Much like the bird species in their hunt to find food, EMU has travelled far and wide but not for food, for inspiration in his music.
The paving blocks for Dan were first laid when he was at school. Gaining big inspiration from DJ Shadow’s album ‘The Private Press’, he spent most of his break times and after school in the studio honing his style. Some of his football playing mates called him a ‘gay-wad’ for this, but Dan knew that they were just jealous of his side-sweep mop hairstyle. After realising he was adding too much room reverb to all of his tracks, and combined with a great desire to explore the realms of music production he decided music college was the next step.
College enlightened him to many more forms of music and now going under the artist name of ‘Minus Xerox’ he began to produce Drum and Bass and continued to do so for 2 years, even winning the Radio 1, 1xtra ‘Cutting Room’.
As he became more and more frustrated with the restrictions in writing Drum and Bass Dan went back to his roots of downtempo. Inspired by sample based musicians such as Blackalicious, UNKLE, Bent and Royksopp he took his hand to the art of crate digging. In search for loops and drum breaks to incorporate into his music, the local charity shops soon became his new found stomping ground. Things started to look up for Dan, the side-sweep mop had gone and he finally felt comfortable and happy with the material he was writing. He also decided on the new artist name to put to his new found style...............’EMU’
With the aid of MySpace Dan met many artists and even the odd fan. Those included were Las Vegas based hip hop group N1nth Cloud, who he went onto produce 3 tracks for; ‘Ash Wednesday’, ‘Fall of The Neanderthal’ & a remix of their track ‘All The Days’. All 3 of these tracks featured on N1nth Cloud’s album ‘dos.’. Under his pseudonym ‘EMU’, he also mixed the album which was later released through N1nth Cloud’s own label ‘Ghost in the Machine’. Other motivators & collaborators included Jools Slater and his daughter who both appeared on his song ‘Katie’s Umbrella’, and Caitlyn Hessell with whom he produced the “Massive Attack’ esque” vocal track ‘Rusty Halo’.
EMU’s first release came on aspiring electronic label ‘Benchbeat’. With his ‘b-side’ remix of Oceanique’s ‘Cathedrale Sainte Marie’ being compared to works of Bonobo Dan felt very flattered. Of course at a young age all is to prove in his debut EP titled ‘White Kites & Cannonballs’.