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Lane 8 Asks Audiences to Tune Out Social Media With "This Never Happened"

The importance of friends has always been a cornerstone of dance music and culture. For as joyous as shuffling your feet to your favorite songs on mind-altering substances might be, few things can match the high of glancing up from the dance floor only to find you're surrounded by those who mean the most to you, or even more miraculously, meeting new people and forging lifelong friendships based on little more than a shared love for a specific sound.

Arthur Russell knew it, James Murphy wrote the most affecting songs of his career about it, and Daniel Goldstein knows it too. Goldstein, better known to listeners as Lane 8, has gained a following in recent years for his lush sound, a potent blend of the more propulsive elements of electronica and the hypnotic quality of deep house. More recently, Goldstein’s generated headlines for his “This Never Happened” series of shows, the latest of which will take place tomorrow, February 9, at the Ground. “This Never Happened” asks concertgoers to leave their phones in their pockets — no ten-second snaps, no selfies, nothing to distract from the ambiance Goldstein is working to cultivate behind the decks.

Beyond dispatching with the annoyance of distracting flashes of light, Goldstein says the best part about “This Never Happened” has been the stories he’s heard after stepping away from the turntables.

“[I have] people telling me after shows or a few days later that they made a bunch of friends at one of my shows,” Goldstein effuses. “That clubbing ideal that you go out and make a bunch of new friends on the dance floor — that’s what made me fall in love with going out and hearing music in the first place! So to hear that people are doing that now at my shows — that’s the absolute dream.”

As of late, Goldstein has been living out plenty of dreams. In addition to the ongoing success of “This Never Happened," 2018 has seen him release his sophomore Lane 8 album, Little by Little, to great acclaim, as well as found a record label named after “This Never Happened.”

Following inspirations rooted in his days listening to Ed Banger releases and attending Simian Mobile Disco and Justice shows as a student at Occidental College, Goldstein has come up with a lofty ideal of what dance music can be. Looking to those who came before him while staying true to his own sound and aesthetic, Goldstein is excited about what “This Never Happened” offers both on the dance floor and in listeners' homes.

“All my favorite labels or events — whichever way you want to look at it — do both,” Goldstein says, referring to the intersection between quality music and memorable gatherings. “If you look at [Dixon and Âme’s label] Innervisions for example, they're known for great events and great music.”

“You need to have both to really create a strong and identifiable...” he hesitates, understandably reluctant to use the word "brand" to refer to his creative endeavors. “But that's really what it is. Events and music go so perfectly hand in hand that it just made sense, at least to me, to have a label [to represent] the sound that I always had in my head for the events.”

Goldstein hopes people will seek out the “This Never Happened” sound through proper releases and live performances rather than haphazardly recorded videos of Lane 8 shows. The origins of “This Never Happened” lie in the 2015 tour behind his debut album, Rise, when Goldstein noticed smartphone saturation had hit a critical mass.

“Pretty much every single show I was doing, it was just phones and phones and flash and recording, and there was no vibe anymore! Not that everybody was doing it, but enough people were doing it to kind of kill the atmosphere,” Goldstein recounts. “And it just got to the point slowly, over time, where we were kind of just saying, ‘OK let's do something about this, because it's ridiculous.’"

Given the several sold-out shows he’s played and the collective willingness of Lane 8’s audience to try something new, it would seem fair to deem “This Never Happened” an unqualified success. Looking ahead to the remainder of 2018, Goldstein hopes to build “This Never Happened” into a proper home for its artists and his own work. More than anything else, he's committed to conjuring sounds that can drive crowds into a frenzy, and yes, bond people together.

“There're people who are producing stuff at 115 BPM and making crowds go absolutely nuts," Goldstein says of the somewhat paradoxical idea of working audiences into a sweat with the more relaxed, soothing tones of deep house and trance-indebted music. "So it's more about that tension building up — anticipation — and then the release of it. And if you can do that effectively through the musicality and the choices that you make as a producer, it doesn't really matter — I don't think — what genre you're producing in.”

Lane 8: Little By Little Tour. 11 p.m. Friday, February 9, at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-375-0001; thegroundmiami.com. Tickets cost $22 via tickefly.com.

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