DANI L. has already appeared on HLFP as a member of Superking and the Fire Action, Orange and the unforgettably titled Captain Fartfish and His Careful Muffins as well as contributing a solo track to HLFP 03 New Kids on the Blog, and he now brings us a full-length solo album of psychedelic stylings. Primarily instrumental, A Bell for Mike features only the briefest and/or most buried of vocal appearances, and while Dani presumably handles (with great competence) all of the instruments, it is his deft and versatile guitar playing that grabs the spotlight. Stylistically, he evokes Floydian grandeur ("Bell"), Riot-era Sly Stone and "Belly Button Window" Hendrix ("Time"), hints of Mahavishnu/Crimson malevolence ("Brainwash") and Zappafied jamming ("Shot"). A few tracks strike me as overly repetitive while others verge a little too close to modern Frisco-inspired jamband workouts for my taste, but you can't please all of the people all of the time, right? The production is neither too slick nor too raw, with arrangements that keep the ear and brain engaged without overdub overload. If you want to take a wild ride on a wild guitar through a variety of psych/prog/fusion/ jamband settings, A Bell for Mike may be for you as well.
(Guest review by BaM – BRIAN ANDREW MAREK – thanks a lot!)
Q: Where exactly are you from?
A: Born 1965 in Frankfurt/M., now living in 68167 Mannheim, Melanchthonweg 8.
Q: Do you want your real name mentioned? If so: What is your real name?
A: My name is "Dani L. Paul Caesar". And the name of this group, which currently consists of me composing, playing and singing, is "miniRock".
Q: How recorded??
A: In my practice room in the cellar of a laundrette in Mannheim. Orange Tiny Terror guitar amp with 2x12" Tone Tubby Box. Marshall amp. Gibson SG. Music Man bass. Various acoustic guitars. Pearl drumset. Some keys and percussion. All blown into two Shure SM 58. Digitally put together with Cubase Essential.
Q: When recorded?
A: Sometimes 2009.
Q: Who involved? Who played what?
A: No one but me composed, improvised and performed everything.
Q: What is the meaning of the album title?
A: Talking about my future release you´re right, a whole album should follow soon, hopefully this year. It will be a vinyl LP; you will receive a copy if you wish. My virtual band is called miniRock. The album title could be "planet der affen - no sex, no drugs, just rockNroll". It means I´m just an ape. Or "Iron Sunrise". Means what it says. I didn´t decide yet.
Q: What's your favourite track on the album? Why?
A: The pauses. I like the silence between different songs. And "Nessie"! It´s my hit record.
Q: How do you write your songs?
A: Step by step. Mostly improvised riffs or rhythms, recorded immediately, "first take" after "first take", then a little mixing, maybe a "second take" here and there, then it´s enough. Sometimes an idea, some melody or words I dreamed of had been there before, sometimes nothing at all.
Q: Any more releases?
A: Every day in the morning, after a cup of coffee and some food it works very well... very important for people at my age.
Q: Since when are you into recording music?
A: Since my childhood. My very first recording was "What shall we do with a drunken sailor", using a portable Grundig Kassettenrecorder and a bucket full of water stirred with wooden sticks creating the marine mood of the song.
Q: Any previous bands worth mentioning? Discography?
A: No, ... doesn´t seem so... hahaha. Or is there anybody remember Orange?
Q: How'd you "label" your music? (I know... nobody wants to get
labeled... bla bla bla...)
A: "Ich lasse meine Musik in keine Schublade stecken", aber "man darf gespannt sein" (can´t translate this shit)? Ok: It´s Roc!
Q: What is "psychedelic music" for you?
A) the short one - a SunnO))) concert.
B) the long one - the Chanting each morning during my annual ten-day-vipassana course.
Q: What is your all time favourite psychedelic record? Why?
A: Ummagumma. I like the gnomes behind David.
Q: Any plans for live gigs?
A: Maybe I will perform solo with my Loop Station, maybe on some open session, a vernissage or a party.
Q: What are your main influences?
A: Early Pink Floyd; early Black Sabbath; early Mothers Of Invention.
Q: Website, myspace?
Q: The last five records you bought?
A: Shield Your Eyes: "Shield ´em"
Eagle Twin: "The Unkindness Of Crows"
Sunn0))): "Monoliths & Dimensions"
John Scofield Band: "Überjam"
Iggy And The Stooges: "Metallic K.O."
Q: Anything that you think is interesting, that you'd like to inform the
blog readers about...
A: This piece of music is written for and dedicated to you, Mike. It makes me a little happier that you seem to like it. – Best regards, Dani L.
Favourite track: Brain Ache and Bell
Thanks for the dedication!
DANI L.: A Bell For Mike
(mp3-zip, 9 tracks, 54 min, 122,3 MB @ 320, non-art incl.)