5 Steps with Chuck Daniels
Since its emergence in the mid-late 1980s in Detroit, techno music has spread like wildfire across the world music scene, igniting the talents of aspiring artists seeking to leave an indelible mark on this ever-changing, competitive genre. With its driving, repetitive rhythms and diversified style, techno has become the craze of the music industry, attracting millions of fans across the globe. For those who want to delve into the Detroit electronic music scene, the journey would be incomplete without an exploration into the musical creations by one of Detroit’s best: Chuck Daniels.
Founded in 2002, Chuck’s imprint Sampled Detroit celebrates it’s 16 year anniversary, becoming one of the world’s most highly regarded and essential outlets for underground house and techno, championing cutting-edge electronic music from artists like Amp Fiddler, Derrick Carter, Jason Hodges, Dimitri Max and Daniels himself. To celebrate the compilation they’ve released a three-part various artists compilations, featuring essential originals from Chuck, Jesse Rose, Amp Fiddler, Andrés, Oliver Dollar, Brett Johnson and more.
We asked Chuck to tell us about the 5 pivotal points of his career so far in our 5 Steps feature and you can listen to the album below whilst you enjoy his story.
My first gig in Europe
I will never forget my first gig in London in 2004. It was my first visit to Europe. I shared the decks with DJ Sneak and Chris Simmonds at The Ministry of Sound. That in an of itself would have been an incredible evening, but I went on to play at an after-hours club nearby. I will never forget leaving the very next morning to travel to Amsterdam for a second gig, all the while thinking that I was in London for the first time and all I saw was a couple of clubs!
In May of 2002, I decided to start my own record label called Sampled Recordings, a.k.a. Sampled Detroit. It proved to be one of the most challenging decisions of my career. Owning a record label has been very bittersweet. The experience has taught me a lot and I have grown into a wiser artist. I realized that the business side of things is not my forte. I am much more comfortable in a DJ booth or a studio. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to find my creativity as a producer and have been fortunate to collaborate with some amazing artists. I have helped bring many great tracks to life, which I have found very rewarding.
Remixing Inner City (Kevin Saunderson)
Growing up as a DJ in the Detroit area, I’ve had the opportunity to play many different venues from open format Top 40 to gay after-hours clubs. Back then, tunes like Inner City’s “Good Life” and “Big Fun” never left my bag. Never in a million years did I believe that I would ever be connected to the man behind it—Kevin Saunderson, also known as the “elevator” of Detroit Techno. I was so honored to be asked to remix the revival of Inner City in celebration of his label, KMS. I have always looked up to Kevin. He is an ambassador of Detroit electronic music culture and he’s also an amazingly positive individual. As I write this, I am quite proud that my remix still sits at number five on Kevin’s label.
Working with Amp Fiddler
When Amp agreed to come work with me in my studio I was truly thrilled. Its not often that an artist as credited as Amp comes by for a session. Amp has worked with and mentored so many great artists like J Dilla and Andrés and he played with George Funkadellic for ten years. Our session was everything I had imagined, and it happened so organically. We have so many class acts here in Detroit, and Amp is one of them. We have a release coming out in May (just before Movement) that I can’t wait to share!
#1 House Tune on Beatport
I don’t take for granted that having the number one tune on any platform is something to be proud of. I have always made music primarily for myself, so to have people recognize something you created feels very special. I resurrected a tune from a friend’s label that I saw potential in that never garnered the attention it deserved. I spent about a year and a half hiring remixes and did a remix of my own. After realizing I had something special, I reached out to Seth Troxler. I offered the project to him and he signed it. My remix made it to the number one house track for a few weeks and the remained in the Top 100 for 200 days. The original track was done by Andy Toth and Bill Beaver and it was really an amazing tune to work with. The remix was featured on BBC Radio One and named the top tune of the year in Ibiza.
Chuck Daniels presents Sampled 16 Vol.1 is out now from here