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Dutch synthesizer enthusiast, DJ, painter, and ufologist Danny Wolfers has released an enormous amount of music under dozens of project names, with Legowelt being the most prolific as well as the most acclaimed. His music has ranged in style from steely electro-disco and deep, Chicago-style house to minimal wave and horror score-inspired ambient pieces. Based in the Hague, he resides in the North Sea Institute for the Overmind, a home studio filled with vintage keyboards and modular synthesizers. Regularly releasing music since the mid-1990s, he broke through with 2002's "Disco Rout," which became a standard of the neo-electro scene. He kept up his productive pace through collaborations with artists like Luke Eargoggle and Orgue Electronique, additionally taking on solo side projects like the Afrobeat/funk-inspired Nacho Patrol. The 2010s brought well-received solo efforts like 2011's The Teac Life and 2014's Crystal Cult 2080, as well as an alliance with the outsider house scene, as he released material on labels like L.I.E.S. and Unknown to the Unknown. He continued veering between paranoid electro and atmospheric techno on releases like 2020's Pancakes with Mist. Danny Wolfers began making music in the early 1990s, with formative influences including Dutch electro group Unit Moebius (also based in the Hague), Detroit techno acts like Underground Resistance and Blake Baxter, Chicago house producers such as Armando and Farley Jackmaster Funk, and the early work of IDM artists Aphex Twin and µ-ziq. After debuting with a self-released cassette (Space Force, 1996) and a limited CD-R (Reports from the Backseat Pimp, 1998), he made his vinyl debut with 1999's Pimpshifter, his first of many releases for Bunker Records. He collaborated extensively with Orgue Electronique (under their own monikers and as Macho Cat Garage and the Chicago Shags) and formed the duo Catnip with Sweden's Luke Eargoggle. The infectious, Italo-leaning track "Disco Rout" appeared on Ghostly International's Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau compilation and was subsequently issued as a single by Cocoon Recordings, spawning several remixes. As the song became an underground hit, it brought attention to Wolfers' back catalog, and the compilation Classics 1998-2003 appeared, followed by a collection of earlier recordings called Dark Days, which launched the artist's Strange Life Records in 2004. Wolfers additionally put out soundtrack-like albums on the label, under several names including Franz Falckenhaus, Phalangius, and Smackos. As Legowelt, Wolfers continued releasing electro and Italo-disco records on labels like Crème Organization and Bunker. His own imprint released Dark Days 2 and the cinematic The Rise and Fall of Manuel Noriega in 2008, followed by the playful Amiga Railroad Adventures and a split LP with Garçon Taupe in 2009. His funk-influenced Nacho Patrol began releasing singles, and released a full-length titled The Africa Jet Band Album in 2011. Legowelt's self-issued, two-hour The Teac Life appeared the same year, instantly becoming one of his most highly praised releases. He also explored stripped-down, atmospheric house with Sark Island Acid, one of the earliest releases on Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. Records. 2012's The Paranormal Soul, released by Clone, was a throwback to early house and techno. Wolfers released EPs with fellow synth enthusiast Sheela Rahman (Xosar) as XAMIGA and Trackman Lafonte & Bonquiqui. He also debuted several other pseudonymous solo projects, such as Occult Orientated Crime, Rising Sun Systems, and UFOCUS, which were mostly released through his own Nightwind Records. He contributed to several mix podcasts, additionally producing a series of mixes focused on Memphis rap. Singles on labels like Unknown to the Unknown and Technicolour contained some of his more club-oriented Legowelt material, and the 2014 Crème full-length Crystal Cult 2080 was an excursion into deep, spacy house. Wolfers' own pastel paintings, typically consisting of surreal city or nature scenes, adorned the covers of many of his releases, including 2017's Legowelt album Legendary Freaks in the Trash of Time and several ambient albums and soundtracks under his own name. Unconditional Contours, an album of synth studies, was released by -ous in 2019. Legowelt issued the progressive electronic LP Secrets After Dreams, the atmospheric techno album Tips for Life, and the electro-focused Pancakes with Mist in 2020. Jammed from the Fist, a full-length credited to Dickie Smabers, was released by Unknown to the Unknown in 2021. Wolfers' soundtrack to Alexander Falk's short film Song of Moss appeared the same year.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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