Drew Daniel

Real Name:
Andrew N. Daniel
Drew Daniel (b. 1971) is an American experimental musician, composer, and producer, best known as a member of the acclaimed electronic duo Matmos, and solo as The Soft Pink Truth. He is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the English Department at Johns Hopkins University, and lives in Baltimore. Born and raised in Kentucky, Daniel grew a serious interest in punk rock as a teenager; when he was sixteen, Drew started a DIY punk fanzine The Conqueror Worm. He was singing in punk/rock bands Crain (2) and Cerebellum (4) in the late eighties.

Daniel gave his first solo noise performances under Western Blot moniker in the early nineties. Soon after, he started a relationship with Martin Schmidt, and since then they've been together as a couple and as music partners. After making music together privately for a few years, in 1997 they established Vague Terrain label and self-released their debut album Matmos. Since then, the duo released over ten albums, as well as numerous collaborations and EPs, on Matador, Thrill Jockey, Deluxe (6), Tigerbeat6, Important Records (2), FatCat Records, Locust Music, and other independent labels. Matmos produced several remixes and contributed to a few albums by Icelandic artist Björk, and accompanied her on Vespertine World Tour (2001) and Greatest Hits Tour (2003) as part of live band. Drew Daniel briefly joined Schmidt in the line-up of a legendary occult-avantgarde band Iao Core, and they also recorded several glitch albums with Miguel Depedro (Kid606) as Disc in 1997–98.

In 2001, Drew Daniel started a solo project The Soft Pink Truth, focusing on house and other dance-oriented genres. Throughout Matthew Herbert's Soundslike label, and later Thrill Jockey, SPT released three albums – Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? consisted of electronic interpretations of UK punk and American hardcore classics, while Why Do The Heathen Rage? covers various black metal songs.

Daniel studied philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and wrote a dissertation on the literary cult of melancholy. He then got a Marshall scholarship to Oxford University, and received a second B.A. in English literature at Brasenose College. While at Oxford, Drew Daniel performed as a DJ at Technical Support gabber/jungle club. In 1996, he returned to Berkeley and became a teaching assistant, while working on his doctoral thesis entitled 'I Know Not Why I Am So Sad': Melancholy and Knowledge in Early Modern English Portraiture, Drama, and Prose. Daniel received his Ph.D. degree in 2007. Before joining the faculty at Hopkins, Drew Daniel taught Renaissance literature, critical theory and aesthetics at UC Berkeley and San Francisco Art Institute. He also gave artist's talks and held seminars at Tate Modern, California Institute Of The Arts, Princeton University and Harvard University.

His published reviews, essays, and articles in scholarly journals cover a wide range of topics from Elizabethan drama and political philosophy to avant-garde music. In 2008, Continuum Press published his first book – an essay about Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats in 33 1/3 series. Daniel's second book, The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance, was published by Fordham University Press in 2013 – an attempt to use 'assemblage theory' to understand the social distribution of negative emotion. Drew was also a contributing writer to Pitchfork Media.
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