Danny Daze makes no secret of his obsessive tendencies. It’s a force that’s driven the Miami-born DJ and producer to approach his finely tuned electro and techno productions with the same craft and care that compelled him to master the art of mixing. Just watch his debut Boiler Room set from Dekmantel Festival 2018, where he runs literal circles over the turntables and figurative ones around anyone audacious enough to believe a half-decent track selection is enough to make a great DJ.
Daze’s inclination for taking things a step or two beyond what's expected will be on full display this Friday, May 17, when he and his record label, Omnidisc, take over the Ground at Club Space. Where most would be content with having their label presented at one of the largest clubs in the United States, Daze has his eyes on a grander design — namely, shining a light on the little-seen relationship between two of the nation's most fertile electronic music cities.
“My goal with this show was to showcase a little bit of the Miami-Detroit connection that a lot of people have no clue even exists,” he explains. In addition to DJ sets by fellow Omnidisc figurehead Anshaw Black and hidden Miami gem Greg Beato, Daze will be joined by underground Detroit groups Ectomorph and Ultradyne, playing live shows.
Besides sonically aligning with Omnidisc’s strain of teeth-gritting techno, both acts draw from a cross-cultural exchange between Miami and Detroit, Daze says.
“It’s wrapped around electro and IDM music: While Detroit had people like Juan Atkins making electro, in Miami we had Miami bass music with 2 Live Crew,” he says, noting that the major musical players in the Magic and Motor Cities once kept a “parallel way of running” alongside each other.
“Acts like Ectomorph, they're closely tied with Miami because they've been influenced by Miami bass music, and a lot of acts in Miami — people like [influential IDM duo] Phoenecia, for example — have actually released on Interdimensional Transmissions, which is Ectomorph's label,” Daze adds. Friday’s event marks “the beginning of a story that we want to tell,” he says of Omnidisc.
It’s a lofty ambition for the self-described record nerd, whose aspiration of illuminating an unseen chapter of electronic music’s history is matched only by his desire to help shape a new story for its future. Commenting on Miami’s recent swell in underground dance music, Daze says it’s the kind of budding scene he had hoped to foster when he founded Omnidisc in 2015.
“The purpose for me even starting the label was to try and give a platform to people in Miami that are not heard that much,” he says. Now that Omnidisc has built a reputation around the world as a well-curated home for darker dance music, Daze says his intention is to take that momentum and turn it toward his hometown.
“My goal is to be releasing at least 50 percent Miami artists on the label,” he says. “There's a new rave scene that is happening... that lends to a new type of creativity. People are looking at Omnidisc and at Space Tapes and at Sister System and collectives of people and understanding that, Damn, we can actually break out.”
Along with Omnidisc’s Club Space takeovers, the label is also reaching out to Miami’s music community through initiatives such as a May pop-up series at Technique Records, the last of which will take place this Friday before the show. Daze believes the resources at his disposal through Omnidisc have allowed him to expand on the more intimate mentoring he’s done in the past.
“I'm constantly hitting up new artists, telling them, ‘Yo, I need music from you, I need music from you, I need music from you,’" he says, adding he’s opened up his creative space for use by Miami musicians whenever he’s touring abroad. “I've lent my studio out now to anybody that wants to use it in Miami, from Nick León to the INVT kids. I'm hitting everybody up, [saying] ‘Yo, we need to do something with this. This is a movement that needs to happen.’"
He adds, “I really do think, within the next year, we're going to see a big change in sound in Miami. And not only in sound, but I think the amount of artists that come out of Miami within the next year... is going to be exponential.”
The gravitational pull of Daze’s determination has grabbed Miami’s nascent electronic newcomers as well as the sort of trendsetters the DJ/producer looked to when he was refining his own artistic identity. If you spotted Daze on the maiden voyage of the electronic music cruise Friendship in December, you likely would’ve caught him hanging alongside the likes of former Daft Punk manager and Ed Banger Records founder Busy P as well as 2manydjs and Boys Noize, all dance-floor innovators in their own right.
Daze says his rise through the musical ranks “happened almost too quick” for him.
“I don't know how it happened. I just worked really hard, and when it did happen, I just said, ‘Holy crap, it happened,’” he recalls, attributing his ascent partly to his willingness to geek out over music. “People like the 2manydjs crew, Soulwax... for them to check me off as somebody cool that they can get along with, that they can also have conversations on music with... It just puts all the years of work and nerdiness and the amount of no's that I've had throughout my entire career into one instant, gratifying thing.”
But even as he talks shop with his heroes and helps galvanize Miami’s next generation of artists — all the while preparing an EP for Moustache Records as well as his first full-length album for the legendary IDM label Schematic Records — Daze remains mindful of the simple fixation that brought him to this point.
“The music comes first, and all the other accolades and all the other little highlights that you can check off comes after,” he says, vowing he’ll always be “Danny from Miami.”
“I'm just an idiot playing records. We're not the Rolling Stones here.”
Omnidisc at the Ground. With Anshaw Black, Danny Daze, Ectomorph, Greg Beato, and Ultradyne. 11 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Club Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 786-357-6456; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $10 to $20 via eventbrite.com.