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Danny Howells

BarneyIllfingas

TRIBE Member
A couple years ago it was unthinkable to miss a Danny Howells gig. I attended every Howells gig in TO since his first visit to Turbo and was traveling to Montreal regularily to hear this Progressive master spin all the music I wanted to hear and to see an incredible display of mixing and enthusiasm.

Now, after several consecutive disappointments I totally blew off a chance to see him without even a second thought, and from what I've been told I made the right decision.

The breakdown: Howells spins to a half empty Kool Haus. He gets totally wasted; his set is bland with no direction and it contains an abnormal amount of lifeless selections. Sounds like another superstar DJ many love to hate (October '02 - Kool Haus).

Now by no means do I hate Danny Howells. His production, though less frequent still caters to my taste and his overall demeanor remains the coolest. However, his live sets don't have it anymore (for me at least). He is not the "can't miss" show that he used to be.

Now I'm sure there are many that agree and probably even more that disagree. Regardless, I would love to hear what others think as it really disappoints me to have this opinion.
 
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mandapanda

TRIBE Member
did you see him at aria in july? cos that was the best set i've ever heard in my life. honestly, it was amazing.

i'll totally admit that his set on saturday wasn't the best ever, but as far as i'm concerned, it was still 10x better than most of the sets i've heard this year (maybe i've just been unlucky).

i still think he's fantastic.
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
Yeah I think Toronto is dying to hear him lay down a proper extended set again where he can work the house vibe for a while instead of cutting straight to the hard route.
 

SJN

TRIBE Member
His 12 hour set at Aria in July was one of the best I've seen all year. The following night at KoolHaus was plenty good as well, although I was tired beyond belief at that point. I recall you not liking the 'danny-tech' he was playing, but that's a personal taste - you can't argue with the fact that he brought the house down. I wasn't in attendance this past Saturday, but only b/c I was out of town; I've heard the mixed reviews, but I'm certainly not prepared to write someone off after one supposedly poor performance.

Gregor, it doesn't even surprise me that you blew off the chance to see him....it is a very telling indicator of just how narrow your taste has become over the last year. What does surprise me is that you'd take the opportunity to take some shots at yet another huge crowd fave; not what I'd expect from someone who claims to represent all thats positive and good about 'the scene'.
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SJN
but I'm certainly not prepared to write someone off after one supposedly poor performance.
I don't think it was one performance. Everytime I've seen Howells in the past year and a bit he's descended into hard techno right away. I didn't see him at Aria in July, but I did see him the last time he was at Arai before that. January I think.
 
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Originally posted by coleridge
Yeah I think Toronto is dying to hear him lay down a proper extended set again where he can work the house vibe for a while instead of cutting straight to the hard route.
Seriously, that's part of the reason why I won't go and see him at Guv. It's a damn shame that he only gets a tight two to three hour set, when I know he's capable of much, much more.

His sets at System have always been rocking and legendary. Whenever he was coming to system, you could always count on one hell of a good time.
 

smack

TRIBE Member
I would love to see Danny is the basement of Element. I think that room was made for him. There's no way he would bang it out there either. Straight up kinky funk.
 

SJN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Nesta
i prefer his sound now more then ever.
as do i....I much preferred what I heard from him during the Aria/KH doubleheader in July compared to all times I'd heard him in the past (system included).....but then, I'm not a fan of the funkier/housier styles
 
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Aleks

TRIBE Member
bleh,

after his set on saturday i still came away happy. there was still the diversity you come to expect,even some nice pounding tech..even tho there wasn't the best programming, i thought it was ok...he was just as smashed as i was..heheh....
 

BarneyIllfingas

TRIBE Member
I agree, with 12 hours of Danny Howells I'm sure that I would hear plenty of music that I love. Unfortunately I didn't hear much I liked the night after Aria and we don't ever get the opportunity to hear 12 hours of Howells in Toronto. Ultimately, for me it would just be nice to hear a complete set of Danny funk once again. I know I'm not the only one craving it.

But I'll add another log to the fire. This is how I percieve the present day Mr. Howells. Much of this is retained from the countless conversations I've had with my close friends concerning this topic so by no means am I taking full credit for this scenario, though I believe it 100%.

