He is the founder and chairman of Mute – one of the world’s most innovative record labels and publishing companies, with a long history of Number One chart successes in the US and UK. He presents an innovative approach to record production, artistic work and label management. Daniel Miller’s visit to Łódź is directly connected with the promotion of a photo album “Pop”.
Since its launch in 1978, Mute has grown from Miller’s one-man operation into an international company with an artist roster that includes: Depeche Mode, Grinderman, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Goldfrapp, Maps, Richard Hawley, Erasure, Josh T. Pearson, S.C.U.M and Big Deal. The guiding spirit behind Mute has always been one of artistic freedom and creative adventure. Hence the label’s commitment to artists as varied as Liars, Diamanda Galás, Polly Scattergood and Simon Fisher Turner.
This consistent balance of quality pop, forward-thinking electronica and sonic experimentation not only reflects Daniel Miller’s broad musical tastes, but it has also ensured Mute’s continued commercial and critical success through a challenging period in the history of the music business.
Daniel Miller was born in London in 1951. He was always more into electronic sounds and synths than guitars. He studied film at Guildford School of Art (1969-72). Before he started touring Europe as a DJ, he used to work as an assistant editor in TV and advertising. In 1976, he got interested in new musical movements emerging from London and New York.
With a KORG 700S keyboard and a TEAC four-track recorder, he made The Normal’s first single. He initially planned a minimum pressing of 500, but Rough Trade label persuaded Miller to press 2,000 copies.
Throughout the years of Mute, Daniel Miller has been promoting electronic pop music. He recorded a synth-pop album as Silicon Teens. However, it was with Depeche Mode – a band he worked with closely nearly since its very beginning – that he was able to fulfil his artistic dream of popularizing electronic pop.
Today, as ever, Miller remains heavily focussed on Mute’s creative output. He also hosts a monthly show on Radio Eins in Berlin, and plays minimal techno sets as a club DJ. More than three decades after he founded the label, Mute remains true to Miller’s original vision of adventure, experimentation and artistic freedom.
On 29 October 2011, during the International Festival of Music Producers and Sound Designers Soundedit, Daniel Miller was awarded the Man with the Golden Ear Award for “Visionary and Pioneering Solutions in Music Production”. He also met with the audience and played a DJ set during the afterparty.
At Soundedit ’17, on 27 October, this British artist will again host a unique DJ set during an afterparty at Wytwórnia club.
Photo: Diane Zillmer