Mr. Nice Guy


Most celebrities will build entire fortresses to maintain their privacy. But DJ Danny Tenaglia does the opposite: He goes out of his way to be his fans’ best friend.

He regularly engages with them on his Web site,, and posts long diary entries detailing his most recent escapades. He apologizes when he can’t play a party, lists his top records of the summer, and asks his fans to make him tapes of their favorite songs. He goes on like a giddy schoolgirl after posing with dance divas Gloria Gaynor, Cyndi Lauper, and Yoko Ono for a photo at the Billboard Dance Music Summit. “It was a moment in history for me to meet each of them,” he gushes. He tells his fans that he’s on a diet (the Zone), and during one bout of insomnia he asked for others pulling all-nighters to e-mail him. Danny even encourages bedroom DJs to give him mix CDs, “if you would like to display your talent to me with the possibility of me helping you out in the future.”

One exchange perfectly sums up his relationship with his devotees. When a fan posts, “The more I love Danny Tenaglia and his music, the more I love Danny Tenaglia and his music,” Danny responds in kind. “The more I love Alex and his post, the more I love Alex and his post! LOL.”

There just isn’t a nicer, more down-to-earth guy in dance music. If you thought he couldn’t be more gosh-darn sweet, last week he hosted a clothes drive at his loft (which he calls his “Happy Space”) in Long Island City for an as-yet-undecided charity. “I don’t have many words to say how grateful I am to have had such a wonderful day with so many of you here. Not only did we raise about 300 pounds of clothing . . . we’ll have to make two trips with two SUVs,” wrote Danny on Dtourism.

About 70 followers showed up bearing clothes. Those lucky few got a tour of his loft—which is soon to become a private dance space, and is outfitted with the old Vinyl sound system.

The whole experience led one ecstatic admirer to write: “My favorite DJ is gonna have a yard sale. What a strange world this is. Time to box up some clothes.”

Moby made it OK for underground techno musicians to license their tracks for use in car commercials. But now Ming & FS take the car-commercial-as-art concept one step further. The Brooklyn-based duo beat out some 80 other producers and DJs to get their track featured in the Nissan Altima campaign, in an apparent attempt to cash in on Mitsubishi’s techno success with Dirty Vegas‘s “Days Go By.” The duo will star in a spot in which they drive around to a tune they crafted using samples taken from the sounds of the car itself. Local artist Ben Neill joins Ming & FS in this somewhat disturbing trend of blending art and commerce: Neill liked the tracks he recorded for Volkswagen’s spots so much, he released them as an album called—surprise!—Automotive.

The drum’n’bass scene has long been a U.K.-only club, shutting out even that biggest of American DJs and producers, Dieselboy. But the New York production trio of Mathematics (Roy Dank, Blueline, a/k/a James Ronaghan, and Mike Genato) are cracking the inner circle of the London Mafia, thanks to their tight, soul-infused tracks, which have everyone from Bryan G to LTJ Bukem to Marcus Intalex chasing after them for singles. The trio are the first Americans to get notice from such high-profile dons in the d’n’b scene—and were the only Yanks featured in International DJ magazine. While they fend off the illustrious offers, the boys are working on an album and awaiting the release of tracks by big imprints like CIA and Defunked.

Sting likes trees so much he decided to have local artist Roderick Romero build him a tree house for his home in Tuscany, Italy. Before his current incarnation as a builder of leafy living rooms, Romero, who moved to NYC last year from Seattle, was best known as one of the founding members of the band Sky Cries Mary. His foray into this unique career as a landscape alchemist started when he built a tree house as part of an art installation in Olympia, Washington, and another in Snoqualmie that was so advanced it included an ISDN line for high-speed Internet access. After Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler, got wind of his creations, she requested one for her Tuscan abode. Romero spent three months in Italy this summer working on it. And it’s not just any tree house, either. It includes a deck and hangs 45 feet in the air from a giant oak tree. It’s so big it can fit as many as 23 people inside. Cracks Romero, “It’s bigger than my apartment here, I’ll tell you that!”