He is touring the world week in and week out. He is spinning marathon sets minimum once a month. All the travelling is beginning to take its toll. He's wore out. It really shows in his appearance. So to compensate for this, he comes up to the decks and drops lifeless techno. He likes it, his incredible mixing talent allows him to spin it effortlessly and even though his set really has no direction, nobody can ever say he didn't bring it. Nobody will say he was soft. Regardless of how many people are dissapointed in what he is spinning, there's always a crew in the house that like it hard, and love to see him wave his hands and make faces. These people usually run right to the front and make the floor seem to be somewhat busy.

I would never have believed that a Toronto venue would be half full for Danny Howells. But on the other hand I couldn't believe the Kool Haus was so empty when Sasha spun there in October '02. Maybe people are feeling same about Danny as they do Sasha. I see the similarities.

I must point out that I attended the Breaks session at System last week and will support an incredible talent and performer James Holden next week. I admit, the closer to Progressive any music is, the more I like it. If it falls off the Progressive end I want to hear House, Breaks, Tech-House or anything down-tempo.

However I cannot "get off" to most techno. I've enjoyed sets from Stacey Pullin, Derrick May, Mauro Picotto, Slam etc., but overall I am not too keen on this genre. Most who really know me, know that I am open to a broad range of styles and genres. Hell I went to see Rancid two weeks ago and loved it. So I believe saying that I have a narrow mind is not accurate. I just don't dig most techno. No matter, this is about Danny Howells, not me.
 
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coleridge

TRIBE Member
For those that have heard Howells' "Propaganda" track .... that's the sound we want to hear when he plays.

He's created one of the best tracks of the new decade in my opinion and he never goes down the musical route when he's here that would let him play it.

We know he can go that direction because we hear it in online sets and reviews all the time .... why can't he bring it to Toronto.

Unfortunately going hard seems to often lose the real musical edge. More often than not it seems, the harder it is the more it's trying to compensate for a lack of something else.
 
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smack

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by coleridge
For those that have heard Howells' "Propaganda" track .... that's the sound we want to hear when he plays.

He's created one of the best tracks of the new decade in my opinion and he never goes down the musical route when he's here that would let him play it.
Howells said he made that 2 or 3 years ago. Says there's about 3 different versions of it. I'd love to hear the other ones. Definetly a track that stands out above the rest.
 

SJN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by BarneyIllfingas
This is how I percieve the present day Mr. Howells. Much of this is retained from the countless conversations I've had with my close friends concerning this topic so by no means am I taking full credit for this scenario, though I believe it 100%.
phew! it's a good thing you guys are here to explain what fuels Danny's trials and tribulations to the rest of us common folk
 

Special K

TRIBE Member
Danny still rocks. Im thinking that the reason he has spun harder and harder when he's played in TO is because of the venues he's played in. A big huge enormous warehouse and a night (Spin Saturdays) where the resident usually plays hard trance/hard techno/hard prog probably left him with little to no alternative than to play alot harder than he might usually play. I would have loved for him to have dropped some more groovey shit on Saturday but I dont think that would have really worked as well as it would have worked in say like, ummm System for example. Big rooms are made for big trance and big techno, not deep and funky shit n'aaaaaa mean?

anyways...
 
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Special K

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by BarneyIllfingas
A couple years ago it was unthinkable to miss a Danny Howells gig. I attended every Howells gig in TO since his first visit to Turbo and was traveling to Montreal regularily to hear this Progressive master spin all the music I wanted to hear and to see an incredible display of mixing and enthusiasm.
heh thats how I USED TO feel about Sasha...

could care less about seeing him again now...

tko ga jebe is what I say when I think of him!!!

:D
 

BarneyIllfingas

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Special K
Big rooms are made for big trance and big techno, not deep and funky shit n'aaaaaa mean?

anyways...
I'm not sure if you're trailing off on this comment but if you were in the Kool Haus for Deep Dish January '02 you would know that this theory isn't too valid.
 
