The name of of Miami's Cuban DJ & producer Danny Daze is not unfamiliar to electronic music enthusiasts. A DJ since 1999, you may already know him from his 2018 Boiler Room set or his numerous singles. However, more than two decades later, we hadn’t had that long-awaited debut album. Well, the time has come, Danny now presents his inaugural album, featuring nineteen meticulously selected tracks and collaborations with artists from Miami’s scene—a pivotal place to comprehend the artist’s figure and work. We invite you to delve deeper into his world through this interview.
Hello Danny, it’s a pleasure to interview you. I must say I was quite impressed to hear about your album. It comes after twenty years of a successful career. How do you feel about it? Are you nervous?
I wouldn’t say nervous, I’d say relieved. This album has been brewing in my mind for so long, and finally, it's out. I’ve always felt having an album or something of this magnitude is important for any artist. It's not just about career impact; it's about personal release and moving forward to a new chapter.
Building on this, I'd like to understand the reasoning behind this decision. Was there something specific that prompted it? Why now?
It took me quite a while to understand what it was I wanted to express exactly. Throughout my musical career, I’ve been known as a DJ and dance music producer. This album means more to me than anything before. I aimed to capture the essence of why I fell in love with music initially—a continuous listening experience that delves into people's minds. I’ve always been intrigued by one’s thought process when they let go and fully sink into art.
You chose the final nineteen tracks featured on the album from over a hundred others. That sounds like a complex process. What criteria did you consider when choosing which tracks made it onto the record? And do you have any plans for the tracks that didn’t make the cut?
It was about storytelling rather than just picking the ‘best’ tracks or what can make people move the most. I wanted to try and tell the story, a movie of sorts, without actual images. So the sequencing and splicing of the tracks had to be done more in a movie score type of way rather than a typical dance album. 
I really appreciate your use of percussion, especially how it’s highlighted in Silver Box. It starts with industrial sounds and noises that eventually lead into something of an odyssey with that more atmospheric synthesizer. Is there a particular landscape or imagery that you aim to evoke in the listener's mind?
Subconsciously, I gravitated toward otherworldly sounds, using a lot of atmospheric texture through FM synthesis and digital processing to connect with something beyond Earth. The goal was to have the listener feel as if they were being pushed through a multidimensional landscape.
Following the listening of the tracks, I have to say that industrial elements play a significant role. At least, that’s how it appeared to me, especially in Exosphere or Blue Orbit. Where do you source those sounds from?
I’m not 100% sure I’d describe them as industrial… as industrial for me has a very specific more ‘metallic’ sound to it. I experimented a lot. From recording leaf crunches to creating unique sounds from electrical loops. I aimed to tap into my main influence which is bass music. A song like Blue Orbit really dives into the subwoofer competition culture that existed in Miami when I was younger.
And, in general, what elements do you normally work with in the studio? What is your creative process like?
Honestly, I start with no clear plan. It’s a journey with any one of my machines leading. Errors often become the focus, shaping the track unexpectedly. Once I start making sense of the recordings, I then try and make it cohesive with the original idea or concept I had in mind. I’ve learned to not force a specific sound. I let the process speak for itself. Many times, errors that I make in the studio will become the main focus of a track and end up refocusing all my energy on something that wasn’t supposed to be, which in turn creates this beautiful relationship between you and what I feel is the living organism of a studio.
The album explores the relationship between Miami’s musical heritage and its global impact, which you believe is often overlooked. On a personal level, what does Miami's music scene mean to you, and how has it shaped your musical identity?
I believe Miami is the only place where you can get in a car that’s playing salsa music, step out, and grab a pizza where they’re playing hip-hop, step back into another car that’s playing Miami bass then get home where your family has a jazz record playing. It’s a melting pot of sound embracing diverse genres, influencing the sonic landscape I resonate with.
You’ve brought local talents into the project, including Nick León, Jonny From Space, Push Button Objects, and Deroboter. Can you share the personal stories or connections that led to these collaborations and what do you believe each of them has brought to your album?
