Dan Mckie is the epitome of a hard-working and energetic DJ. He’s been a longstanding artist in the world of house and techno for the best part of two decades and has a strong dedication and aura of his sound. His labels 1980 Recordings and 33 Music have housed some incredibly talented artists over the years and he’s been very busy with pushing music out on these over the past few months. One of his recent tracks ‘Ayahuasca’ alongside Luis Meza got supported by Carl Cox and his upcoming release alongside Keees. has perked major interest. We speak to Dan to talk all things music, his recent projects and more…
You are hugely prolific – with several great releases in the past few months – what inspires and influences you the most?
I just really enjoy making club tracks. Be it solo or via a collaboration with another artist. I have more lined up for this year which are signed and scheduled. I am really enjoying the music I am making and releasing now and have done for a few years now. I try to keep it my sound and my vibe. If I like it then someone else is going to like it too.
I listen to music all the time and I’ve just got into listening to podcasts too (I know I’m late to the game). So I am influenced by new and old music everyday.
Why has mental health been such a personal issue for you? How have you overcome it?
I personally don’t have mental health issues. But I have family members who have and have seen the effects it has. Mental health is a big thing that is in a much better place to talk about these days, as it should be. I do suffer from anxiety, which I believe is quite common these days, as the constant rejection you come across day in day out in the music industry can get to you for sure. Luckily I am quite head strong so I have my mini attacks then re gather my thoughts and think how I can do this better or different.
What role does music play in bringing it on but also relieving it?
Listening & making music is a massive treatment for me. It calms me and excites me. As mentioned above it’s the constant rejections, constant knocking on doors and hustling that sometimes goes nowhere or the door you had open is closed as people move around. It’s a harsh industry. I’m lucky I have survived it thus far. I’ll keep going!
Tell us about working with Luis Meza – your previously collaboration was supported by Carl Cox, what do you hope for your new one, Cosmic Rest Face?
Luis meza es un bien tío desde Mexicana. He had released on my 1980 recordings and I’ve always liked his sound. He sent me these three tracks and I thought they were missing something, so I suggested we did a collab. Like you say the first one was well supported by Carl Cox and Mark Knight. I hope the new one, cosmic rest face, does the same. It’s a very cool summery tech house track with a hooky string throughout.
More specifically, how do you and Luis operate and produce your tracks, do you have set roles, or do you both do everything?
I touched on that above. He sent me demos and I liked the element but they were missing something. So he sent me the stems and I produced, rearranged, deleted and added things. Then sent off for mastering. That how these ones worked out.
You’re closely affiliated with 33 Music and operate your own 1980 Recordings, for anyone looking to start a label – what advice would you provide?
Don’t, joke! Have confidence in what you do, a good brand throughout from logo, artwork & sound and most of all find the best distribution partner not just the biggest one as sometimes they care less for your label than a boutique hands on distributor. If I am honest when I started 1980 Recordings I didn’t really do any of that but it was a lot less labels around in 2007 so I could take my time developing it to what it is now which is all kinds of quality underground house & techno from talent to give them a platform. With 33 Music I took my time getting the right distribution partner, getting the brand right and I feel 33 Music has a sound now on the deep tech, progressive & techno tip.
How different will clubs be after the Pandemic? Can they survive with people wearing masks and staying apart? Isn’t dancing all about being connected?
I don’t see the problem with the masks. Dancing has always been about fun and connection, you can still have fun and connection with out having to touch another person on the dancefloor. In the past when I have been on the dancefloor with my mates I have been dancing the other side of the dancefloor and still having a laugh and connecting with them. Of course things will be different for a while and some things may never be the same but we have to stay positive for any opportunities we have!
If you could go back to back with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I wish Freddie Mercury was a DJ ha, that would be a great back to back. I would still love to do back to backs with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Roger Sanchez, Harry Choo Choo Romero who have been big influences for getting me into this industry.
Dan’s release alongside Keees. is out on Friday 28th August: