Swiss producer Da Funk, aka Daniel Kneubühler, has been making electronic music for over 15 years, and has just marked his return to Anjunadeep with a double hit of melodic house goodness. The dreamy laidback cruise that is "Smug" contrasts brilliantly with the more energised "Don't Let Go", packed with rich interlocking melodies and a subtle piano motif.
To celebrate Da Funk's return to Anjunadeep he took some time out of the studio to put together this mix for us, featuring "Don't Let Go" along with tracks from the likes of Justin Martin and Kyodai, and Anjuna artists Beckwith and Andrew Bayer.
We also caught up with Daniel for an Interview about the mix, his EP, his influences, and his dream party.
Today’s interview section features talented DJ, producer and arranger Dany "Da Funk" Kneubühler from Winterthur, Switzerland. I am Philipp Eirich better known as philE and this is the Deep House Cat Show from Chicago.
Welcome to the program Dany! It’s a pleasure having you on the show today.
Your biography states that you have evolved from being "just" a clubber to DJing and eventually becoming a producer and arranger. Tell me more how all this happened and when you started to actually produce music. Soon after i've started to go out to parties i've noticed that the DJs there mixed records in a way i haven’t heard before. That caught my interest and i had to find out how they do it. Just a few months later and equipped with a bunch of records i ended up playing' my first set ever in front of 300 party peoples at the age of 16. The need to make my own music was always present. I remember how obsessive i was to find out how my favorite records where done. My dream was to make such records myself. I started to save money for a synthesizer, a sampler and some effect units to spent months with learning how to write down tracks.
Is there a defining moment that you can recall, which was the trigger for you to become a producer?
The defining moment was more a continuous flow of really good records that came out these days and the urge i had to write such music myself as a result of that.
Your tracks have great melody sections and offer a very distinct atmosphere. Where do you get your inspiration for your arrangements?
Life inspires me. May it be a walk through the park, watching a movie, cooking fine food, reading a book, travelling, watching the sunset, chilling' with my girl, track down new music...you got the picture.
I noticed that some of your tracks have a jazz influence. Is there a particular jazz artist that comes to mind when you sit down at the mixing board?
No there isn't to be honest. The jazz influence is coming from the sounds i use in a track. If there is a flute i like with a particular, let's say "swing" feel, i’d write down an arrangement to underline that feel for example.
You seem to be a multi-talent when it comes to producing genre-based house music like deep, techy or funky house. Have you ever considered going more main stream and maybe comprising your style to produce a chart success?
Thank you! No I haven’t cause i use music to express myself. If i’d write music with a chart success in mind, i’d betray myself. It's important for me to stay true to my soul and don’t make music just for the money.
In 2004 you founded the label "Acryl Music". Was this a logical step to further promote your own music?
I've founded Acryl Music basically cause i was tired of sending around demos just for the fact that most of the time you don’t hear anything back from them or they tell you to change this and that. Running an own label gives you the complete freedom you want as an artist. I don’t have to write music with a specific formula just to stay on top of what's just hip now. Labels tend to look at sales and charts when it comes to sign or release a record, that something i’ve never done with Acryl. I've just released what i personally liked the most and to be honest; i never ever imagined Acryl went off like it did!
Which artists are currently signed with "Acryl Music"? Maybe you can give our listeners a short overview where they are coming from and what styles they produce.
The first Acryl releases were all done by myself but with a wide variety of remixers from all around the world. I can give you an overview of some of the artist we had and have on Acryl.
Let’s start with our latest addition to the roster that is Subsky from Turkey with his fantastic deep tech house tunes on labels such as Plastic City and Vivid Trax. Then there's Scope from Ireland, well known for his excellent releases on Urbantorque, DJ Meri who is one half of the infamous Rulers Of The Deep with his signature sound somewhere between progressive and tech house, Jon Silva the man behind Pesto Music from Germany and many others. Check our website www.acrylmusic.ch for the complete roster.
Visiting Switzerland often myself, i have found the Swiss House Music scene to be very vibrant and lively. Where do you rank cities like Zürich, Basel or Geneva on an international scale when it comes to clubbing, DJing and producing dance music?
I guess Zurich is internationally know as a nightlife mecca, and it definitely was "the" city to go out in the early nineties in Switzerland. Nowadays the "super-clubs" have taken charge of the nightlife, dictated the musical direction and that often resulted that people didn't go out for the music anymore. Clubbing was about music and should always be about music, if that not the case, something has gone terribly wrong in my opinion. And that’s exactly what happened to the nightlife here. You really have a hard time to find a cool night out, if you’re not into "super-clubs", superficial crowds and boring records you hear 5 times a night!
What is in for Da Funk and Acryl Music in 2008? Do you have any releases planned in the near future? Do you want to expand your label?
Off course, i have a bunch of releases coming up the next few weeks, some on Acryl and some on other labels. I can’t tell you more about it at the current state but there will be some surprisingly hot, new and established Artists with their releases on Acryl. 2008 will be a huge one for us, promised :)
Where can people find you and your label online?
Just point your browser to www.dafunk.ch for all and anything Da Funk or www.acrylmusic.ch for anything about the label.
Any last words for our listeners?
I'd like to thank you for all the love and support.
You are House Music!
Thanks very much for being my guest today. I wish you much luck and success for the still new year of 2008. Keep up the great work!
2008, Deep House Cat Show
Interviewer: Philipp "PhilE" Eirich
Please tell me a bit about yourself and your career as a musician and producer.
