Sessions x Danalog

Minimal house techno in the Superbalist studio

Words: Wiseman Matt

For our second instalment of Sessions we invited along Daniel Lobel, aka Danalog, the tech-house maestro who is no stranger to the confines of a DJ booth. Having played at some of South Africa’s biggest events – CTEMF, Rocking the Daisies and Synergy, to name a few – he's also a regular at Cape Town’s top clubs and smaller, boutique music festivals. 

For the uninitiated, Danalog’s sound presents something resembling a unique, modern, cutting-edge fusion between techno and deep house. Whenever he plays it always seems as if he’s playing just the right music the moment requires, with a certain panache and style that accompanies these sets. That's why through hard work and dedication, Danalog has ascended from opening act to headliner status.

As for the future, Dan is not only planning to “keep Danalog as the 'tech/house' DJ”, but he’s also allowing his passion for many different types of music to help him branch out with a side project titled LOBEL, through which he’s hoping to find “a channel to explore and develop a wider spectrum of my music and sound.”

Once again, big thanks to Kilowatt AV for the setup – our ears are still ringing – and props to VJ Emile Oudejans for the trippy visuals. You can watch the video below and read our Q&A with Danalog after the jump. 

Tell us about your artistic journey.

I've been into music all my life, and got into electronic music from quite a young age. I started playing around with music production software at the age of 12 and instantly discovered the biggest passion of my life. DJing always came after production for me. To cut a very long story short, I started  DJing in the Psytrance scene 12 years ago and started getting booked to play some amazing trance festivals. However around 2007, the Minimal Techno sound was really exploding and I was finding myself very drawn to it, and way more excited by it. So I slowly made the crossover to Tech. I like to keep Danalog as the 'tech/house' DJ, but I'm into so many different types of music and I'm always exploring more. I launched a new EP and project called 'LOBEL' this yearm which gives me a channel to explore and develop a wider spectrum of my music and sound. If you're reading this I really think you should check it out too.

Tell us about playing Sessions. 

I had fun. It's not often that you get to play music in an office space with cameras all around you – it was rather different to your average gig. But the basic idea was still there: play music that sets the right tone for the environment and makes people feel good. 

And then what's it like being a young DJ in CT?

Well, it's good to know that I'm thought of as 'young'! I'm 32-years-old and have been DJing for 12 years now. It took me quite some time to work my way up from being a regular opening act, to getting booked for the peak time slots – something I feel that a lot of young DJs today don't have the patience for. But I have been lucky enough to receive a lot of love from the Cape Town scene over the years and have played some incredible gigs. I love it, and we keep on keeping on.

Favourite gig ever?

That's a very difficult question – there are way too many too mention. One that comes to mind was a small gig thrown at the old Chukkachuri for those of you who remember it. The guys from Butterbox threw an event called 'Melt' and the dancefloor went absolutely wild! People were completely freaking out. A very special energy in the air that I have not forgotten 'til today.