TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Daniel Bell

Daniel Bell is an American Techno DJ and Producer.  Bell started producing in 1990 and is, along with Robert Hood, one of the founding fathers of Minimal Techno.  Bell’s pioneering stripped down Techno productions throughout the 1990’s lay the foundations for contemporary minimal Techno.

Daniel Bell scales of success
Daniel Bell timeline


‘Losing Control’
(Accelerate 1994)

Early Years: 1990 to 1999

Being brought up near Toronto Daniel Bell found himself in what was becoming North America’s ‘Second City of Techno’ in the early 1990’s due to the work of artists such as Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva which revolved around the influential Plus 8 Records label. 

One of Bell’s first moves in Techno was to team up with Hawtin and Acquaviva to create the group Cybertronik.  The trio’s first single was ‘Technarchy’ (Plus 8 Records Ltd. 1990) and they went onto release four singles in total.  By the time the project was stopped in 1992 the trio were pulling in different musical directions with Hawtin pursuing faster, harder rhythms while Bell was becoming increasingly drawn to sparser sounds.

In 1993 Bell set up his own label Accelerate which became the main home of his DBX production alias.  The following year Bell released his stand out work, the 1994 track ‘Losing Control’ (Accelerate 1994) released under his DBX alias.  ‘Losing Control’ stands as a prototype for the Minimal Techno movement of the 2000’s.  It combines a back-to-basics kick and open hi-hat , throbbing bass line and spacey FX and vocals to create a sound that is simultaneously an assault on the auditory senses and yet minimal.

Also in 1994 Bell set up his own distribution company - 7th City Distribution - for US small independent techno and house labels. By 1998 though momentum in the US dance music scene was slowing, in stark contrast to the boom in Europe, and later that year Bell closed down 7th City Distribution.

Throughout the late 1990’s Bell continued to release stripped down minimal tracks such ‘Work That Shit’ (Klang Elektronik 1997).  By this stage though Bell’s sound was becoming part of a movement, with Minimal Techno beginning to emerge as a fully fledged genre.

‘Baby Judy’
(Accelerate 2000)
‘Blip, Blurp, Bleep: The Music Of Daniel Bell’ (Logistic Records 2003)

Later Years: 2000 to 2008

By the late 1990’s Germany - particularly Berlin - was becoming the epicentre of the nascent Minimal Techno scene and unsurprisingly Daniel Bell moved there in 2000.   That same year he released his mix album ‘The Button Down Mind Of Daniel Bell’ (Tresor 2000) on legendary Berlin based Techno label Tresor.

Three years later released his only studio album to date – ‘Blip, Blurp, Bleep: The Music Of Daniel Bell’ (Logistic Records 2003) a retrospective of Bell tracks previously only released on vinyl.

In the same year Bell released a follow-up to the ‘The Button Down Mind…’: ‘The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!’ (Logistic Records 2003).

Bell stopped releasing music in 2008 but has started performing live again as DBX.

Daniel Bell is one of dance music’s true innovators.  His sparse but driving minimal sound always kept commercial success at bay but, along with Robert Hood, created the basis for an entire musical genre. One that has also in turn helped blur many of the distinctions between House and Techno so that much of contemporary releases need only be termed Minimal

Daniel Bell was born in Sacramento in California in the US but grew up near Toronto in Canada.  He moved to Berlin in 2000.