ITW : DANIEL [I] [WHISPERING SIGNALS]

Daniel [i] offers the perfect combination with his swirling percussion and emotional atmospheres in a new 4 tracks EP on Lowless Records.

Now based in Germany, Daniel [i] is also a key figure in Belgian’s deep techno scene & founder of its own imprint, whispering signals. Daniel [i] offers the perfect combination with his swirling percussion and emotional atmospheres in a new 4 tracks EP on Lowless. A must have for all hypnotic music lovers.

As a producer, you’ve had recent releases on labels including Lowless Records, Norite and your own label Whispering Signals. How has your sound developed over the years since you first started making music?
I started programming beats with Reason 2.5 around 2006. I remember opening Ableton Live and closing it few minutes later because I dint understand a thing! Reason was more intuitive to me I guess. Back than, I played drums in a band but felt the urge to dive in deeper, discover the electronic world of sounds. Bands like Radiohead, Mogwai or Sigur Ros were always a big inspiration to me. After playing few years in the band with my friends, I decided to take the road on my own. It started mostly with breakbeats, junglish flavours and glitchy arrangements. I discovered rather late my love for the 4/4 beats and hypnotic dub techno. My first years of production were more impatient than what I produce today. Releasing on Lowless definitely shaped my hypnotic vision. From the start Sophian trusted in my aquatic dub vibes and this just enhanced the fact that those beats partly define me today. Its not  100% of my character though, we all have contrast in us at some point.

What or who has been your main musical influences as a producer?
Im gonna keep this one short. Concerning my alias Daniel[i], I guess my 3 biggest influences are (chronologically speaking) Moritz Von Oswald, Sebastian Mullaert and Rod Modell.

 Which artists and labels are you following closely at the moment, and why?
There are so many, but from the top of my head, I would say De Lichting, Nous’klaer and Astral Industries for the labels, and artists like Saebius, Rambadu, Launaea, Forest on Stasys and Qeniv. Im really curious to see what those guys come up with in the near future.

You released a second EP (Ileus) on Lowless Records. How did you started to collaborate with them?
Sophian, the head of the label, wrote me about 3 years ago to ask for a podcast  for his “Open Soul Sessions”. From the start he was very friendly and supporting, positive and respectful in his attitude. We decided very fast to release music together on his label. His professionalism amplified my trust in him and the fact that he now releases music of mine on wax is just another proof of his passion and dedication. For me it felt natural to release my first solo 12” with him.

You have been part of NoName family since day 1, always offering strong but delicate melancholic techno set at all NoName events in Belgium. Are you still involved into La Nature Festival (the new “name” of NN Festival)?
Yes, I am still involved in “La Nature Festival”, former NoName Festival. La Nature Festival is curated by Julien Baratto, my oldest friend at this day. The Festival represents a certain amount of collectives working together and creating a common vibe. From the start I helped to curate the technoish vibes by inviting my own network and friends, people Ive met through gigs and concerts, people who like to share my vision.

It seems that much of your influences comes from nature with field recordings merged with synthesizer explorations. Can you give us an overview of your creative process and your studio methods? How do you approach the production of your music?
Indeed field recordings are a big part in my music. Over the years I found those type of recordings very resourceful. I can create actual patterns and grooves from it. Im not getting bored to do so. Sometimes a field recording is just gonna be a typical organic white noise, but most of the time I like to go deeper and find the “whispering” but still usable elements in the recording. I call them hidden grooves. This is just a part of my music of course. I record a lot of samples on hardware as well at Marcel Boschers home studio in Kerkrade, and treat them at my home. At some point I sample my own samples and jams, again and again until the grooves or patterns are clear enough to be used in a flow of mine, creating an actual track. At home I have a little modular setup which is slowly growing into a processing machine. I am still finding my way through it, which is quite exciting! I like to mix the analog and digital world. I love to process vsts through my modular rack for example, giving them a bit more organic touch. I don’t have a particular template or system to create music. It just happens. Ableton is a big part in that process though, Ive spend so much time with this program that it became a kind of best friend who helps me to express and share feelings that were created on analog or digital devices.

Do you prefer producing on software or hardware gear, or a combination of both? What’s your favorite pieces of gear?
I definitely prefer the analog world when it comes to the feedback we all need. But if you are lucky enough you become a patient musician and when that happens, no medium is bad. Every medium has his soul and format of expression. I like them all if they create music for my ears.

I definitely prefer the analog world when it comes to the feedback we all need. But if you are lucky enough you become a patient musician and when that happens, no medium is bad.

You started your own label, whispering signals. Does it give you a new perspective on your own productions and the music you make?
Definitely! The more I dive into the concept of “whispering”, the more I find myself understanding what brought me here in a first place. My personal buffer, the one in my head filtering what comes in, virtually speaking, is becoming clearer each day. Techno and electronic music tend to be something very loud and ruff. I come from this place, fast and ruff raves, but at some point the search of the calm yet driving became more attractive to me. The name whispering signals simply reflects this state of mind. Expressing it as a sound signature isn’t something that easy. Rod Modell was the first “whisperer” Ive consciously categorized like that. Since that day it inspires me to find more of this whispering soul, in others and within myself.

What’s coming up next for whispering signals?
For now Ive divided the releases in 2 catalogues : WHS and HLIN. The WHS series are coming out on 12” vinyl and HLIN (howlongisnow) is a digital ambient sublabel where artists have 1 hour to express a meditative state of mind. So far, there is 5 HLIN and 1 WHS out.

The second WHS is planned for early 2021: a release by french artist Olorun (3 original tracks coming along with a Danie[i] Revisit). WHS03 is already in motion and almost ready to see the light as well. If everything goes by plan we should see the next 2 WHS releases before summer 2021.

As for HLIN, I can say that 3 artists are working on their 1h expression.

What are your projects at the moment and what can we expect from you in the future?
There is a few projects in the pipeline for 2021. For my Daniel[i] alias, I have 3 solo releases planned so far this year: one tape, on digital and one 12” vinyl. Im working on some collaborations with Purl, Rambadu, Launaea, … Im not gonna tease more 🙂

I am also participating in a project called d162, with my dear friend Marcel Boscher. More infos on that soon…

I guess this is already gonna fill my year with joyful moments. More to come!

Daniel[i] returns on Lowless with a diving EP gathering hypnotic and atmospheric sounds and fine rhythms. The EP is now available on Bandcamp in 12″ vinyl or digital. Click here to order.  

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