DJ Chus & David Penn: Interview
They say that two is better than one and this logic applies to the DJ world too. Let us introduce to you DJ Chus and David Penn, arguably Spain’s biggest and best known DJs (apart from Abel Ramos and Wally Lopez of course). Both have been pioneers of the new Iberican sound, the home grown house sound of Spain. They have both received awards from the Spanish media and have high level residencies around the world. Here they have come together to tell us about their new collaborative productions including a new mix album, their respective record labels, Stereo Production and Urbana, and why Miami is still important for new records.
You have both worked together for many years – how did this come about and what are the biggest tracks that you have collaborated on to date?
DJC/DP: We have been working together since 1994 and over the years we have done many remixes and original productions. But we would say that the most popular to date are ‘Esperanza’, ‘Baila’ and ‘Will I’. We are planning to release new remixes of ‘Will I’ for the summer 2011.
David, is it true that you gave a young Chus a helping hand in his career when he was just starting?
David: I first met the young DJ called Chus who came to my studio full of energy and good ideas. In a few months we started to work together making music that we loved the most – House music! Years later Chus helped me in my DJ career :)
Chus: David was the best teacher that a young producer could have, he was my mentor and I am so grateful for this!
Chus, you were a resident of the same club for 10 years, what advice can you give other resident DJs out there?
Chus: The experience you get when you are a resident is very important because you learn to read the tastes of the public and lead a session that begins when the doors open the until the end, it gives you great confidence and security and you get to have a global perception of the session. My advice is to learn to dispense the music gradually, not to shoot off all the cartridges in a few hours but make a sonic journey that lasts the time of the session!
I know you both have some big residencies across the world today, tell me where these are and what they are like?
Chus: I have a monthly residency in Pacha NYC, I love the energy of the New York crowd, Pacha is a real house club and I feel like I am at home, they love drums, funky tech house grooves and also my original Iberican sound. I also have residencies at Space in Miami and Stereo in Montreal, both amazing places where I love to play long sessions, sometimes more than 8 hours! It’s insane!
David: Actually I have a residency in Discoteque, Moscow, I love this club, the people really feel my sound and I enjoy every time I go.
Chus, your label is Stereo Productions, David, yours is Urbana – tell me about these labels and what do they allow you to do? Are there any new tracks on the label you want to tell us about?
Chus: I started Stereo as a record label 10 years ago to release my music and my personal stamp ‘The Iberican Sound’ which has contributed to the worldwide electronic music scene. You can find our new original productions ‘Libres Para Siempre’ included in DITH MIAMI ’11, it will be released in March, just in time for WMC ’11.
David: I made Urbana 8 years ago to focus my productions in one place and try to show a kind of quality music from Spain to the world, with new talents and in a different way than other labels on the Spanish scene. I think Chus with Stereo and me with Urbana made a big advance in our country and we help the sound that came from Spain to be valued and respected. We have many projects this year and some are included on Miami´11 as the forthcoming releases by Robert Gaez “Make me love you”, Central Avenue “Pushin”, or my next track “Bolonia” that are unreleased before this compilation.
Several of Spains’s DJ magazines have nominated you both for DJ of the year numerous times, why do you think this is?
We have been on the road for many years and we have experienced much success in our careers. We believe that this is the direct reflection of our hard work and dedication, [and] we are so grateful for this.
You are both part of the New Iberican League, explain to us all what the idea behind this is?
This project [came about] in the search for new goals to achieve, [to] take another step [in] our solo careers and so raise our level of motivation, all three of us like challenges. Abel Ramos like both David and I are old friends and this is also a new way to have fun and give our fans something more about us!
We are going to release a remake of the classic tune by Baby D, “Let Me Be Your Fantasy” and we are working on a new original song with a very popular American-born singer who lives in Spain. He was one of the top finalists on the Spanish version of American Idol.
Miami is coming up, how do you think the fact that the Ultra Music festival date change will affect the conference?
At first sight it may appear to be negative but an in-depth analysis gives a positive reading, because the roots of the WMC are more purely professional and business without the parties overshadowing the essence of the conference, leaving the week of the Ultra Music Festival focused to parties and clubbing labels and DJs around the world.
What for you are the unmissable parties for you this year?
To date, we have confirmed these shows; Chus will attend both weeks, Sat 12 at Get Wet pool party at Surfcomber and the after hours at Space Miami Terrace, also the official Ultra after hours at Space Miami Terrace on Saturday, March 26. David will perform at Nikki Beach on Wed 23rd.
Miami is largely Spanish, what is it like for you being there? Does it feel like home?
Def, we love Miami, the principal language is Spanish, the way of life is very Latin style so we definitely feel like home.
We love to play there because people from all over North and South America converge there and they love to party!
Do you still think that Miami is the breeding ground for new records or has the internet put a stop to that?
DJs and producers from all over the world are preparing new productions, remixes and secret weapons to be presented and released during Miami WMC so definitely yes, Miami still is an essential spot for it.
You have both mixed the new Miami 11 compilation for Defected, what are the standout tracks for you on the mix?
On David’s mix definitely we both love ‘Ocean Drive’ and my remix of Studio Apartment ‘Your Words’, and some new Defected bombs as Bass Kleph & Filthy Rich – These Mornings or Olav Basoski – New Day. Also the remix we done for Abel Ramos “Dream Come True” is another heavyweight tune!
On Chus’s mix we really love our new original production ‘Libres Para Siempre’ feat Cevin Fisher and Mikel Curcio, the remake of Chic’s ‘Your Love’ and ‘This Feeling’, a stunning disco house jam!
Tell me about some of your own tracks on the mix.
Chus: “Libres Para Siempre” is our new project together after almost 3 years and we have been back in the studio a lot and the result could not be better. This is a track with a clear message of love and freedom with a lovely female chorus in Spanish, we really wanted to do something in Spanish after our single ‘Baila’ which also was a great success.
I made a remake of the new Danism – “Love the Way”, I always liked the original Global Communication and was perfect for the compilation.
David: I included my brand new single “Ocean Drive (Open Your Mind)”, with the great voice of Monia Amore, my remix of Sol Brothers vs Kathy Brown “Turn Me Out” and my forthcoming single “Bolonia”. Also my track on stereo productions with Robert Gaez “El Chamaco” that is another floor killer. We are really proud with this new compilation and it shows upcoming quality house music!
What is the track you are tipping as the big Miami track this year?
It’s [too] early to know but…hope one of ours! but definitely some of the tracks mentioned in the interview.
Thanks to Toni Tambourine of Defected Press for this interview.