The Sunday Sessions

The Sunday Sessions 012: Dan Bain

Initially inspired by Detroit techno parties of the late nineties, Dan Bain began DJ’ing in 1999. Blurring lines between genres by focusing on a track or song's emotional context, he has crafted a unique style rooted in many sub-genres and influences and conveys the message with a projection style that is unique and captivating.

Depending on the venue and the mood, Dan’s sets can range from ethereal and soulful downtempo to chunky house wrought with funk and nostalgia. His big-room selections include sparse yet effective elements.

Always seeking new challenges and an opportunity to share as much music as possible, recent bookings have seen Bain conjuring up marathon sets as long as seven hours; engaging the crowd with his unique charisma and feeding of the energy of the floor. This fundamental give and take is at the core of his performance, always yearning for that moment when he can look onto a dance floor and see that familiar sea of faces: smiling and sharing an unforgettable moment in time.

As a staunch proponent of vinyl only record labels and fully understanding the value of a timeless song that is a bit off the radar, Dan’s sets consist of a mix of vinyl and digital selections – always a bit left of center – but with enough boom to keep the floor moving. His record collection which began with a single Drum & Bass record in 1998, has surpassed 1,500 pieces and includes as many classics and rarities as one would expect from a true lover of fine music.

On the business side Dan started a small production company in 2001 and began to make contributions to the Detroit scene. Over the span of five years he played a key role in many executable events and debuted artists like DJ Three, Chloe Harris, Habersham and Avex Axiom to Detroit.

During the spring of 2006 Dan decided to volunteer for the Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit, which served as his platform to ally with Paxahau, the event’s producer. Impressed by his dedication, Paxahau brought Dan into their closely knit group and eventually nominated him as a resident DJ. Dan continues to contribute to Movement with Paxahau and shares their vision to continuously improve the event year after year.

In 2010 after 4 years of service to Movement and over a decade of quietly paying his dues on the Detroit Scene, Paxahau finally presented a vote of true confidence in Dan and asked him to take the inaugural duties on the Beatport Stage for the festival's tenth anniversary. This was an honor that Dan had been working towards since the very beginning of his career and spent many restless nights contemplating the perfect blend of music to represent his tastes and the ideology of the festival. The event began as a beautiful afternoon on the Detroit River. The crowd steadily grew from family and dear friends to thousands of eager ravers and music enthusiasts as Dan wound up the first dance set of the weekend. After posting an excerpt on sound cloud, it quickly gained over a thousand listens and received positive feedback from reputable artists and dance music fans the world over.

In addition to his performance at Movement, Dan Bain has shared the stage with a broad range of talented artists who have influenced him over the years; most in intimate settings allowing him the opportunity to learn even more from the masters and peers that have inspired his cutting edge approach. Highlights include legends like John Acquaviva and Terry Mullan, Richie Hawtin, Sammy Dee and Alex Under. He has also performed with a dynamic range of emerging talents like Soul Clap, Daniel Bortz, Catz & Dogz, Francis Harris and Mano Le Tough.

2012 has brought some new and exciting adventures to Dan's door step, including his first North American tour in support of Movement - with stops in San Francisco, Winnipeg MB, St Louis, Chicago and Minneapolis. He has also built a strong partnership with the cutting edge Chicago-based party outfit Mischief in Making (MiM) and Detroit's dead tiger music. Further, after a realization that his comfort level was getting dangerously high, Dan sought out a new challenge to keep his talents sharp and his range broad - This year has seen him taking dozens of bookings for weddings, corporate events and dinner parties, alongside other environments that have been expanding his repertoire on an exponential level. By finding ways to connect with older crowds he has developed methods to expose them to his favorite records emerging from the Global Underground. The approach tunes into the psyche of the room and gains their trust with familiar and comfortable sounds - then slowly nudges past their comfort zone with increasingly complex music with an emotional context that keeps piqued interest.

Most recently, he has jumped back into the saddle of the studio and found a workflow that suits him with Maschine and more importantly, it's mobile accessibility via the iPhone. Now able to capture those fleeting moments of inspiration on a smoke break or while sitting in his car, Bain has amassed hundreds of clever stems and continues to build, practice and experiment with an expectedly wide range of tempos and vibes. As a handful of projects near completion, he prepares to start shopping his debut original work and find the label that will be the right fit to build a partnership for years to come.

In Dan’s view dance music is a constant evolution of sound through the conduit of technology and the accessibility of emotion. As each new day begins, there are fresh and unique expressions to search for and bring to the people.