Lane 8 on His Sound: "I've Always Been Willing to Adapt and Change"
Goldstein: "Making what I think sounds good."
Photo by Andy Cotterill
Daniel Goldstein is an American DJ and producer slowly making his way from the outer rings of the electronic scene to the inner circle of today's top talent. Under his stage name, Lane 8 (a moniker lifted from swimming competitions and being stuck on the outside), Goldstein has created a following that includes the likes of Pete Tong.
Lane 8 will appear, for the second time, at Bardot on October 23. It'll be his third time in the Magic City overall and it's the type of small venue Goldstein digs. "For a 220-capacity club, it has more space than you'd expect. Even so, I prefer a nice intimate club show that gives so many more opportunities to play different styles of music that might not work in a bigger room. So I look forward to those shows."
A lot of what music fans can expect to hear will be off his debut LP, Rise, which dropped this past July on the U.K. label Anjunadeep. Rise is a collection of captivating and melodic house fit for a late night spent diving deep into smoky clubs, entranced by the waves of dreamy trance, trip-hop, and R&B. It's music with a digital soul, but a soul nonetheless. We caught up with Goldstein over the phone to ask him a bit about where this sound comes from.
New Times: Lane 8 began as a rock band with your sister when you were a kid. How did you come to the decision you wanted to make this sort of house style of music?
Daniel Goldstein: It was a pretty slow, evolving story. I got into electronic music when I was 12 or 13 through hip-hop — early hip-hop, DJ Premier, Pete Rock kind of stuff. I wanted to make those kinds of beats. So I saved up my pennies and bought a drum machine and a keyboard. Just kind of did that in the basement for a couple of years. In high school, I played in a few bands. I've made music my whole life. I got into dance music in college through Daft Punk and people like that. I just kind of stuck with it, because by the time I was making Lane 8 kind of music, I had put in enough hours to a point where my music was actually pretty decent-sounding. I started sending some tracks around, got some good feedback, and it just went from there.
In an interview, you commented that when creating your debut, Rise, you felt less pressure since you didn't have to be so wrapped up in making a club hit. That being said, who do you write for first: fans or yourself?
To be honest, it's kind of changed over time. It used to be just for me because it was the only listenership I had. As time went on and I started DJing more and playing clubs, you do kind of want to make music that is functional, for lack of a better word, in that environment. My stuff has definitely gotten clubbier over the years, and it's just the product of being thrown into that club environment. Some people don't give into it and keep pushing the same sounds, but I've always been willing to adapt and change. When I'm in the studio, I'm just making what I think sounds good. I never try to make any one thing because the end product always ends up changing.
You've worked with Patrick Baker, Solomon Grey, and Matthew Dear. How do you choose who sings on what song, and is there a dream vocalist out there you'd love to produce a track for?
Usually I get into the studio with Patrick, Solomon, Matthew, Lulu and we'll just listen to a bunch of beats I've done and then they'll pick one they like or we'll start completely from scratch. I'm pretty happy with the people I've worked with, and I want to develop those long-term relationships, especially with Solomon Grey. I've been working quite closely with him now. We're doing a live show together in London later this year. Dream vocalists? I don't know, maybe James Murphy?
"Diamonds" seems to be your calling card and most popular song. Is it also your favorite, or is there another track that wins that title?
There is something sentimental [about it]. Just the fact that I've played it at so many shows and seen people's eyes light up when it comes on — it makes me fall in love with it even more. On the album, "Rise" is my favorite, and it's actually why we called the album Rise.