Since its emergence in the mid-late 1980s in Detroit, techno music has spread like wildfire across the world music scene, igniting the talents of aspiring artists seeking to leave an indelible mark on this ever-changing, competitive genre. With its driving, repetitive rhythms and diversified style, techno has become the craze of the music industry, attracting millions of fans across the globe. For those who want to delve into the Detroit electronic music scene, the journey would be incomplete without an exploration into the musical creations by one of Detroit’s best: Chuck Daniels. His passion for music began at an early age while listening to the vinyl hits of the 70s and 80s on his dad’s turntable, soaking in a smorgasbord of musical styles. He remembers his love of the 90s at Record Time and Melodies & Memories, where he eagerly waited for the latest and greatest releases to emerge. Unlike the media frenzy of the 21st century where music can be accessed at one’s fingertips, Daniels credits these stores for their vital contribution to the culture of the times and the dissemination of music to the public. On his travels through many different genres, Chuck was then exposed to the sounds of soul. Imbedded in soul music are roots of African-American gospel music, rhythm ‘n’ blues, and jazz, and so this too became part of Chuck’s steady diet. All this, together with influences of techno, New York and Chicago house, and the rich sounds of music legends like Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, contributed to Daniels’ immersion into the melting pot of popular music.
We can trace Daniels’ career back to his teens when he and his best friend, Ross Reimer, began mixing music after school on Ross’s Technics 1200’s and Numark mixer. These daily encounters eventually culminated into a co-owned DJ company. Hooked up throughout the greater Detroit area, Daniels and Reimer became the “go to guys” for weddings, parties, and clubs of all types— you name it—they played it, from soup to nuts, tailor-made for their specific clients. As time went on, the routine became monotonous and unfulfilling for Daniels. In 1993, he attended his first rave and his life changed forever. He surrounded himself with the best in the business, beginning with Dean Major, known for his Syst3m parties. This led to his first party, Can You Dance to My Beat?
Daniels’ deep-seeded love for music, coupled with his fire in the belly to craft his own creations, could no longer be ignored. He made a life-changing decision to sell his portion of the DJ business to Reimer in order to compose and produce his own music. Captivated by music of the underground, Daniels took a giant leap of faith and took a 180 degree turn into the world of techno. Quickly, he devised a plan to build a production studio in the basement of his residence in Detroit, Michigan. This is where the magic begins for Daniels, as he separates from all the distractions of the world to mold his musical masterpieces. In 2002, Daniels’ label, Sampled Detroit, debuted and the rest is history. Although his path has not always been easy, Daniels has had a wealth of input and support for his label from colleagues such as Jason Hodges, Wally Callerio, and Dimitri Max. The collaboration with other artists in the field continues to kindle his creative juices, fifteen years since the birth of Sampled Detroit. From the remix of “Good Luck” for Kevin Saunderson’s Inner City, to his collaborations with music legends such as Amp Fiddler, Claude Young, Mike Clark, and Oliver Dollar, to name a few, Daniels keeps an energetic production schedule. Most recently, Daniels’ remix for Play It Say It reached #1 on Beatport and top 5 in Ibiza. Undeniably, Daniels is riding high and revving up to take the motor city techno town to its highest level. Stay tuned and listen up, cause the best
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