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Dan Berkson & James What are a London based production and live performance duo. Both Dan and James have been playing music, producing and DJing in their own separate projects up to now, but have recently teamed up in an attempt to create their own blend of electronic house music.
Dan grew up playing keyboards, and was performing six nights a week in his home town of Chicago by the age of 16. He entered the New England Conservatory of Music in 1993 and quickly immersed himself in the worlds of jazz, funk and soul. As his interests turned more to house, dub and electronic music, he went to London to study production and to be able to go to Fabric whenever he pleased. Since then, Dan has been releasing records on many labels including Mood Music, Movim, Exun, and Gourmet Recordings. As well as DJing in the US and Europe, Dan has been playing keyboards and laptop in a live project with house legend Robert Owens. His latest EP will be released on Crosstown Rebels in the coming months.
Brought up in southern France, James first began playing guitar and other instruments in bands. He then moved to London in 1999 to pursue music performance and recording arts studies at London College of Music and SAE. Since, he has been involved in a motley of music projects ranging from electronica to world music and has released records under various projects names. James What made his first appearances with productions on labels such as Treibstoff or Einmaleins Musik and also produced a CD for the DeWolfe Music library. In 2005 he was also selected to take part in the Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle.
Dan Berkson & James What’s debut EP together on Poker Flat, “The Dig” has been a big success, followed by two tracker “Systems” on Sounderground Record and another EP on Poker Flat entittled “Cantina”. Dan and James also contributed an exclusive track “Asteroids” to the 5th Poker Flat compilation along with remixes for Boxer, Meerestief and Poker Flat. Since their debut performance at Sonar festival in June 2006, Dan and James have been performing their unique live sets all around the globe. Using two laptops along with live synthesizers and drum machines, they perform and rework their music while always finding places for improvisation and keeping things fresh. Things are looking good for 2008 with releases scheduled on Steve Bug’s Poker Flat and Dessous imprints, including two tracks featuring Robert Owens!