Released: June 2007
Playin' Out is an album inspired by
life on the road as its title boldly suggests. Danny Ward is Dubble
D, the man behind all the music. Simple. I could just leave it at
that but I happen to love long drawn out sleeve notes packed with
trivial information you can impress your mates with and I am sure
you do too or otherwise you would have stopped reading by now! So
here it goes.
Dubble D caused a bit of a storm in 2005 with the release of his
debut album, Reachin' Out.
It garnered support from the media across the board and pulled off
a clean sweep of, "album of the months", with the cognoscenti.
It was packed full of guest vocalists such as Diane Charlemagne,
Q and C, Kate Rogers and the legendary Flora Purim as well as having
the honour of Nightmares on Wax and Fingerthing represent on a couple
of jams. It also pulled off the trick of becoming a commercial success
when, "Pudpots", ended up being used on an Adidas commercial.
Something both the label and artist were indeed surprised by!
At this stage the time honoured tradition would have seen the artist
develop a huge ego, even bigger narcotic habit, lose all his real
friends and demand the label got him Pharrell Williams to co-produce
the next album. (Well that actually did happen but it was in a hotel
room in Germany at 6am and it soon passed). No, that would be far
too obvious. Instead this album came about in the best way possible,
which in my book is always, by chance and in an honest manner.The
truth is that the tracks were written over quite a long period of
time. Danny is always making beats, he is the archetypal beat junkie.
Now that the portable studio is such a reality it means he can make
them anywhere anytime.
After touring Reachin' Out, Danny set
off on the road again with the 2020Soundsystem to tour their 2006
album, "No Order". For those that don't know I also happen
to play a part in this band of gypsies and more often than not ended
up sharing rooms and plane, train and automobile seats next to Danny.
He always had new beats to bring to the table and as the year went
on I became more and more impressed. We spoke at length about "where
now" for Dubble D and it started to become clear that we didn't
seek to follow up the first album at all but rather present a whole
new face of DD. This time we would strip out the guests altogether
and do what Dubble D does best, which is to make beats.
On tour we spend the time travelling constantly buzzing about new
music and throwing new influences at each other. For 2006 the biggest
player on our trips was the Jay Dilla album, "Donuts".
We just couldn't get enough of it. It had a heavy effect on some
of D's writing (check "Still Love You" on this disc) as
well as on our imagination for how music could be presented. Something
had clicked but I don't think we had recognized it yet. Then as
I mentioned before the laws of chance cast the dice and we turned
up for a mini tour of Germany with the 2020Soundsystem with no support
act due to some misunderstandings between agents. For once I hadn't
brought my records and we were one hour away from kick off with
some increasingly concerned promoters. Danny stepped up and suggested
he could pull it off as he had a load of tracks with him and off
he went to the club. He launched into a four hour set magically
mixed and blended together taking in jazz, latin, hip hop, dub and
eventually ending on house and leaving it perfect for us to go on
and rock. To put it mildly I was well impressed. Danny had claimed
his place as the pre-band support act and by November he was playing
to a packed and eager crowd at the back to basics birthday party,
smiling like a Cheshire cat. It then naturally followed that the
best way to present the album would a DJ mix inspired by these sets
and experiences on tour, showcasing both his talents as a producer
as well as being able to, "Play Out", with the best of
them. There ya go.
Ralph Lawson 2007
Preview tracks from the album on MySpace
Buy from: HMV