Hi there, i’m Da Funk from Switzerland. I’m a musician and producer and have worked for labels such as Plastic City, Forensic Records, Justified Cause, Pesto and many others. I‘m also the owner and founder of Acryl Music, the label.
Your songs have great melodies. where do you get your inspiration from?
Almost anything what’s around me that i really like. For example travelling: i was in Venezia this past weekend. A very beautiful city by the way and it’s really impressive how much inspiration i can reward from such a trip. But as said, there are so many things i get my inspirations from. It’s the sum of it all i guess.
Can you describe the process of making music?
There isn’t one particular process. Sometimes i do start with drums and on another session you’ll find me playin’ with chords and synth’s first. It depends on what i’m up to at the moment.
Which style of music do you prefer to listen to?
I really do listen to all kinds of music as long as it has some sort of deepness to it. People tend to say i’m a passionate hater of chart oriented music…maybe they’re right.
As I know you've got your label "Acryl Music", tell me something about it.
I've founded Acryl Music basically cause i was tired of sending around demos and wasn’t able to release what i really wanted to. Also a big aspect was that i always wanted to achieve the complete freedom of expression and it’s extremely difficult to find a label who gives you that.
Do you perform in clubs?
Not that much, im super busy with all the studio works currently and therefore pretty happy to have off weekends.
Tell me about your best gig.
There isn’t a best one. Every gig is an experience, no matter if it was good or bad.
Some of them you remember better, because the place went nuts, but i wouldn’t think about one best gig.
What about your future plans?
That’s an easy one: i want to write music till the rest of my life basically
2007, Nevesomost Radio Show
Interviewer: Anton Pivovarov
A very down to earth guy from Switzerland who's always in good mood! Yes, thats Da Funk!
He is a typical music junkie, a man far from being troubled and worried, something that you can easily find out from the interview. Of course when you are doing what you really love not because of financial reasons but for the sake of fullfilling your lifelong passion then you have the opportunity to diffuse something very positive.
Well, Da Funk does take that opportunity but let's get started! Check it out for yourselves from the interview!
First of all, we would like to congratulate for your new E.P., The Throwdown, that’s just came out at Plastic City. What could you tell us about it?
Thank you. It’s the second e.p. i’ve done for plastic city and it came along real quick. I had a great flow while working on it. You’ll find lot’s of percussion in all 3 tracks due to the fact that im totally into classic percussive sounds like claves, shakers, and the likes. To sum it all up: if you’re into deep, techy house music with an electronic feel, don’t sleep on this one. I have dedicated „What You Are To Me" to the most important person in my life. That’s why this E.P. means a lot to me.
Ok, let’s talk about the beginning. You started to Djing at illegal parties if I’m right. That sounds good, I like that kind of parties. How did it happen? When did you start this whole thing?
In my teenage years we used to hang out at local record stores picking up flyers, checked and bought new hot 12"s and sharing self mixed tapes among each other. One day a guy from a store who was organizing rave’s and parties asked me if i’d like to spin at one of his mostly illegal parties. He loved my mixtape and so i ended up with spinnin in front of 300 crazy peoples at the age of 16 all night long.
I remember the bouncers who won’t let me in because i was underage and i had to show them my record box and prove to them that i was a booked dj that night. It was a unforgettable and fantastic experience.
How did you get your first bigger invitation to play in a club in Zürich after this?
After that particular party just mentioned before, i became a resident dj for that guy’s party organisation and so i toured throughout switzerland including zürich.
When did you decide to start producing your own music?
I grew up in a very musical family, so the need to make my own music was already given. I always wondered how my favorite records where made and my dream was at one point to make such records myself. I saved money for a synthesizer, a sampler and some effect units to spent months with learning how to write down tracks.
In 2004 you built your own label, Acryl Music. What motivated you in it? I’ve started Acryl Music because i was tired of sending around demos just for the fact that most of the time you don’t hear anything back from them or they tell you to change anything. I always used music to express myself and i never wrote music with a specific formula just to sell more units.
This summer many of your tracks have been selected for different compilation albums, for example The Plastic City Play Compilation, Clubstar Family Ibiza Session or the House Vibes Ibiza Compilation. How can you summarize the season?
This year was fantastic so far and it’s not over yet (watch ouf for The Timewriter’s Deep Train 5 CD or Café Del Mar’s Chillhouse 5 compilation besdie a few others).
I had so many selections on so many fantastic cd’s. I’m really excited and it feels great to take credit for the hard work.
Let’s talk about Ibiza. How did you get there?
You must have been there to believe it. The vibe on the island is just great and i always love the mix of highclass nightlife, beautiful beaches, fine food and people from all over the world and since i have massive support from radio staions and dj’s from ibiza it’s great to meet the people you just communicate with throughout the year.
Are you more a producer or more a DJ?
I’m definitly more the producer kind of guy. Rockin’a floor in a sweaty hot club sounds enticing but i also need to hang out in my studiochair, headphones on and a coffee mug nearby. In my opinion spinning records is for fun, writing tracks is to use up.
What’s your next project? Any new releases at Acryl Music?
Upcoming stuff are E.P.’s on Shove Music, Traxx, Conya and remixes for Connected Musik, Cabrio Records, and Funkfield besides a few other’s, i can’t tell you more about it at the current state. On Acryl Music there will be the "Catch The Wave" remixed e.p. with remixes by some well known artists and the first Acryl compilation mixed by myself called „In The Night Vol.1". Don’t miss it, it’s hawt!
What are your future plans?
I wan’t to be featured in MTV’s cribs... no seriously,
i’d love to experience acryl’s100th release and keep up writing lots of music.
2007, Music Forver