Artist Profile: Daniel Avery

by | Feb 12, 2024 | Artist Profile, Blog

Navigating the intricate landscape of modern electronic music, Daniel Avery emerges as a veritable architect of soundscapes. On Saturday, February 17, JETLAGGED presents the world-renowned architect at Control Club.

His trajectory began with a stint at a Farringdon, London record shop where he juggled selling music by day and honing his DJ skills by night. This time also marked the emergence of Stopmakingme, Avery’s initial moniker, where he steadily gained recognition, fusing indie music’s sensibilities with the pulsating rhythms of electronic. 

A pivotal moment in Avery’s career was his decision to abandon the Stopmakingme persona and adopt his real name. This shift coincided with collaborating with his idol, Erol Alkan, and a move into Alkan’s studio. In this environment, surrounded by the likes of Andy Weatherall and Richard Fearless, Avery’s major breakthrough, Drone Logic (2013), came to life. The album, released on Alkan’s Phantasy Sound imprint, was widely celebrated for raw, heavy percussion and emotionally charged synth sequences, putting a clear showcase of his ability to infuse organic life and emotion into mechanical sounds. 

Creating his follow-up album, Song for Alpha (Phantasy Sound, 2018), took five years, during which Avery experienced the typical struggles of a producer trying to navigate the delicate balance between creative freedom and audience expectations. However, the result was a work that further solidified his techno auteur reputation. This time, it would blend ambient, psychedelia, and uptempo dance tracks in a style he had begun exploring in his earlier works.

Avery’s innate ability to evolve creatively was particularly evident during the pandemic. Despite its challenges, this period proved to be a creatively fertile time. It allowed him to take a break from touring and focus on his studio work, resulting in the creation of his third album, Love + Light (Phantasy Sound, 2020), and later, Together in Static (Phantasy Sound, 2021). This period also presented Daniel Avery’s short film soundtrack, Void.

In November 2022, Avery released his fifth album, Ultra Truth, which featured collaborations with artists like HAAi, Sherelle, Kelly Lee Owens and Marie Davidson. This album, preceded by the single Chaos Energy, continues his tradition of pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic terrains. Ultra Truth is an overflow of emotions, a record purposefully noisy, distorted, and ablaze with Avery’s inner fire. It is Avery at his most contemplative and audacious. The album’s review on Black Rhino Radio states that Ultra Truth is “scattered with moments that do not shy away from Avery’s foundational escapist dream.” In May 2023, Avery would release an expansion of Ultra Truth, the B-sides, bonus tracks, and unheard noise of More Truth.

But Daniel Avery’s career is defined not just by his influential albums but also by an array of impactful single tracks and remixes. One of Avery’s most notable is Lone Swordsman, which was released in 2020. This track is a tribute to his mentor, Andrew Weatherall, who passed away in February of that year. Representative of Avery’s vision of a just world beyond music, the proceeds from the single’s Bandcamp sales would be donated to Amnesty International UK.

Avery’s discography is extensive and varied, including several notable releases beyond his albums. This work includes Fabriclive 66, a part of the famous Fabric mix series released in 2012. Other important releases include New Energy (Collected Remixes) in 2015 and DJ Kicks in 2016. Avery’s collaboration with Alessandro Cortini, the ambient-infused album Illusion of Time (Phantasy Sound, 2020), exemplifies his ability to synergize with others to create a singular, evocative sound.

Beyond his studio work, Avery’s impact as a DJ is equally significant. His all-night-long club sets and radio appearances, such as filling in for Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC Radio 6 Music, demonstrate a thoughtful curation of ambient, drone, and electronic club music, creating immersive experiences that reflect his philosophy of music as a space for the free idea exchange. This philosophy made him a regular favorite at Fabric, where his Divided Love concept would eventually be extended internationally. Avery’s DJ prowess has since seen him headline and curate lineups at events like Nuits Sonores and The Warehouse Project. In 2022, a seminal moment in Avery’s career occurred as he debuted his first live show, gracing festivals like Primavera Sound, Melt, and Field Day.

From his beginnings in a London record shop to his global recognition, Daniel Avery has consistently delivered music that resonates with authenticity and innovation. His musical journey is a chronicle of personal triumph and cultural contribution, inspiring a new generation of artists and music enthusiasts. Avery is not just a musician; he is a sonic alchemist, transforming the raw materials of sound into gold.

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