Dantiez might be the son of a techno pioneer, but has become an underground heavyweight of his own right. The younger Saunderson son has an affinity for crafting beguiling house records, landing him on various top tier labels—including Defected, Toolroom, Yoshitoshi, and Relief. In addition to an autumn single on Farris Wheel, Dantiez also celebrated his debut on the California-led Desert Hearts via ‘Holla Back.’ The two-piece effort lays the grooves on heavy in its title opener, pairing its smooth bassline with gritty vocal clips and wailing synths for a warehouse feel. Bensworth joins for “La Luna,” a deeper, more melodious cut with silky electric guitars and synths arranged into melancholic progressions.
While he’s established a legacy of his own, Dantiez continues to build that of his family’s as well. Alongside his brother, The Dantiez Brothers have become international touring sensations of their own and staples at Movement. The artist has played a major role in his father’s recent successes as well, joining the latest iteration of Inner City and releasing their highly lauded EP, ‘We All Move Together,’ in July after playing Glastonbury with the outfit a year prior. He currently plays the role of head A&R in his father’s KMS imprint, which he helped relaunch.
Finally, Dantiez has been hard at work building his own Supply & Demand brand on top of his producer and A+R duties. A label and event platform, the entity hosts its own residency on GOOD TV each Tuesday while hosting label showcases on other top channels like Desert Hearts and DIRTYBIRD.
We dug a little deeper with Dantiez around his Desert Hearts release to chat more on his whirlwind of a past 18 months, his thoughts on the industry as it rebuilds from the pandemic, creating his own identity, and more.
Inner City just released their first album in 30 years, congratulations on being part of such a big project! Is there anything that you have learned about its release that surprised you?
Yeah definitely; the whole experience was a bit new to me, it being my first group that I was a part of and also my first album. It was a really great experience altogether though I think.
How do you approach production differently when making tracks with Inner City versus when you are doing them for your solo career?
When I’m writing for Inner City, I’m usually automatically thinking of making something for the radio—so big vocal layers, huge chords and all that. When making solo stuff I tend to be a bit more creative and experimental, which I love.
On a similar note, many obviously know you as the son of one of techno creators; but you are most certainly a standout talent yourself. When it comes to ‘escaping the shadow’ of your father, so to speak, what have you learned about establishing yourself as your own, distinctive talent?
I’ve learned to be patient, think outside the box, write a lot of music and let things develop naturally.
Since much of our social lives are disrupted because of the pandemic, has this made it easier or harder for you to focus on your music? Where do you gather your inspiration from these days?
It definitely made it easier. I’ve had tons of free time in the studio to finish old and new projects, and tend to gather a lot of inspiration lately from others’ live streams, DJ sets, Spotify playlists, and also just having friends over to jam out on some of the gear and synths in the studio.
What are your thoughts on live streams during the pandemic? We see you’re now a resident for GOOD TV with your own Supply & Demand night – would you say this has brought benefit to the brand? How, if so?
I think it’s dope! It’s an awesome way to stay connected with people and push your music/DJ sets out at the same time. Really loving doing this residency with GOOD TV—it’s great because all of us on the channel sort of share an audience so you get that cross-connection with all the fans. You can really feel the love!
The music industry has been facing a reckoning in more than one way; the pandemic really drives in a lot of its fallacies, like racial inequity and general corruption at higher levels. What do you think are the things that need to be fixed most in the industry, and how should we go about fixing them in your opinion?
I definitely think we can still do better supporting more people of color and also women in our industry. Maybe check out some black/women-owned record labels and artists. Promoters can start curating more diverse lineups as well. These are small steps in the right direction, I feel.
You’ve been able to throw a socially distanced Supply & Demand party, correct? What are your tips for other promoters on how to throw events safely in the pandemic?
I would say to just follow your local pandemic guidelines, keep a close eye on ticket sales & pre-sale and wear a mask!!
Let’s talk a bit about ‘Holla Back.’ How did you get acquainted with Desert Hearts and brought on for the release?
I met Mikey and a few of the Desert Hearts guys years back at a festival in San Diego. They recently reached out to me at the start of the pandemic to be on DH TV for a livestream, and it went great. I sent Mikey some tracks after and he loved ‘Holla Back’ and ‘La Luna,’ and wanted to do a release.
How does ‘Holla Back’ reflect where you are sonically at the moment?
‘Holla Back’ I think shows the darker, more wonky and experimental side of my productions.
Dantiez press credit Scott Sprague