The Genre-skipping DJ comes to Chi. Time Out caught up with him to talk about his deep house roots and the popularity of techno today.
You’ve done lots of dance genres under several names, including ‘When Is Dark’. Where’s your head at right now? Right now I’m more techno-oriented. My roots are deep house, but right now I’m more into the techno scene. It’s fresh for me and I’m excited about it.
Which of your tracks mean the most to you? It’s very hard to say, because all of my records are a part of my life, so I become attached to them all. But I would say ‘Tribute To San Francesco D’Assisi’. It came out last year and that one is most special to me right now. Francis of Assisi was an Italian saint and I found his messages very fresh and still relevant. He taught us about respecting Mother Nature and to look after the world for the generations to come. I feel that this is very important right now, for everybody, especially since everyone is talking about global warming and the melting ice caps.
So what does this have to do with dance music? I took his words and put them on my production and people started playing it. It had mixes from Sultan, Chris Micali and some other talented producers. That’s the most touching thing right now, for me.
Are messages really that important to dance music? I always try to bring a message to the people. It can be subliminal or whatever, but every record I do has a message. I like to call it my flavour, because it makes my tracks more unique, in a way. The world of dance music moves very fast – something can be big for three weeks and then it is over. So I bring messages into what I’m doing because I want my music to echo in eternity.
Do you wish more producers would take this kind of care with their tracks? Music is an art form. People like me wake up every day and we do what we do because it’s our passion. It is our life. There are so many people who do it as a business and I don’t think it helps the scene at all. There is so much going on, so many tracks being made, and it’s hard to find good things.
What makes a successful track? Too many things. Just because you put all your love and effort into a work, it doesn’t mean you’ll be accepted on the dancefloor, because it depends on so many elements. Sometimes I play a track and, in that moment, it’s not right – people are not feeling it. But if I play the same track at a different time it can be a different story.
What do you look for, then?
I come from an old-school vibe and I like elements like live drums and guitars, but the new generation’s sound is very minimal and I sometimes find it very cold. It’s like that when you come from something different – it’s hard to adjust to what people out there want. But there is always good music out there and an audience for good music – you just have to find the right spot and go for it. But it’s the message that’s the most important thing: the message and the soul you put in it.