Mute Records / Daniel Miller

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Daniel Miller
Daniel Otto Joachim Miller was born on the 14th of February 1951. He is a British music producer and founder of the legendary electronic Mute Records label. He became interested in synthesizer music during his study at the Guildford School of Art from 1969 until 1972 where he studied film and television. He was frustrated by the lack of experimenting in rock music. He discovered German bands like Can, Faust, Neu! and Kraftwerk when he was a DJ for a while in Switzerland en returned to the UK at the height of the punk music in 1978. Synthesizers became cheaper to buy and bands like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire were rising. He decided to make music himself and started the band The Normal and made music with his own Korg 700S synthesizer and a TEAC four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. He recorded two songs to be released in 1978 as a single on his own record label titled Mute. He approached Rough Trade Records to distribute his single. "T.V.O.D." and "Warm Leatherette" impressed the media and other artists who wanted to release their work by the record label. Grace Jones covered "Warm Leatherette" in 1980 and had a big hit with it.
Mute 1: The Normal - Warm Leatherette / T.V.O.D.
Together with Rough Trade he organised a live event together with Robert Rental who teamed up with Daniel to perform as well as the bands Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. After that event Miller and Rental took on a Rough Trade tour supporting the punk band Stiff Little Fingers. He became interested in Fad Gadget (Frank Tovey) after hearing a demo tape and the second single released on the Mute Label was the single "Back To Nature" by Fad  Gadget who would later used his real name instead.
Mute 2: Fad Gadget - Back To Nature
Mute 3: Sillicon Teens - Memphis Tennessee
Then Daniel did his impersonation of an all-synthesiser teenage pop group called Sillicon Teens. The band existed of Darryl (played by Frank Tovey), Jacki, Paul, and Diane. They all were fictional persons and the 2 singles and also an album titled "Music for Parties" was released. The band was in reality only Daniel Miller himself.
Mute 5: DAF - Kebabträume"
In 1980 he produced and released the single "Kebabträume" for the German band Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF) as Mute 5. Another single was made with the band titled "Der Räuber und der Prinz" (Mute 11) which became a legendary part of the Neue Deutsche Welle (german new wave scene).
Mute 13: Depeche Mode - Dreaming Of Me
In 1981 Daniel contracted another german band called Depeche Mode releasing "Dreaming Of Me" as Mute 13 including the legendary Vince Clarke. After the first album by Depeche Mode Vince left to form a new band called Yazoo together with Alison Moyet that Daniel also contracted for his label in 1982. Mute 20 would be their first single for the label "Only You".
Mute 20: Yazoo - Only You / Situation
In 1984 the label contracted Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. After two albums it was clear that Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke didn't match personally and Vince came up with a new band in 1985 called Erasure with Andy Bell releasing their first single Mute 40 "Who Needs Love Like That".
Mute 144: Erasure - Abba-esque EP
In the 90's the label would contract bands like Moby and Afghan Whigs. In the year 2000 Goldfrapp was contracted. Daniel sold the Mute label in 2002 to EMI records but still remaining in charge of the label's global activities. In 2015 another synhpop band New order was signed to the label for their tenth studio album "Music Complete".

Full Mute catalog info

The Normal - Warm Leatherette

Fad Gadget - Back To Nature
Depeche Mode - I Just Can't Get Enough

Yazoo - Don't Go
Erasure - Sometimes

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