|Daniel Givens is a Poet, MC, DJ Photographer & Producer living in NY where he currently works at Other Music.
Over the years he's performed live in the U.S. Italy & Denmark with such artists as: Anti-pop Consortium, Scanner, Tes, Mike Ladd, Efterklang, Urban Bush Women & all the Aesthetics artists. He began DJ'ing in 1993 soon after becoming a buyer at Chicago's Grammaphone record store, and since then he's dj'd with tons of people including: Liquid Liquid, Tortoise, Prefuse 73, DJ Hell, Tricky, Gil Scott-Heron, Dub Syndicate, Goldie, Fourtet, & Negroclash, again, to name only a few.
In addition to this he's spoken to High School Students about poetry, music, & photography, designed sound for dance performances at Bric Studios, Long Island Univ. Hear Theater & Brooklyn Arts Exchange & recently recorded with Efterklang (Leaf) in Denmark.
Prior to living in NY, Givens resided in Chicago. It is here he organized his 'Age Ensemble' which included: guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217), cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm (Flying Luttenbachers), flutist Nicole Mitchell (AACM, Black Earth), bassist Josh Abrams (Town & Country) & vocalists Glenda Baker & Seth Hisky. With these musicians and the help from engineers Casey Rice (Liz Phair, Ben Lee, Tortoise) & Doug Scharin (Him, Rex, Codiene) Givens created 'Age' & his 2 ep's which were released to mixed reactions that amazed & confused critics worldwide.
Givens debut album 'Age' was an extended mediation of post-rock, electronic & spoken word and received 'Album of the Year' for 2000 in Italy's highly prestigious Blow Up Magazine & was licensed for release in Japan.
Some of Daniel's past musical accomplishments include the Deadly Dragon Sound System, a group of DJ's (including John Herndon (Tortoise, Isotope 217), Rik Shaw (Rome), Bundy Brown (Directions, Gastr del Sol) & Casey Rice (Designer, Super ESP)) and Atmospheric Audio Chair, a group of free thinking ambient DJ's which included: Josh Werner, Ken Wagner, Miles Maeda & Tom Pazen.
Daniel also started a free form night called 'Others' with partner Geoff Albores. Guests varied from Derrick Carter to Spring Heel Jack, they also ran a series of parties ut of Geoff's loft, performers included: The Eternals, Isotope 217, David Boykin's Outet, Chicago Underground Duo, members of L'altra & Pulseprogramming.
His photography has been featured in Muzik, Echoes, DJ, and Mixmag and he's also conducted interviews and record reviews for the underground gay zine 'Gab'. Interviews included Derrick Carter, N'Dea Davenport & Miles Maeda. Visually, he began to construct slide projections to accompany DJ's as well as playing alongside visual artist, Suji Lee at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the now defunct Gary Marks Gallery.
"Dayclear & First Dark is about being Black, Gay, & American in the new millennium, living in NY pre & post 9-11, about coming to terms with a childhood friend killed by Jeffrey Dahmer, finding a new home in the concrete jungle, combing digital textures, samples, moog, drum machines, cello, sax, & various voices as a dark, seductive, and personal statement. We feel Dayclear & First Dark firmly establishes Givens connections to artist like Tricky, Lee Perry, Scott Heron, Saul Williams, Madlib, Pole, Sun Ra & Prince." - CD Album
The music is languorous, elastic and spacious, beats orbiting backwards then forwards...Daniel Givens's alternative universe of sensual beats and vulnerable, deep rhymes is perfectly realized and thoroughly bewitching.