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Special K

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by BarneyIllfingas
I'm not sure if you're trailing off on this comment but if you were in the Kool Haus for Deep Dish January '02 you would know that this theory isn't too valid.
Im sure that if I was in attendance that night my theory would still hold. I have NEVER really been impressed/had alot of fun on a night where Deep Dish were spinning. NEVER.


kthanxbye...
 

djcheezwhiz

TRIBE Member
i really wanted to see danny on saturday, but previous engagements kept me out of the city until early sunday morning...

it's interesting to read the comments about danny here...as much as i really enjoy danny's sounds, i was distracted by his appearance back in the summer...he looked really worn out, & his music was almost "soulless"...just banging it out (& for the record, banging it out in my books does not equate to techno)...i know his schedule week in & week out is probably taking a toll...i know how i feel after one night of partying, never mind day after day of staying awake til the early hours, sleeping in hotels, flying in & out of different cities at all of hours of the night & day...so i can understand how danny possibly needs some time for rejuvenation...

i also don't think the koolhaus is the best venue for his sound...it's not personal, & often if not set up properly (or half empty) feels like a cavern where the sound gets lost (or simply makes you deaf, because it's cranked so loud)...this probably also impacts how danny plays and approaches his sets in toronto...

with a less than full house at the koolhaus it would be great if system could get it's act together & capitalize on the need for a truly great venue...especially with boa redux opening (although i have my doubts about how it will work in this city, without becoming another comfort zone)...system have great staff, excellent bouncers, some great promoters, & a loyal dedicated following of regulars, who come out to support not only the international talent, but the locals...be they breaks, prog jocks, house dons etc...with a little investment into the club (ie sound), system could remain a premier venue in this city (although some people will never like it & that's understandable)...

i would love to hear danny throw down a killer funky set...i'm beginning to realize i probably won't make it through any 12 hour sets (i'm starting to have a difficult time making it through normal 4 hour sets :D ) ... i think back to his visit to system with the dj mag crew in tow a few years back...he took time to say hello to everyone after the show & shake a few hands...danny is such a wicked & nice guy...i only wish him continued success...

jc
 

Betty Rubble

New Member
Originally posted by Nesta
'lifeless techno' - please elaborate, because this term is starting to piss me off.

Let me get in on this...

Propaganda .. by far my favourite track in Luke's CD case right now. (Luke there are many - BUT that is my favourite) When you hear someone create something so beautiful so magical, such a journey you can't help but not like the danny techno he plays when he comes to town.

Lifeless to me, means a track or set with no direction no emotion. Pounding sounds, no distinct changes, no noticiable introduction of new elements throughout.

Nesta, tell me - what do you hear and what do you feel when you listen to techno? Help me understand. I can explain how I feel when I listen to Prog or House ... I don't get the emotion involved in techno but I would love to understand what to listen for.
 

Special K

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by BarneyIllfingas


I would never have believed that a Toronto venue would be half full for Danny Howells. But on the other hand I couldn't believe the Kool Haus was so empty when Sasha spun there in October '02. Maybe people are feeling same about Danny as they do Sasha. I see the similarities.

yea but that venue was Kool Haus. That place is HUGE. If you threw all of the people that were in the Kool Haus into say a place like System then it would have been rammed. That and alot of people have exams now, plus there were a bunch of REALLY BIG PARTIES that were jammed the weekends prior to last (Oakie+Vath+Picotto, Lawler, Freeland + Infusion), and there are still some big parties to come this week and next (Holden, Marco V, Industry Party) so I think that contributed to the Kool Haus being slow moreso than anything else. I dont think it was thin that night because people are feeling the same about Danny as they might have with Sasha.
 

BarneyIllfingas

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Special K
I dont think it was thin that night because people are feeling the same about Danny as they might have with Sasha.
Ya okay, this is all speculative. But the Sasha night in question was on the tale end of the Guvy anniversery parties, Underworld were in town that week and I believe it was around mid term time.

I know a ton of people that bash Sasha because they feel he doesn't give a reasonable effort into his sets anymore, that night expecially. And honestly I feel somewhat the same way. I didn't like Sasha at the Kool Haus and he burned me at Aria in August.

What I'm saying is that right now I also feel the same about Danny. Truthfully Diggers hasn't ever done it for me live either. However, I know they've all still got it and I'm sure I will hear their best again. I'm just really dissapointed because I think to obtain the full experience I'll probably have to travel a long way to be at the right venue at the right time.

Thank God there's DJs like Luke Fair, James Holden and James Zabiela still willing to give it to us proper right here at home.
 
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