Wave to Mikey, the fourth album from the Los Angeles-based actor, musician and photographer Danny Lane is a nocturnal, neon-lit ode to the friendships that shape us. “I made this album for my friend Mikey from back home,” Danny explains. “We were pretty much inseparable for a large part of our lives, and our musical and social minds were always in sync in a special way. Then with age, we drifted apart, especially since I moved to Los Angeles. This album is just a little wave hello to an old friend and a kindred spirit.”
Equal parts avant-garde composition, instrumental city-pop, ambient, Kankyō Ongaku (environmental music) and Fourth World music, Wave to Mikey is an impressionistic and reflective cycle of eleven richly detailed memory portraits. Throughout the album, the influence of Jon Hassell, Arthur Russell, Hiroshi Yoshimura and Yellow Magic Orchestra hangs in the air like late-night mist, adding character but never overshadowing the rhythmic ambience of Danny’s musical visions.
Wave To Mikey began as a series of sketches on analog synthesisers, guitar, sample and found percussion sketches, initially recorded in Danny’s home studio. Once he’d located the vibe, Danny called on his friends E Talley II, Solange collaborator John Carroll Kirby and Destroyer session musician Joseph Shabason, who respectively added flute, spiritual synth textures and saxophone to the record.
For Glossy Mistakes founder Mario G.R., who originally discovered Danny through his photography, Wave To Mikey captures a vivid feeling of melancholy and peace. “He's able to encapsulate emotions in a very straightforward way, either in his portrait or songs,” Mario says. “I think that's a kind of virtue or skill given to talented artists, no matter the field.”
Born and raised in Staten Island, New York, Danny began playing music with his friends when he was thirteen, before putting that passion on pause to study Fine Arts (Theatre) at Rider University in Lawrence Township in pursuit of an acting career. Acting led him to photography, after playing a photographer in a film, he was inspired to pursue the medium. Danny began shooting photos on film for magazines and lifestyle brands, spent a stint living in New York’s Chinatown neighbourhood, and eventually relocated to Los Angeles in 2017.
Four years ago, Danny started recording and releasing music under his own name, leading to the trilogy of releases that preceded Wave To Mikey, How To Empty A Cup (2019), Memory Record (2019) and CAPUT (2021). Over the course of these releases, he’s revealed himself to be a sophisticated composer and producer with a studied ear from years spent digging through record bins for ambient, experimental, new age, jazz and electronica records from around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Japan.
“Music is something that’s always been involuntary for me,” Danny reflects. “It’s unconditional, always there. It’s something I just have to do. I’ve taken breaks and it’s always gloomy when I’m not playing. I just want to get better and better and understand more and more.”
Here at Glossy Mistakes, Wave To Mikey marks our second contemporary album release, following on from Evenings by Japanese composer Metoronori. We’re proud to be able to present Danny, Metoronori and other modern musicians' work alongside reissues of classic works from Stevia aka Susumu Yokota, Akira Ito, Yuji Toriyama & Ken Morimura, and Takashi Kokubo.
Mastered by Damian Schwartz, Wave To Mikey will be released on Vinyl LP Glossy Mistakes on June 24 2022. Besides the regular black vinyl, a limited clear vinyl will be available in an edition of 100 copies. Both editions come packaged with original cover art photography shot by Danny.