Daniel Wang, perhaps best known for his work on labels like Environ, Playhouse, and his own Balihu, delivers an an immaculately produced record of disco step, italo warmth, and house-inspired atmosphere. Mr. Wang, now a Berlin resident, has tapped into the feeling of the European Techno capital. His clubbing experiences in the 90’s at venues such as OST-GUT and Cookies have inspired him to channel some of his best dancing days into a record dedicated to the dancefloor, full of spirit and heart.
On the flip, Daniel revisits his previous hit “Pistol Oderso” (the lead track from Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau) with the squelchy and deep Acid Mix. Wang insisted this version be included, as he always felt that the original needed a bit of work. The track holds up as one of the best Italo Funk records of the last five years. Another new track, “Das Ist Kein Techno!”, adds a bit of humor to this classic, summery terrace record.
ItaloDisco is back in vogue, leaving me in a neophyte position once again. As a 33 year old native Oregonian, the genre was never a part of my musical education until artists like Metro Area and i-F popularised it as a Techno antecedent. Daniel Wang has been excavating ItaloDisco’s analogue foundations for more than ten years, so I suppose I had no excuse. But while there’s a pleasure from digging into the back catalogues of artists I’ve discovered through people like Morgan Geist or The Wire’s Peter Shapiro, there’s an altogether different kind of pleasure in a record like Wang’s “Berlin Sunrise”. Italo, for its libidinal glide, always sounds somehow fraught—it’s a sound of wires fraying and speakers quivering before strange new square waves. But Wang, while he mimics the firing arpeggios and pitchblending squawks of his mentors, infuses them with a grace, an assuredness and a confidence that’s somehow lacking in much original Italo. At times this works against Wang. After enough lazy repetitions, you long for something tougher than the laidback bass cycles of “Pistol Oderso (Mehr Acid Mix)”. But there’s a comfort there too; a languid pace that maintains itself no matter how many electronic toms laser their way through the breaks. The title track wields its arpeggios and counterpoint bassline so gracefully, it could be a court performance.
-Phillip Shelbourne, The Wire
Daniel Wang was born in California but lived in Taiwan for eight years during his childhood. After returning to California for high school, Wang continued his education in New York and Chicago, st...check out Daniel Wang's page and other releases