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Danny Howells Talks Miami

Author: Terry Goldfain
Wednesday, 20 July 2005
"I'm very anti-sterile- Fucking hell, what a crap quote," Howells remarks in mock disgust, before exploding into laughter. "I can see the headline now! 'Danny Howells says 'I'm anti sterile'" Although taken out of context, as he was using the term to describe bland music, Howells is no stranger to headlines, nor is he your average DJ. For example, while most DJ websites are filled with biographies, discographies and charts, the crowning jewel on Howells website is the Eastenders message board.

"It's just developed really," explains Howells. "I didn't want the website to be all about people posting what they thought of my sets or asking what a certain record I played was. I wanted it to be more general chit-chat and crap. I'm a big fan of Eastenders which has been getting quite explosive at times, and people have been discussing it a lot. I kind of encourage it. So even when I'm on the other side of the world I can still check the message board, and when home I'm on there all the time talking bollocks. I'm much more in tune with talking bollocks then musical trainspotting."

Due to a hectic touring schedule, Howells currently finds himself 'on the other side of the world' often. Not that home provides rest for the wicked (of humour in particular.) While he may not take life particularly seriously, his devotion to music is absolute to the point of being all encompassing. His collaborations with producers Dick Trevor as Science Department and Deep Dish as Size DDD have been widely acclaimed, but it is as a DJ that he excels, his discography boasting a string of successful mix compilations. Most prominent is his relationship with Global Underground. One of the most internationally known and respected compilation labels, for many DJs it would be the pinnacle of their career to mix a single GU compilation. Howells holds the distinction of not only being the sole DJ to mix compilations for both the GU Nubreed series and the main GU series, but his 24/7 compilation makes him the only DJ to have mixed CDs for three different Global Underground series.

"I think it's a good relationship," understates Howells when describing the highly successful partnership. "What I like about working with GU is that they give absolute creative control of the musical aspect to the DJ. I think this has to be the case when the CD is meant to represent you. GU are really good at encouraging you to avoid big hits and well known records, and go a little bit crazy and obscure. I find that really commendable in this day and age."

Howells most recent Global Underground compilation is #27 in the main series and titled 'Miami'. At times the link between the DJ and the city they're chosen to represent it the GU series is tenuous at best. However, Howells is a perfect choice for Miami, due in no small part to his 'Made in BED' party, undisputed yearly highlight of the Miami Winter Music Conference. Never likely to disappoint, 'GU Miami #27' is undoubtedly a crowning achievement for both Howells and Global Underground. While rising to prominence as a progressive DJ, over the last few years it has been replaced by a techier, house influence and more eclectic outlook as evidenced on 'GU Miami'. "You get an opportunity like this and you can either put loads of big tracks on it and make it a really huge album, or use it as an opportunity to be yourself without being self-indulgent," he muses. "I went for the latter option, and it seems to have paid off, as did the '24/7' album that I went into with a similar approach. It's kind of reassuring in a way that you don't need to bow down or conform to do well. I don't feel that as a DJ, when you get bigger opportunities like a Global Underground album, you necessarily need to become more accessible. You can use that opportunity to try and show people where you are heading musically. I don't see myself getting to forty and playing big hits. In the future I want to be playing stuff that is more of a small room soun
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