Digital Analog Hotel is James Hancock and Dan Turner, two producers, musicians and friends who met while working in a recording studio. Making music together initially presented a challenge, as Dan lives in Colchester and James, originally from Essex, is now based in Los Angeles. But despite the 5000-mile gap, the pair formed Digital Analog Hotel in late 2019, sending Logic project files back and forth across the Atlantic as they developed songs and perfected their sound. Ahead of their upcoming album, “Late checkout” we spoke with the pair about life Behind The Headphones.
First of all, how did you guys meet? And what pushed you to form Digital Analog Hotel?
We just crossed paths from clubbing and being involved with various studios and became friends. We realised we had similar tastes and interests when it came to music and were also both interested in the technology involved with making music. We just organically began to create tracks a little while later as we wanted to explore our common interests in music production. We started Digital Analog Hotel because we hadn’t worked together for a while and had some ideas for a new project that was musically different from our individual output.
With Dan living in Colchester and James is based in Los Angeles, how does this affect how you produce tracks?
Well if the internet didn’t exist it would probably be pretty hard! We’ve used this model before, as in we start a loop in Logic and bounce it to each other until the basic groove is there. From there we just get the arrangement sounding good, add FX and eventually mastering. To be honest it’s quite a productive process although we do both miss the interaction you get in a physical environment. But it is what it is! You just have to adapt.
Was there a single moment in which you both decided this was the career path for yourselves or has music always been a passion from an early age?
We always had a love and passion for house music and UK Garage. We grew up listening and buying music from breakdance to electro to hip hop to D&B. James worked in a studio before starting to produce and Dan started making hip hop whilst still at school. We were both bitten by the bug early on and have always strived to make a career from making electronic music, this current project is representative of where we are now with regards to our mutual tastes and interests.
What inspired the name Digital Analog Hotel?
We had a previous project called #DAH which was primarily a deep house enterprise, releasing material through CR2. We originally used the #DAH moniker because we wanted to remain anonymous and keep it separate from our individual productions. The tracks were all numbered with no actual titles which maybe created a bit of confusion, so we decided on repurposing the initials to represent a new meaning and give the tracks actual names in a traditional fashion.
Individually what has been the highlight of your musical careers thus far?
For both of us, we’re just really happy how this album turned out. It was a concept we both thought was cool, utilising classic House and Garage beats and interpreting them in a new context. The fact it turned out as well as it did especially during the current situation was just really unexpected and we’re both really happy with the end result.
If you could produce one track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?
Dan: Well for me it has to be Prince. He just embodied creativity and was such an amazing, original and prolific artist.
James: I would say Rod Templeton as it would be great to hear his interpretation of contemporary House music.