Sometimes you need to lose your mind, to regain your musical soul. For Berlin DJ/producer Daniel Steinberg, an intense touring period in the wake the releasing of his debut album 'Shut Up' warranted just that. Suffering from a heavy tour comedown and questioning the direction of not just his music, but his ongoing desire to continue as a globetrotting artist, he locked himself in his East Berlin studio for a nine-day period of "self-imposed exile" that ultimately laid the foundations for his latest opus, 'Treptow'.
"For the nine days I didn't speak to a soul except for the pizza delivery guy and completely lost my mind (in the best possible way) listening to some very obscure experimental music from the likes of Ron Geesin, Mark Shreeve and Trevor Wishart. This time acted as the reset button that inspired me to produce 'Treptow'," he tells.
Long-lauded by Jesse Rose who signed him to his Front Room Recordings label and the likes of Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano and Claude Vonstroke who've supported his tunes, 'Treptow' speaks of a producer enjoying a deep vein of inspiration. Over fourteen tracks he has crafted a longplayer filled-to-the-brim with rich, personality-laden electronic music, that's indicative of not just the breadth of his production palette, but his passion and commitments to creating colourful dance music with genuine soul and feeling.
To encase oneself in the world of Steinberg's 'Treptow' is to be taken on a trip through the artist's kaleidoscopic musical consciousness, which effortlessly swings from the multi-layered bass grooves and low-slung funk of 'Mechanics', to the disco-tinged vibes of 'True Romance' and 'Joy & Happiness', the latter of which received Beatport's Track of the Day upon release in February last year.
Famed for his love of crate digging, Steinberg's pet passion is on full display throughout the album with 'Tomorrow' deftly combining jackin' beats with chopped up vintage funk samples, before moving things southwards, with the tropical Latin vibes of 'Pasilda'.
He also crafts, simple, stunning piano-laden house with aplomb, as album single 'Can't Find My Baby' attests to, while reinforcing his ability to produce punchy, crisp tech house with 'Let Me Down' and shimmering 'Low Rider', ensuring the longplayer is as well-rounded as it is varied.
A long-time hero of Berlin club scene with regular appearances at Watergate, Tresor and Suicide Circus, as well as the much-loved Fusion Festival held two hours of north of the capital, Steinberg was 13 when the Berlin Wall came down. He has fond memories of slipping out of his bedroom window to visit the then infamous E-Werk and Bunker clubs, immersing himself in the sounds of Strictly Rhythm, R&S, Low Spirit and Bonzai Records.
Such was his passion for the movement that he quickly became the DJ for his school in Treptow making mixtapes for his friends. Years later, it was also in Treptow that he produced his first record in his tiny apartment, and today it's that very former apartment that is the location for his studio and the site of creation for his latest album, making this a fitting tribute.
Says Steinberg: "My music journey has been fantastic, full of foreign places and unforgettable strangers, the opportunity for which I am hugely grateful. But the one constant throughout my whole life has been Treptow, a place I will always come back to, where my family and friends still live, where my studio has always been and the place I'm so lucky to call home, and so this album goes out to that.
1. Let Me Down
2. Low Rider
3. Can't Find My Baby
4. Joy & Happiness
5. Step by Step
7. Only You Can Make Me High
8. I Can Be Your Trip
11. All Around
12. True Romance
13. Say Yes
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.