- "I completely change my sound constantly," Danny Daze told Miami New Times last week, a line that made me raise an eyebrow. It's true that the US artist has been eager to show his range in the years since "Your Everything," a track that was so ubiquitous in 2011 that it still defines Daze for some people. He went on to write proggy house ("The Calm"), Drexciyan electro ("Good Girl," with Maceo Plex) and Ibiza-friendly tech house ("Ritmo") among other styles. Most of it was removed from the bounce of his smash hit, but hardly what you'd call creative revolutions.
I'd actually argue that Daze is at his best when he's narrowly focussed, applying straightforward parameters to punchy techno and electro. There are many recent examples. "Silicon," "Rhythm Box" and "Hex" all showed how comfortable he is working a single unfussy groove to its conclusion. "When The Freaks" could have come from the studio of Gesloten Cirkel, an artist who gets incredible results out of tightly controlled formulas.
Miami features five such tracks, three of which work, two of which don't. The title track could actually pass for Gesloten Cirkel—it's a tough, acidic electro cut with the same heavily reverbed snares the enigmatic producer uses so devastatingly. "BRAV," produced with the Berlin artist Jägerverb, is also simple and effective. There's another breakbeat here but this time the mood is bright, thanks in part to a pretty arpeggio that keeps things moving. "Aqua," a collab with Kevin McPhee, is slower and of the Drexciya school—you can tell by the way the slippery synth complements the rhythm. The two versions of "Pop" have less clarity. Both have the same overbearing bassline, which upsets the balance between the track's others elements. A sassy male vocal only adds to the clutter (Daze is fond of vocal phrases but doesn't always nail them). Daze might not be ripping up the rule book in the way he thinks, but there are three examples here of why that probably doesn't matter.
02. Pop (Vocal)
03. Pop (Dub)
04. BRAV feat. Jägerverb
05. Aqua feat. Kevin McPhee