Shut Up


After over 15 years mastering his art of production, Daniel Steinberg steps out of the shadows to unveil his debut artist album Shut Up on Front Room -- a scathing, yet very eloquent message to the all too often meaningless noise and communication of the digital age: the uninspired, the shallow and the generic. Steinberg has always shied away from press attention, instead preferring to craft his music shrouded from ego and hype. His productions have been supported by the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Claude Von Stroke and Richie Hawtin, and he is very much an unsung hero of the scene. As Berlin's underground throbbed with minimal beats and stripped-down house, Steinberg seemed to reach into the concrete shadows and caverns and emerge with something shimmering with real heart and feeling. Dicing Brazilian samples with killer beats and laying on the glitch to heavy effect, this type of behavior is definitely exercised to stunning effect across the LP. The title track is an entangled backdrop of resonant percussion grooves, softly lifted and driven forwards by the hypnotic, cynical vocals and unfolding to reveal a myriad of aberrant soundscapes. Latin American-flavored "Attencion" delivers sliced and warped piano lines that build and fall with each mesmeric pass as samba rhythms and percussion stutter, cut and break away. From the killer disco grooves of "Time Is Not Forever" to the jacking house of "Gimme" or the dream-like undercurrent of "Save My Darling," Steinberg's production breathes something deeply accomplished and enormously creative across the album while retaining a definite dancefloor sensibility. A veritable chameleon of Berlin's musical landscape since he first started producing his colorful vision of house and techno back in 1994, a time when Berlin's sound was stripped back and very distinctive, Steinberg was already thriving outside this box, experimenting with exotic world samples and having fun fusing elements together to make a cohesive whole that was always greater than the sum of its parts. Before long, his productions were brought permanently to the attention of Front Room label boss Jesse Rose, a guy with a very similar ethos on the flexibility of house music and a kindred penchant for delving into samples of the past to transmogrify their best elements. Daniel's talent of drawing on vintage and tropical elements to bring soul, warmth and, sometimes the completely unexpected, to modern house was enough to persuade Jesse this guy needed to be signed -- for the long term. Shut Up is a dazzlingly unique take on modern house music, to say the least.