Dan McKie’s labels, 33 Music and 1980 Recordings, have seen him work with artists such as Bushwacka!, Roger Sanchez and Luca M, and have been supported by the likes of Richie Hawtin, Danny Howard, Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Monki, and B Traits. A UK-born, Ibiza, London, Barcelona and Andorra resident, McKie has a strong ties to each respective scenes, a clear example for his dedication and passion for the music. We caught up with McKie to find out a bit more about his origins, his labels, and his plans for the future.
How are you? How has the start to your year been?
I am good, busy. January has been a weird one this year it feels like I have done a lot of sorting.
Tell us about your labels, 1980 Recordings and 33 Music. What’s the difference between the two?
I started 1980 Recordings back in 2007 with first release from the likes of Ali Payami, Sebastian Davidson, Bart B More etc and it was there for my own production too. It was this for a few years but then it has progressed in to a platform for talent. This label releases everything from Disco, House, Deep, Tech, Progressive, Techno, everything across 4/4 really. Because 1980 Recordings is for talent I needed a new platform for my own productions so I had the idea of 33 Music.
When I was at ADE a couple of years ago I was having my now annual meet up and drinks with Xelon Entertainment, I told them about my idea and they loved it. It took a while to get everything in place and running but the idea was that 33 Music is for my own productions with a remix from a name or a producer I love the sound of and vice versa. Basically each release is either an original from me or including a remix from me. 2 track releases every time across the house & techno spectrum.
What are the best and worst bits about running a label?
Artist’s & ego’s. I have been dealing with this across many a year. I have always had time for people and found time for people but some artists when they get the sniff of success are unbelievably arrogant and rude to you. I have a few now and from the past who are like this. You never know who you will bump into on your way down. It cost nothing to be nice.
Has your sound evolved since you first started out in dance music?
Oh god yes! I start out making & djing electro mostly. I’ve now developed a more underground house, tech, prog and techno sound of which I love DJing too. I’ve listened back to some of my first releases… some are not to bad but some are god awful!
What informs or inspires that sound?
Of now? just listening to others music and DJing. I get inspired by samples old and new. I don’t sit down and say ’today I will make a tech house track’, it all depends how the track evolves and the sample/synths I am using.
What were some of the parties or labels growing up that got you into dance music?
Shindig in Newcastle played a bit part. I would go a lot and seeing Harry Choo Choo Romero playing on 4 vinyl decks was big… I want to do that moment. I’d love to play Shindig one day as I have never yet and I am a great admirer. I also liked the likes of Rockshots, World Head Quarters (Old & New), Stereo, Reverb but these where more clubs in Newcastle. As for labels probably Strictly Rhythm, SuSu, Hooj, Positiva, Skint and probably more… If I had my vinyl collection here I could probably rattle a load off.
Tell us about the new remix you have done of Noble North, how did that come about?
Well Noble North made Ronnie Mo for me and 33 Music. It started out as a remix on 1980 Recordings but the he had done so much it was totally unrecognisable and he hardly used any of the parts. We removed said parts, he tidied it up and then we have what is ‘Ronnie Mo’ now. So then it was down to me to turn upon the remix duties. I love the vibe of the original but I wanted to take it a bit more deeper and underground but still keeping it within the vibe of the original, so that’s what I did (hopefully). I will let the listener decide that though.
What rules are there when it comes to remixing? Can you go too far from the original you think?
Of course you can but that’s not a problem as my answer to the last question was a prime example of that. If you do go too far just make an original. If you can still take it far but gel with the original then great, do so. There are no rules. I take remixes completely different every time. It all depends on the parts provided. Take this week for example, I have just finished remixing ‘Aki Bergen and Richter’ for 33 Music and it is completely different to the Ronnie Mo remix. It sounds rather large. But that for a later release in the year. Go listen to Ronnie Mo for now 😉
What is the art of a&r? what tricks and tips have you picked up over the years?
Less is more. I remember when I made track back in the day, they were soooooo full. Now it is the art of deleting things to make the song/track stronger. Some demos come in and they don’t need any advise but others come in and with me being the fresh ears on it I give some A+R advice. Sometimes a track has come in as a demo and I suggest me getting on board to take it up a notch, this happens often and it works.
What else are you working on/have you got coming up?
We have a complete schedule for 33 Music for the year with releases from myself (obviously), Aki Bergen & Richter, Davina Moss, Common Underground, Murjd, Steve Linney, Plasika, Lazarusman, Onur Ozman, Fanatic Funk and more. On 1980 Recordings we will continue the constant schedule of talent from the likes of Ming, Greater Than Us, Known Uknown, Lass (FR), Noble North, Antton, Daddy Rusell and many many others. I am always signing tracks to that label.
I also have some DJ bookings coming up in Andorra, London, Luxembourg, Ghana, Barcelona, Ibiza etc. Best check my website for those details.
I’ve always got a lot going on.
Pre-order 33 Music’s latest release, Noble North’s Ronnie Mo EP with Dan McKie remix, over at Traxsource