

We did a remix for Sick 'Pixel 513' on a polish label called Pierogi Records. 2 Slope remix versions for Andre Zimma's 'Time exists in memories' on Swedish Brandy Productions are in the mastering studio right now. I hope its coming soon.

Moving along to your recent works. The excellent "Night Shift" album was released last fall. It covers a variety of styles, how did you approach making it?

night_shift

Album: Night Shift, 2009

- Many thanks. I have many influences like classic, hip-hop, house, ambient, funk, soul, jazz, pop.... I just do go in the studio sometimes with a feeling or inspiration and play around with ideas 'till it says something to me. The only plan behind 'Night shift' was to have a album with a good feeling.

How long was the process? What was the most rewarding part of it?

- Very long. Some ideas like 'Tuesdaymood' are 10 years old. In the beginning it was planned to be released on Sonar Kollektiv and I made the track selection with Alex in 2008.

Then i worked on it one more year. Some ideas came very quickly but the most time I spent mixing it all together.

What's you favorite remix from the singles that were taken from the album?

I love all of them, otherwise i wouldn't release them!

The mix you did for us is titled "Take your shoes off". It's a beautiful, cinematic mix and very well crafted. Could you tell us a little about the track selection? There are a few of my personal favorites in there as well.

I always wanted to do that mix. Thank you that you made it happen.

This is just music i really love and are for me deep house classics. I could do another one with tracks which did not fit in this time.

The idea behind that mix was to create a good atmosphere to make me feel good. That's why i called it 'Take your shoes off', like on the beach or at home.

It sounds like you're using 3 decks at times, making some pretty amazing layered live-edits that take the tracks to new heights. Correct or is it just plain magic?

daniel_paul_djing

I was trying out a lot thing, you know, which fits to what. All with a little help of Ableton Live.

How does Daniel Paul the DJ benefit from the work of Daniel Paul the artist and vice versa?

Good question. It definitely helps the other and in the other hand it does not.

When it comes to bookings it is not really helpful to release a nice deep house educated album like 'NightShift' but I wanted to do it how it is. A listening album with hips.

If I would be more focused on dj bookings i had to release just club banger.

The singer Colin Corvez who was featured twice on 'NightShift' is now on tour with me in Poland. Great show have to say!!!

We can't show you anything on video because we don't want that. just ask the people who have experienced that. They will smile and say yeah.

Are you still playing out a lot? If so, where can we catch you next?

Not that much in the moment. I would love to do more!

The next show is in Warschau the 12th of march. I'll also play in Berlin's bar called Transit on my birthday party on the 20th.

Many thanks for the mix and the interview! Any final words?

Peace = Friede

Playlist

00:00 Henrik Schwarz 'Digital World' Sunday Music
05:50 Nick Solé 'Children' Mojuba
09:11 Green Pickles 'Feedback' Sound Signature
14:33 Cobblestone Jazz '5th Element (edit)' itiswhatis
20:35 Chez'n'Trent 'Morning Factory' Prescription
// 20:02 - 26:33 Block 16 'Morning Sun feat Jon Lucien (Pépe Bradock's Vocal Smooth Snippet Mix) Nuphonic
26:35 Mango Drive 'Rhythm & Sound' Rhythm & Sound
// 29:47 - 33:20 Problem Kids feat. Steve Edwards 'I will lead (remix)' Paper
32:47 Pépe Bradock 'Live' Atavisme
38:30 Phurry Phreaks 'lament for a dead computer part 1' Miso
43:48 Mille & Mr Hirsch 'Business Jazz' United States of Mars
49:30 Move d 'Lush Summer Rain' Shanti
56:30 Warten Borgmann 'Erstwurf Dritter' Cabinet
60:40 Jeff Mills 'Changes of Live (Reprise Mix)' Axis
65:57 END