When WANARB Met: Daniel Bortz

Daniel Bortz plays the Suol Showcase at Tief

The man on everyone’s after-party playlist, Daniel Bortz, returns to London town this weekend as part of a much hyped showcase for his current label Suol. WANARB favourites Tief, have brought key members of the label over to coincide with the end of the Suol World Series that saw Bortz in Brazil, Fritz Kalkbrenner in China, Tricksi in Mexico and Chopstick & Johnjon in Europe. We caught up with him ahead of his set at Corsica Studios this weekend to find out about the scene in his hometown of Ausberg in Germany, how he goes about creating his tracks and what he’d save in a fire…

Hi Daniel, how are you?

Thanks I am fine.

It’s great to have you back in the UK again- late December was the first time you ever played here, right? Are you excited to be coming back?

The Basing House gig last year was the first time I played in UK and London. It was a huge party with such a great vibe. Thankfully the crowd had good taste in music. Pretty good for the London premiere! Now we’re back with nearly the entire SUOL Crew. I am really looking forward to this as it’s always nice to play with my friends from the label. I expect a night you will not forget for a long time. All the artists we’re bringing are ace.

Tief will be your second time playing in London as well. Last time you were headlining but this time you’re here as part of a Suol label showcase. Do you play quite noticeably sets when you’re playing with the rest of the label?

My sets [as part of a showcase] are very similar to when I play on single gigs. I always try my best to make the crowd happy. Sure it is a bit easier together as we all know each other very well and share the same spirit. You can expect a night full of soulful house music.

Who from the Suol family are you really digging at the moment?

All of them are great artists. They all have a different style and success with their work. But to name one out of all them I really dig the DJ Sets of Chopstick & Johnjon.

You’ve been touring as part of the Suol World Series- that must have been be pretty exciting! Do you think you lucked out getting Brazil over any other countries your label-mates are off to?

Every SUOL artist was booked for an international tour in nearly the same period. So we thought this would be a good reason to combine them to the SUOL world series. This created more awareness on the whole thing. My Brazil tour was amazing. We played 5 gigs in 4 days in one the best clubs there and had a great time. I will be back soon again.

You’re from Ausburg in Germany- what’s the dance music scene like there and in nearby Munich?

For the last 5 years I’ve run the monthly party Forza Electronca at a club called Schwarzes Schaaf. Over the years I’ve had several awesome nights with artists like Genius of Time, Chopstick & Johnjon, and Tiefschwarz. It is small scene in Augsburg but the guys there really know to party!

In Munich my favourite clubs are Bob Beaman and Rote Sonne. They always have quality bookings there. At Rote Sonne I was a resident and this last year I’ve also been trying to establish a party called From SOUL To SUOL. It happens irregularly on Thursdays. Munich people are slowly learning that the weekend can start Thursday too.

Your signature styles, like bass-driven music, slow jams, r’n’b samples and strong hip hop influences, seem to be coming to the forefront of dance music of late. Do you think this is a backlash against last year’s love of the more popular end of the spectrum of deep house or just a natural evolution?

People think too much about hype. Of course you have artists creating stuff that works and other artists then do the same. But in my opinion music grows and evolves in a natural way. Most of the tracks we hear at the moment have been there before in a different kind of way.

Your new EP, Heal The World, features you singing on a few tracks including the opener Harry. Is this something we can expect more of?

Maybe. I´ve done it before on several tracks. I guess I will do again on tracks in the future.

Tracks like Boyz 2 Men, on the other hand, showcase your talent for sampling. What’s your preference within your own work?

Hmm that’s difficult to say. There is no “one way to produce tracks. Sometimes I really dig a sample and try to create my own version of it. Sometimes I start from scratch and play all the instruments on my own.

That track in particular samples Cocorosie. What other non-dance music influences your creative output?

The Cure, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Dr Dre and Suzanne Vega.

And finally, if you woke up and your house was on fire what would be the one thing you would rescue?

My cats.

Daniel Bortz plays Tief’s Suol Showcase at Corsica Studios on Saturday 12th May (tomorrow!) alongside Fritz Kalkbrenner (live), Tricksi (live) and Chopstick & Johnjon from 10pm – 6am.

Rachael Williams



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