Daniel Avery

Things take a turn for the weird for the techno don.

Q (UK) - - 2018 New Music Avalanche - JAZZ MON­ROE

Gaze out from Daniel Avery’s East Lon­don stu­dio, based in a ship­ping con­tainer in Trin­ity Buoy Wharf, and loom­ing land­marks of the city stare back. Di­rectly across the Thames looms the O2 Arena. Off to the right hud­dle Ca­nary Wharf ’s ev­er­ex­pand­ing army of sky­scrapers, guardians of the fi­nance dis­trict. On a good day, sun­light glim­mers off the wa­ter, cre­at­ing an idyl­lic bar­rier be­tween the techno pro­ducer and his men­ac­ing neigh­bours. “It’s some­where you can still take a breath in Lon­don,” Avery says of the iso­lated patch, where the elec­tronic pro­ducer spent four years spo­rad­i­cally tin­ker­ing with his sec­ond al­bum. “That’s why the record has pen­sive mo­ments among the noise.” The ship­ping unit, sta­tioned be­side a Cross­rail con­struc­tion site, is a fit­tingly stark lo­cale for Avery. He got his start emp­ty­ing dance­floors with Nine Inch Nails al­bums in his na­tive Bournemouth. By his early 20s, with An­drew Weather­all’s pa­tron­age, he was in­ject­ing Fac­tory post-punk and New Or­der-fash­ioned new wave into lu­mi­nous techno, scor­ing a res­i­dency at Lon­don club Fab­ric along the way. His pro­file crested with Drone Logic, a psych-tinged de­but al­bum that drew in club-heads and techno-phobes alike. Avery spent the Fri­day night at Glas­ton­bury 2016 sus­pended in the fire-breath­ing Ar­ca­dia spi­der, tasked with oblit­er­at­ing Brexit blues af­ter the vote rolled in that morn­ing. Eigh­teen months on, he says that “there’s a lot of neg­a­tive, hate­ful, fear­ful en­ergy be­ing thrown around.” He says clubs in­su­late against the “noise of the world.” “Elec­tronic mu­sic’s about in­clu­sive­ness, in­ter­na­tional ideas, peo­ple com­ing to­gether to find eu­phoric mo­ments. This al­bum is push­ing to­wards that light in the dark­ness.” Rather than chase mind­less he­do­nism, he’s veer­ing fur­ther left-field. His stu­dio is a lab of stacked synths fed through es­o­teric gui­tar ped­als. He’s mak­ing am­bi­ent field record­ings to add “a hu­man soul” to the songs. The re­sults are more in­tro­spec­tive than his de­but al­bum, he says, and weirder too. Any­thing but “straight­for­ward techno” for short at­ten­tion spans. “I still be­lieve there’s a de­sire – a need – to be ab­sorbed,” he in­sists. “Mu­sic to get lost inside.” Af­ter Drone Logic up­sized his dance­floors, you sense its fol­low-up is do­ing the same for Avery’s imag­i­na­tion.

“Elec­tronic mu­sic is about peo­ple com­ing to­gether to f ind eu­phoric mo­ments.”

Wired for sound: Daniel Avery.

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