Westchester isn’t the Miami of Art Deco, beach bodies and glamorous superclubs with fountains in the loos and bottle service. It’s a cheerful, well maintained if slightly rough around the edges place with white bungalows, well kept lawns, dusty roads and random lawn furniture. Westchester is a tight-knit Cuban-American neighbourhood, and at the weekends salsa and merengue music blares from every second yard as the residents congregate for cook-outs and a gossip. Daniel Gomez, aka Danny Daze, lives and works to the rear of a house he bought and rents out to a family whose pick-up truck advertises a pool cleaning business. His mum lives around the corner. She’s been in this neighbourhood since fleeing Castro’s Cuba at the age of five. At the end of the street is a greenish stream where Danny caught fish when he was a boy, and where there used to be a little outhouse where he and the other kids would breakdance. He favours baggy chinos that he rolls up high above the ankle. Compact, dark-haired and average height, he walks with the loose-limbed grace of a former dancer. Danny’s gran lives across the street.
Danny Daze’s house/bunker is what we’d call in the UK a ‘granny flat’: one room with a kitchenette and a bathroom and a low double bed with a tangle of crumpled designer clothes recently dragged from his suitcase. Of course, not many granny flats also feature a gleaming studio set-up including a 27” Mac, a Moog Voyager XL, Enzoniq Fizmo, midi modified Pro One, a Prophet 12 an Omega 8 and a Studio Electronics ATC 1-X. This is Danny’s home for half the year (he also has a flat in Berlin).
And Danny is in demand across the world right now. He’s not only a hugely impressive ‘DJ’s DJ’ whose sets at clubs from Warung to Panoramabar ring with character and eclecticism, he’s a producer of rare skill whose electro and techno tracks are full of leftfield ideas but anchored by a dancefloor friendly, bass heavy aesthetic that gets floors moving – a combination that reflects his character and this unique city. And this month he’s stepped out to finally reveal himself as the force behind Omnidisc Records, a label that Mixmag’s Electro Editor describes as “Consistently dark, consistently fresh and always aimed at the dancefloor: one of the most exciting labels in electro and techno right now.”
Over the next couple of days Danny will be our guide through the city, showing us the places and people that influenced his story and his music, a story that’s as far away from the glitz of the Miami Beach megaclubs as Westchester on this Tuesday afternoon. But first he has to drop off some laundry at his mum’s house.