Five For The Funk: Danny Tenaglia

In the run up to his appearance at Tribal Sessions for Sankeys Ibiza, we go weak at the knees for Danny Tenaglia in this week's Five For The Funk.

Mike Boorman

Last updated: 1st Aug 2014

It's difficult to know where to start when talking about Danny Tenaglia - how do you sum the man up in just five records? What these videos will not tell you is how much he does beyond the music in his performances… his dancing around, his offbeat chat on the microphone (yes, a DJ getting on the mic can actually work), and his constant shining of flashlights and torches into the crowd.

But what they will tell you is the insane diversity of his music. He is rightly famous for tribal house - when he's got the hammer down that is the sound he carries off best - but for us, the reason why we've traveled thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds watching him down the years, is because of those wildcard moments he specalises in.

Any long set from him is gonna have them, and here are the Tenaglia wildcards that have blown our mind over the years.

Adamski ft. Seal 'Killer'

The first time we ever saw him, this was his last tune… after seven hours! What a statement. You should never ever leave a Tenaglia set early, that's the lesson in this. There was just no indication it was going to happen.

He was playing peak-time tribal stuff and then he stops the record and slams this in; a UK number one from 1989, featuring Seal, albeit one that had a serious acid house heritage. This was a big moment where we learnt that DJs were performers in their own right, rather than just people who played someone else's records. 

The Reverend Chris Korda 'Save The Planet (Kill Yourself)'

Just imagine hearing this on the Space Terrace… especially now. But even back when we first saw him play it, the very idea of it is just insane. It's 137bpm techno made by a man who is the head of a church called 'The Church Of Euthanasia', which believes so strongly that there are too many people on this planet that they decided to make two albums' worth of evangelistic techno to promote the message.

There was once some footage on youtube of him dropping this in Ibiza, but criminally it looks like this has been lost in the annuls of time. You'll just have to take our word for it that he was dancing to this with a bag over his head beneath an umbrella, while sporadically illuminating his face with an industrial-grade portable floodlight.

How Tenaglia got onto this we'll never know, but there's a debt of gratitude from these parts for introducing us to something so darn silly, and when we asked him to play it at Egg London last year, his face lit up mischievously… "I haven't played that for a long time man….ooooh," he said.

He ran over to his computer and had a look, and came back with a devastated look on his face, and during his apology he even used the phrase "data migration issues". This was not your standard brush off to a request - he clearly knew the significance of it, and we suspect if someone asks him for this at the next Tribal Sessions gig, he'll have the guts to tear up the rule book and play it. Because he can.

Gloria Gaynor 'I Will Survive'

This is a record everyone will have heard before, a saccharine anthem that has been the staple of chain bars across the land bellowed out by dolled-up mothers on their one night out of the year going mad for it.

It seemed to sum up everything that was wrong with a night on the tiles and is as good a reason as any for why you would abandon that world in favour of watching proper DJs in dark, sweaty clubs... surely it couldn't work in that setting?

Scratch the surface and the record has more appeal, a huge gay anthem that was a tried and tested b side of a single that worked on dancefloors well before it hit the charts, but who would know that? Still a hugely risky curveball, and one that worked brilliantly from the man. 

Derek And The Dominoes 'Layla'

And then straight after he'd pushed the envelope with Gloria Gaynor, he threw this on. Those two tracks together is one thing - you wouldn't even get away with that on Radio 2 - but after a few hours of industrial techno, in Ibiza, well, that's just plain bonkers.

Gary Beck 'Say What'

This is not a wildcard as such, although you could argue that seeing him play it three times in one set has an element of wildness about it, but this for us sums up where a lot of his sets go nowadays. He still has time for fun, but be prepared for some really intense periods of rattling techno.

It doesn't come much better than this for shut-your-eyes-and-just-have-it simplicity - it's not for the faint hearted!

Tenaglia loves playing for Sankeys - his association with them goes back a couple of decades - so you can bet your life that there will be more moments like this when he rocks up to Tribal Sessions @ Sankeys Ibiza on Wednesday August 6th. With support from the likes of Hector Couto, Jozef K and Darius Syrossian, it's going to be unmissable, follow the main ticketlink below to secure your place.

Can't make it to see Danny in Ibiza? Fret not, he's also playing for Sankeys in Manchester when Tribal Sessions returns on Friday 22nd August.

Find other Danny Tenaglia tickets here.

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