Daniel Maunick has been releasing quality electronic music of various strands just about as long as we can remember, under an assortment of guises and collaborations, including Venom, Viper Squad, Para:Diso, Difusion, Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra, and most recently Dokta Venom; whilst at the same time giving father, Jean-Paul Maunick, a hand with his moderately famous band, Incognito, and producing legendary Brazilian artists such as Azymuth and Marcos Valle. So with the release of Burnt Roses, an excellent 4-track EP of house orientated tracks for Five Fold Records, we were compelled to request an interview with the arguably under appreciated producer.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get involved in making music and how did you start producing?
I grew up in studios all my life, I’ve always been surrounded by music & musicians but never really found an instrument for myself to play until the samplers started arriving in the mid to late 80′s, I always loved them and was fascinated with the technology, also around that time I was getting heavy into Public Enemy & other sampled forms of music, so when the hardcore/drum & bass scene kicked off around 92′ to 93′ I was around 13-14 years old and ready to start messing around with the free time in my dad’s studio!
What producers working today are you digging the most?
I’m honestly not really aware of what’s going on in the current dance music scene,
I still love what Theo Parrish and Moodymann do and try to check any new stuff from them when I can, but for me the best producer working at the moment is The Alchemist who is a hip-hop producer and one of the few people whose tracks always make me say, damn, I wish I made that! Also shout out to Marc Mac, one of very few people whose work inspired me to get into production back in the day, who has been putting out quality music consistently, in various genres and still does stuff that inspires me.
You’ve worked with some legends, particularly Brazilian ones. What did you learn from those experiences and what kind of inspiration did they give you?
From a young age I’ve loved Azymuth and to have the opportunity to not only produce an album for them, but to call them friends is an unexplainable inspiration!
I’ve learnt from everyone I’ve ever worked with, in music there is always more to learn, more to seek out and new things to try.
And what was it that attracted you to Brazilian music in the first place?
It’s always been around me, from a young age I heard all forms of music, Banda Black Rio, Edu Lobo, Azymuth etc. I remember all the vinyl LP covers from childhood, Brazilian music at its best was as good as anything the UK or USA produced.
So you must have picked up a thing or two from studying or working with your father. What do you think was the most important thing, musically, that you learnt from him?
The art of production, which is a skill that is disappearing fast. Now anyone with a laptop and some bootleg software can call themselves a producer, but put people in a real studio, with real singers, instruments & equipment and they would be lost! There’s certainly a skill to it that takes years to pick up. I learned from just watching my dad for years, keeping quiet and observing.
Are there any particular records that you like to listen to when you’re not making music?
I listen to music all the time, mostly older music, 60′s-70′s soul, classical, hip-hop, jazz, Larry Heard, old hardcore tunes from ’93, anything! Nothing inspires me more than throwing on some old Dillinja or Tom & Jerry jungle 12″s and wilding out like I was 15 again!
My favourite new records at the moment are the new Queens Of The Stone Age album, Boards Of Canada’s new record is awesome, Thundercat’s new album has a few killa tracks on it and I’m loving the ‘Step Brothers’ LP that Alchemist & Evidence just put out.
What’s your favourite thing about living in London?
London is a strange place, I complain about how bad it has got all the time! But after a while away from it you realise how great it is and miss it! London is the most progressive modern city in the world bar none, the mixture of culture and people we have is unmatched and something we should be more proud of.
Sadly to me, the once amazing music scene in London has slowly fallen apart over the last 10 years, but it will come back eventually. It has to! We just need more people doing their own thing and less clones chasing the hype of whatever’s “fashionable”!
Is your focus completely on making house music at the moment or do you have other projects up your sleeve? If so, can you tell us more?
I do all sorts of music, dance, hip-hop, disco, D&B, any genre that I enjoy, I make.
The last few years I have been doing a lot of production work in Brazil, with Azymuth, Sabrina Malheiros, Marcos Valle etc. for Far Out Recordings. I think the more different styles you have in your arsenal the more it will bleed into what you’re working on regardless of genre.
I have a few new projects on the way, a Friends From Rio album, a Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra album, and I’ve just gotten back from Brazil where I was working on Sabrina Malheiros’ new project. But I’ve enjoyed getting back into doing this twisted, soulful, dance stuff, so i’ll be working away on the follow up to the Burnt Roses EP, which has had a really great response so far.