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Dan-e-o and the Monolith Crew
Buy Dan-e-o - The Book of Daniel LPThe first people to contact me and send me their material was Dan-e-o from the Monolith Crew coming straight outta Scarborough, Canada. These guys are doing their thing the same way that UK artists have been forced to, i.e. that is in the absence of any realistic offers from more established labels they have had to start their own to get their sounds out to the people. 1 Rock records is the result of several years struggle, and after a couple of 12" releases they now drop their first long player - Dan-e-o's 'The Book of Daniel' [Buy], which is well worth more than just a listen.

Genuine music lover Dan-e-o (Daniel Eduardo Faraldo) originally from Toronto, Canada, started performing publicly about 10 years ago when he was 14. He performed 'Can't Test Me' for the Electric Circus, a local dance party program and subsequently won over the crowd. In late 1996 Dan-e-o dropped his debut single 'Dear Hip Hop' and got it licensed to the Beat Factory for their 'Rap Essentials Volume One' compilation. Next in 1998 the 14 deep Monolith crew emerges and including Dan-e-o they release the 'Long Awaited...' EP on 1 Rock Records. The follow ups went on to garner much underground acclaim in Canada.

One Rock seems to be pretty much a one man affair, Dan-e-o is the label President, A+R and raps on and produces his own record. Dan-e-o cites greats such as Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, and Kool G Rap as his influences and it shows in his quality 18 track debut LP.  The first track is a remake of BDK's 'Set It Off' which sets the tone for the whole album - Modern Funky sounds, but firmly based in the original skool of the BX. The whole album is strong and on some tracks Dan-e-o is joined with other members of the 14 deep Monolith Crew, such as additional sick production from Charisma on 'Real Lyricists', 'Vacuumz', 'My Girlfriend Told Me' and 'My Favourite MC..' and guest lyrics from cats like Nish Rawkus, Grimace Love, Spidahman, Chocolate Ty-gh and Charisma all throughout the record. It is hard to mention stand out tunes because they are all good, but one tune to check is 'The Lion'z Den' with is produced by Black Cat of Irs for Esp.

Most of all for me this record is down to earth, real and intelligent, rather than gimmicky, jiggy or commercial. Expect this hungry posse to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadians and friends: Kardinal Official, Choclair and to make noise soon. Check Dan-e-o @ www.mp3.com/dan-e-o as well.

Whilst communicating with Dan-e-o we asked him what he had heard of the UK Hip Hop scene and what his thoughts were on it: "I can't honestly comment much about the UK because I don't know much about it. Last I was in England was in 1995 and I was introduced to Jungle Music. I like it although it's not my style of music. I have a cousin named Simon Bogle who I remember used the name General Kage at one point. Last I heard he had a single and video out in the UK? Do you know who I'm speaking of? All I can really tell you is that Monie Love and Slick Rick are originally from the UK. I've also heard of Rebel MC, DJ Rap and a few others."

Dan-e-o is keen to raise the level of awareness of his crew in the UK and also asked, "What artists from the UK do you think that I could collabo with the best?" Write in with your ideas of British MCs that would complement the style of Dan-e-o.

Further to this Dan-e-o went on to elaborate on some of the difficulties associated with running his own independent label, "As for your question about running a label I have a long answer. In short though, the PROS include having complete creative control over the music, being able to know EVERYTHING that happens with the product, freedom to market your own image and it gives you A LOT of experience that helps you gain knowledge of the business...very useful especially for WHEN I get signed to major. CONS are usually more prevalent than the pros...it's very difficult to run a label with such limited funding and with such a tiny staff (me). There is work to be done 24-7 and it is hard to find time to relax. You're competing with a multi-million dollar market that is hard to gain true recognition for your talents in. Very time, money and effort consuming!"

Dan-e-o is also looking to secure distribution over here, so if you run a label or distribute yourselves and want to help, get in touch with 1 Rock as below:

1 Rock RecordsContact: One Rock Records, 62 Enchanted Hills Cres., Scarborough, Ontario M1V 3P2, Canada.  
Tel: (416) 727-0181 :: Fax: (416) 298-2404 :: Pager: (416) 680-0123 :: Email: monomusic@aol.com.

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