I’d like to start off with my buddy, Deroboter, who I’ve known for more than twenty years. He and I used to go to raves together and pop-lock so we have similar taste in music. We created a track called Drowning years ago and I always loved it, so I wanted to take it and restructure it into this album being it has a deep and emotional feel to it.
Nick & Jonny have both become good friends of mine over the last couple years and bring a fresh energy into the studio and are on the cusp of new electronic music. Something I thought would be a great inclusion to the album. The track we did came from an eighteen hour session right smack in the middle of the pandemic. One of those sessions we’ll never forget.
Push Button Objects is an artist I’ve always looked up to and up until we started working, he hadn’t released a record in twenty years. Many know him for his work on labels like Skam, Warp, Schematic… He and I started chatting and I brought up the idea of having him come into the studio and start messing around to see what comes out. Thankfully ç came out of that and a few more tracks we may release in the future.
Since you’re well acquainted with the local scene and, by the way, you own your label Omnidisc, through which you're releasing this debut album, could you recommend an artist we should definitely listen to?
This is a tough question to answer as Miami is bursting with talent. I put together a 44-artist compilation called Homecore! Miami All Stars, which really focuses on that. Showing the world what we’ve got cooking up in this city. From legends like DJ Craze to newer acts like SEL.6 or Max Buzone. I’d say to jump on any streaming platform and let that compilation just run. One person I wasn’t able to include in there but would say to take a look at is Mauricio The Invisible. Dude’s a great producer and DJ.
Let’s talk about how you’re going to bring this album to the stage. The transformation of ::Blue:: into a live, audio-visual journey in planetarium environments is a fascinating concept. How did this idea originate, and what inspired you to merge your music with such immersive visual elements?
It’s always been a focal point to release an album that also infuses a visual aspect. The planetarium show is exactly that. Thankfully I was able to connect with Connor (Sensory Works), Joseph Nickson and Tom (Konx Om Pax) and really bring this entire thing to life. The 180-degree dome aims to fully immerse the audience in the experience.
Could you elaborate on the creative synergy between the music and these visual elements?
I had at first contacted Tom about this idea I had. He immediately mentioned I should talk to Connor and Joe. From there, Connor and Joe really became main collaborators on this project while Tom added some elements to be incorporated. None of this could’ve happened without them. Our work flow was pretty simple when it came to what I wanted to express.
At first, I had them listen to the album, then expressed to them what I had in mind visually via a composition book I had drawn ideas into. We exchanged ideas visually, exploring and refining until the visuals matched the album's essence. I’d give them feedback on time stamps as to what should be edited – it was the first time I’d ever done this sort of process so there was a bit of a learning curve, but it completely paid off.
By the way, I've heard that there's an app in development for the show, utilizing Dolby Atmos and VR technology. I'd like to learn more about this and how you envision it functioning.
On the Dolby Atmos side, that can already be utilized via Apple Music and Tidal. So any pair of headphones can give you the spatial audio experience. When it comes to the VR side of things, we’re building out an app that can be downloaded and you can simply put it on your headset and press play. For now, though, if you buy the album on Bandcamp, I’m going to be providing a link to anyone who has a Meta Quest headset where they can install the entire show.
Congratulations for your residency at The Frost Museum planned for January 2024, what personal aspirations do you have for this extended engagement, and how do you envision the show evolving during the residency?
My biggest goal here is simply being able to get it out to the public and having as many people experience it as possible. Taking it on the road and to different planetariums around the world. I know my self and know I’ve opened up a new door when it comes to artistic expression, so I’m already thinking about incorporating similar elements into future projects.
To end this interview, I would like you to describe the ideal way to listen to this album.
To anyone reading this, the best way to explain how I’d like for you to listen to it is to let you know exactly the ambience I set for my friends when they came to listen to it in my studio. I sat two people in the middle of the room, gave them blindfolds and covered them in blankets. During the ninety minutes, I would lightly burn an incense at different periods of the album. This album in general is something I wanted to create so people can consider it a movie night… without images.