The Berlin-based producer will release his ninth album this April.
Since 1992, Curtin has had a notably prolific career, releasing records on Strictly Rhythm, Peace Frog, and his own Metamorphic Recordings among others. Lifeblood will be his ninth full-length release, and his first full-length for Mobilee. As usual, Curtin takes full advantage of the album format, with club-ready tunes complementing down-tempo numbers like "Perfect Affair," which reflect his early roots in hip-hop production. On the more DJ-oriented tunes, Curtin's production style is lean and bouncy, and occasionally strewn with trippy echoes of soul or R&B, as on "Other (Lost In You Mix)" or "Mr. Bean Do an E."
We recently caught up with Dan via email to chat about his his new Berlin residency, his love of long-players, and what other projects he's got in the pipeline.
When and how was the album recorded?Tracklist
I did most of this album during the last half of 2009 in my Berlin studio. I used all kinds of equipment. Everything from drum machines from the '70s and '80s, to various synths and hardware, all based around the core which is a Mac running Logic 9.1. I like mixing the new with the classic and the way I've been going these past years is to buy most new technology in a software format and then continue to acquire and use classic pieces to get the best of all worlds.
If I'm not mistaken, this will be your ninth full-length release. What is it about the album format that suits you so well?
The album format is perfect for me because it is challenging and liberating to get beyond just making a quick DJ track for the weekend. Challenging because you have to make many tracks all tell a story. I also like to listen to albums, to know what an artist really has to say. But mainly the album format provides an opportunity to let loose and just be creative which is the whole reason I make music in the first place.
I heard you're a resident at Freaks, the new night at Suicide Circus. Could you tell us a little about that party?
That party is on a Sunday night at a really atmospheric Berlin spot with a nice outdoor area for the warm weather. The whole point is to go deep and focus on the groove and not skimp on the quality. Deep house, deep techno, driving jacking house, dub techno, these are the loose styles that you get at Freaks but mainly it is all about quality. The best of the best. The need to play generic big break hands in the air tracks has been eliminated so we can all just go off and focus on what is real! Taking people on journeys, "something for your mind, body and soul" as the saying goes! I'll be playing there once each month.
What are some of your other favorite places to DJ at the moment?
"At the moment." That's good, because it does change. Every time I say a particular club is my favorite spot to play some gig in a random place will be amazing, but off the top of my head I can say I really enjoyed Harry Klein in Munich, Panorama Bar here in Berlin, Kontrol at the End Up in San Francisco, and Electronic Wave at Living Room in Lugano, Switzerland was amazing. There are more, there really are lots of great parties going on that you can never predict.
Aside from the album, what else do you have coming up?
I've been mainly working on a hip-hop/soul project with collaborations from all over the world that has been occupying most of my time since I finished the Mobilee album. It's been excellent to dive into another musical style for a while. In the techno/house sphere of things, coming out between now and April, will be a teaser release from the Lifeblood album featuring a remix from DJ Madskillz that is already making waves, a remix I did for DJ 3000 on Motech, a remix of Franco Cangelli on SDF records, and a single out on my label Metamorphic under my Planetary alias.
02. Invisible Man in Drag
03. Mirrors Reflecting (Two Way Mix)
04. I See Light
05. Other (Lost In You Mix)
06. Two Tickets to Paris
08. Blast feat. Marcellis Wyatt
09. Schlafwagen feat. Habida
11. Perfect Affair
12. Mr. Bean Do an E
13. You Get What You Need
15. Can't Say No feat. Blacknile
Mobilee will release Dan Curtin's Lifeblood on April 5th, 2010.