Slope is made up of Daniel Paul Behnemann (aka Daniel Paul ) and Hans Schaaf ( aka Honesty), both living in Berlin. The „Slope story“ begins in 1996, the year in wich the Urberliner Daniel Paul bumps into the cologne – immigrant Honesty during a party at Berlins alternative cultural centre Tacheles. Before meeting each other, both have already been musically active: Daniel Paul ran (and still does) the label cabinet (first shelter for Djs like Tom Clark or DJ Zky), and already produced electronic music. Honesty, besides producing and running an own label, got into the deeper techniques of making a studio work properly.
Well, it is known that the most fructuous fellowships start on partys :-), and as the chemistry between both is right, Hans and Dan decide to join forces on a common project.
Slope is born, Daniel and Honesty spend countless nights together, producing ambient electronic tracks in their Studio located in the Neue Schönhauser Straße just beneath the tramway tracks. Quite soon after teaming up, their first 12“ Planet H. is released on Interfearence Records, the legendary label of Dr. Motte and Uwe Reineke. In 1997, the first Slope – album No Cookies follows.
Since then, the Slope guys have come a long way: discovering new musical inspirations like the music of such great soul artists as Roy Ayers, Minnie Ripperton, Stevie Wonder and 60s/70s Brazilian music, the soul of dollis hill, native tongue hip hop, and, as they say, „all centuries of detroit“, musical frontiers have steadily been pushed further. As kind of a logical result of this evolution, their music was progressively fusioning house, boogie, techno, broken beats more and more with jazz and soul.
On an occasional dj gig, Daniel Paul gets in touch with the Berlin based Sonar Kollektiv label, and will soon be given the opportunity to run his own sublabel, mermaid records. Slopes 1999 release on Sonar Kollektiv / mermaid records exemplifies the „organic turn“ in their music, to which they still stick: smooth, filter & electric 2 (charted by 4Hero, by the way), is a perfect fusion between electronic beats and organic melodies. Also, the first solo release by Daniel P. for Sonar Kollektiv / mermaid records, Regulus,that features the marvellous track Islands, an epic amalgamation of south american guitar and chants with 808 beats, or the solo releases by DJ Honesty (Honeydrop2 and Yellow Sunglasses on Cabinet Records), can be understood as a turn towards a more song – orientated understanding of clubby music. Since this time, the Sonar Kollektiv, full of like – minded artists, has definitely become Slopes Homebase.
A few months later, Slope have caused a sensation, having released the track Para Los Pinchas, that was licensed by Michael Reinboth for Future Sounds of Jazz vol. 8 (LP only ), and a true cult remix of Paul Kuhns Gateway to Crime (for the label Crippled Dick Hot Wax). All of this came with rhapsodic feedback from insiders like Little Louie Vega, LTJ Bukem, Nik Weston, Alex Attias, Dublex Inc….
But even that was not enough: In early 2003, Slope release their first album for Sonar Kollektiv, M, that was very well received. The tracks Basscheck (the one that is „so heavy, it needs its own bag to carry it“) and Your time is up (yes, it’s a remix of the first UR tune featuring the singer Yolanda, and it’s Mad Mike – approved) have caused a real buzz: played by djs like Ewan Pearson, Jazzanova, Gilles Peterson or DJ Spinna, they have caused a global butt – move.
Since their early producer days, Daniel Paul and DJ Honesty have been spinning records all over Europe, often back to back, moving the people to the max, mixing house, nu Jazz, broken or late night boogie beats. In fact, it really doesn’t matter if these two work as producers in their studio or as DJs in Clubs, the guys dont know boundaries!
November 2004 was the release of the M – remixes by Envee, Lars „LB“ Berenroth and Yannick L. check out the track mousse, that will be featured on the upcoming mix – cd by Jazzanova (mixing,to be released on Sonar Kollektiv). The future is dedicated to the release of a new album „komputa groove“ (28 march 2005). For those who can’t await the next album: Daniel Paul and DJ Honesty produced the next album of the italo – western music genius Alessandro Allessandroni (the piper in The good, the bad and the ugly title theme) for Crippled Dick Hot Wax, and shaking down down a remix for the Swiss electro – act Sequel.
So, whatever you may call that these guys do, Eclectic Freestyle or Floor Filling House, Slope know what they do, and they do it well.
Notes by Yannick Labbé (2005)
And as you all know the story has continued……more about Slope will come soon.