Daniele Casa is the man in charge of the Frankfurt based EMBI Music, a label with an agenda that’s strictly discerning and underground in its approach. Now gaining some momentum thanks to an impressive string of recent EPs, Casa’s own time seems to have come too, just as his latest remix on EMBI would have you believe. Ahead of a busy summer, we checked in with the house and techno loving German native…
– Where did you grow up and what was it like for house and techno music?
I grew up in Germany near Koblenz. A beautiful small town on the Rhine river. I was lucky enough to experience the early days of electronic music in the 90’s. Frankfurt is not too far away and I was right in the middle of it with my friends.
– Do you remember first encountering electronic music?
Yes, when I was still at a young in the late 80s I started showing interest in Synth Pop, especially Depeche Mode. Mostly I bought CDs, as the CDs were becoming popular around then. In 1990 I started going to clubs, and back then you could hardly avoid the Frankfurt techno wave. So Sven and the Frankfurt scene really influenced me.
– And when did you release your first EP? How do you feel you’ve progressed since then?
I started to produce quite a bit later. That was around 2000, although a lot’s changed since then. At the beginning I was in a team on the road with the Molisans Brothers. Meanwhile, I double tracked and have been trying to establish myself as a solo artist.
– And how do you write a track? What do you start on?
I am inspired by different moments in life, but also from the scene. I hear and buy a lot of music. This is inspiring, too. At the beginning, when I create a track, I let myself guide me from my instincts.
– So are you a quick or slow producer? Or does it vary?
Each track is different. In my opinion, for a really good song you also have to take the appropriate time. The remixes are much faster.
– And what came first, the DJing or the producing? How do you think they benefit one another?
As I said at the beginning, I started quite late with production. I was already 18 years old when I played as a DJ in a Club. I really played a lot. At that time, you spent your last penny on the purchase of records. Going to the records store was a routine for me – like shopping in the grocery store. What I earned with music at that time, I reinvested straight into music. This hasn’t changed today. Due to the productions and my label you have also have the possibility to be successful internationally and to be perceived as a musician. Producing and DJing definitely help one another.
– What’s the best thing about electronic music do you reckon?
Music brings people together. I’ve met so many great people over the years. If people would listen more to music than rather complain about conflicts, there were definitely be less war.
– What’s the toughest ever gig you’ve played and why? And what’s the one track you use to rescue the dancefloor in that time?
That was once in my home country. I had to play three hours and two DJs who were supposed to play after me, didn’t show up for some reason. So I took another five hours and played all night long. That was tough, but mostly because I had to find time to go to the toilet. A secret weapon for the dance floor is anything from Kris Wadsworth!
– Will you be playing any cool gigs this summer?
Yes, of course. In Italy there are some parties going on. I am especially looking forward to my own set-up, the Open Air “High Hat Roulette” in Offenbach. An unusual location in the middle of nowhere under a highway bridge.
– And aside from music, what sort of other stuff do you get up to in your day-to-day life?
Apart from the fact that I am a happy family father, I also work as an IT System Engineer in a Frankfurt financial company.
– And what’s your involvement like with eMBi Music? Can you tell us a bit about the label?
It was always my wish to start a label. Above all, a label that still relies on vinyl. I am running and financing the label completely alone. Therefore, it was very difficult to keep it alive in the beginning. But as you can see it was worth it to believe and to hold on. Meanwhile, I have global followers who support me. eMBi Music has the ideology to offer talented young artists a platform in which to introduce themselves in the musical scene and to establish itself. And that can be seen. Many of my young artists, after they started at eMBi Music, shortly took off. Additionally, I had to separate the digital and analog world. Therefore we bring the vinyl releases out only on “eMBi Music Limited”. We now receive so many demos that I am thinking about setting up a sub label. So yes, we’re definitely moving in the right direction.
– Who was the last DJ to really impress you?
Although I now prefer a slightly more deeper sound, Sven Väth was always been, for me at least, the absolute head of the scene!
– Your latest release – what was the vibe you were going for with it? And did this change at all the longer the production process went on for?
My latest track is a remix that I did for Larry Peters & UMHO. You can also find the track on the last eMBi vinyl release, which appears in June 2015. I put a lot of energy into the track because It’s the first track where I’ve appeared on vinyl with my solo project. So that’s a big step in my musical career for sure.
– What else have you got coming up that’s really exciting you recently?
I am very happy to participate in the next three vinyl EPs from eMBi. Two remixes and my own EP will be out by the end of this year. In addition to this, I don’t produce only for my label. I try constantly to gain musical acceptance at other interesting and successful labels. That’s why I am very happy this year to be releasing on AMAM, Baile Music and Danse Club Records. 2015 will be a special year!
Interview by Ian Fleming
Larry Peters & UMHO’s Character EP (including a remix by Daniele Casa) is out soon on eMBi Music Limited.