Album of the Week: Jay Daniel’s Broken Knowz

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broken-knowzWhen it comes to musical legacies, Detroit’s is singular: talking about “Detroit sound” can refer to a jump into Motown’s soul vibes or a dive into the roots of techno’s hammering basses, two apparently distant and antipodal hearts that have more in common than we might think.

Jay Daniel, 25 years old and son of Planet E early ‘90s collaborator Naomi Daniel, is perfectly aware of the uniqueness of his hometown sound, and explores all its possibilities in Broken Knowz, his debut album out now on Ninja Tune’s imprint Technicolor.

Daniel approached the making of the album by recording live percussion in his mother’s basement, working with African rhythms and instruments. Mixing world music, house, and jazz, he created a sophisticated yet powerful electronica, with the help of acoustic and vintage equipment like an Akai drum machine and Fender Rhodes. Daniel was inspired both by Yoruba goddesses (“Yemaya”) and contemporary technology (“Knowledge Of Selfie”), traditional tales (“1001 Nights”), and urban slang (“Boolin”).

Jay Daniel is the closest we could ever be to hear what the future sounds like. Check out tracks from Broken Knowz after the jump.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →