This issue’s 5 Mag Mix takes us to Denver to meet Miles, known professionally as Lone Dancer. Miles is a resident at Denver’s Deep Club and has released a number of raw and untamed techno records, among them the criminally underrated self-titled album on Jacktone.
Miles’ latest release, House is a Tunnel, is out now on wax from Deep Club’s vinyl imprint.
Lone Dancer: A 5 Mag Mix
Lone Dancer: The 5 Mag Interview
Tell me about yourself – who you are & how long you’ve been DJing & making music?
I’m Miles from Denver. I’ve been making music for most of my life. I played a few instruments in school and in bands with friends for a long time, and got more into production as a solo thing as time went on. I was heavy into jazz and funk and started making hip hop beats with Fruity Loops and an MPC. I had been collecting records that whole time which kind of naturally got me interested in DJing, starting about ten years ago. Over the years my interests shifted towards more explicitly electronic music and here we are.
Do you see yourself as a DJ that produces or a producer that DJs? or both?
I’d say both, and kind of separately in a way. I definitely am interested in DJing a wider variety of stuff than I ever would want to produce. I just love music first and foremost so when I DJ I want to play all types of stuff that I’m feeling and present that, rather than use DJing as a kind of extension of my studio work (even though there’s a lot of overlap of ideas and inspiration). I for sure spend more time overall producing, but DJing scratches a different kind of itch for me.
Is there a singular producer, DJ, label or person-of-interest on the scene right now that inspires you?
It’s inspiring how much incredible music is coming out from all over the world right now! It’s impossible to keep up with it all, but I’m constantly floored by all the amazing stuff I’m finding lately. Lately I’ve rarely been listening to the same thing twice, just trying to digest as much new stuff as I can.
You’re a resident at Deep Club in Denver, right? We’ve done a piece on the label before, which included a bit about the night it grew out of. So maybe you can give us a status update – what’s happening with the night now and how is it progressing?
Yes, Deep Club is going great! We’ve been steady with the underground events about every other month or so, and have been doing a monthly residency at a club here as well. We’re basically just trying to build the parties that we’d want to go to, and I’m really happy with how they’ve been turning out lately. We’ve got a residents night coming up in November, and early next year we’ll be celebrating 5 years with a big anniversary party.
You know, I find myself writing about music and reusing a bunch of the same words. I actually had a copy of your Jacktone album here and took notes about it: “raw” and “analog” and “jacking.” How do YOU describe your sound, though? What sort of records influence how you make music? And are they the same sort of records that you play?
This one is a little hard to answer because the stuff I make is kind of all over the map, to a fault. I guess I’m mostly trying to keep myself interested in the studio and like to explore new ideas and sounds. I definitely seem to gravitate towards more raw and distorted styles, but I also like to make pristine hifi stuff, just depending on the effect I’m going for. Likewise I favor rhythm, but some of my favorite stuff I’ve made this year is more melodic than I’ve gotten before.
I try to take influence from all types of music. Even if the genres aren’t in the same ballpark it’s fun and interesting to try to apply concepts from other styles. I think the stuff I’ve been DJing lately has a pretty direct influence on what I’m making at the time though. It seems like I end up producing stuff that’s similar to what I’ve been DJing at the time. Also, I often get a spark of production inspiration from seeing someone else lay down a great DJ set and will go off and try to make something that would fit in with what I heard.
I’ve been listening to House Is A Tunnel for a few months now. I really dig the title track – it felt like it had more of a housey groove. And “Floor.” What can you tell us about these tracks & how you made this EP? (And what does the name mean?)
I actually made a couple of the tracks on the EP with Deep Club in mind, so I’m really happy they’re coming out on a Deep Club record. Really my focus was just to make some driving dance tracks with feeling and flavor, and then “Night Rain” is on there as a bonus vibe haha. Everything was made in my studio at home with a variety of gear: hardware, software, analog and digital.
The title “House is a Tunnel” is just kind of a play on the whole House vs Techno thing, and obviously a homage to “House is a Feeling”. Techno = Tunnels or something like that.
Where do you find good new records these days? And do you think it’s getting easier for the random DJ guy to find good records or harder?
I definitely think it’s easier to find good records now – all the resources online, great online shops, not to mention Discogs, really makes finding stuff easier than ever. And I think that’s a good thing! No need to keep a lid on stuff, we should all want good music to get out to the world. I love Bandcamp, been buying a lot of stuff on there recently, you can just browse for days and find more incredible stuff than you can afford. SoundCloud is still cool too, I’m glad they’re staying afloat for now. There’s so many hot newcomers on there, again, it’s hard to keep up. I have also got to mention that its great to hear all the dope stuff coming out of the states lately.
This EP has been on my radar for about 6 months now, and congratulations because I think it’s spectacular. What do you have coming up on the horizon?
Thank you so much! It’s been delay after delay with this record so I’m really excited for it to finally come out and have people hear it. I believe next up is a track on an Always Human Tapes compilation. I’m almost finished with an album that is coming out this winter under my more experimental/ambient alias, Zone Motif. I’m proud of how that one is turning out, and I think it’s perfect for the dead of winter. Then I’ve got a grip of Lone Dancer stuff finished that needs to get out, so I hope to be releasing a lot of it in 2018!
Lone Dancer’s House is a Tunnel is out now from Deep Club.
Lone Dancer: A 5 Mag Mix Tracklist
1. MHYSA – Spectrum
2. Hidden Spheres – IshOnSax
3. Spencer & Saginaw – Real Talk
4. Violet – Cloud 9
5. Throwin Shapes – It’s Fierce Mild
6. Lone Dancer – XS
7. CMD – Lycan Disco
8. Jeff Mills – Fast Decent to the Surface (Eyeball Landing)
9. DVA- Step 2 Funk VIP
10. Lone Dancer – Return to the Wire
11. Gauss – Least Squares
12. Batu – Nosema
13. Jock Club – Be Happy
14. Powder – Hair
15. Kristine W. – Feel What You Want (Our Tribe Vocal 12″ Mix)
16. Earl Jeffers – Intergalactic Jam
17. Clouds – NR-3 Verl
18. Hayden Andre Project – Broken Chains
19. Falling Into Places – Sound Response