Meet the artists of Costa Rica’s 2018 Ocaso Music Festival: Weiss
Costa Rica’s new underground getaway, Ocaso Music Festival, is preparing to soundtrack the pristine Pacific playa with some of the underground’s most sought-after house and techno artists from January 4-7. In its second edition, Ocaso has become a prime destination for the global underground elite, offering a who’s who billing of beaconing industry titans. This year’s bill includes the infamously secretive Claptone, West Coast house originator Doc Martin, as well as Kenny Glasgow, Carlo Lio, HECTOR, Dirtybird’s Sacha Robotti, Huxley, the Desert Hearts crew, and many, many more. Ahead of Ocaso, Dancing Astronaut’s teamed up with the festival for an ongoing interview series spotlighting the cultural hotbed’s alluring, world-class acts.
Championed by the likes of Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, the Dirtybird flock, and more since an outpouring of early releases in 2013, London’s Weiss has established himself as a real house music mainstay.
His revered approach is a melange of delectable, old school jackin’ Chicago house sounds — rich in compelling percussion, funky basslines, and chopped up samples. Trends in house music come and go, but Weiss has withstood them all. His sonic garb is made of one-of-a-kind fabric that’s woven into the very seams of the genre’s ethos. From his funk-dabbling early hits like “You Treat Me Right,” to the disco-tinged, poignant vocals on numbers like “Man Gone,” to his more recent full-on tech house domination, Weiss has done it all with fervent flair.
In 2014 he ascended to entirely newfound heights when his “Guitar Man” release dominated the Beatport charts and went on to dominate the underground club circuits for the months to follow. Since then, he’s continuously surmounted his successes in a critically-acclaimed reception of each and every release. Weiss’ remix of Green Velvet and Riva Starr‘s “Robots” from 2013 and his Beatport-dominating single “My Sister” are still raved about and thrown into sets to this very day. Weiss ripped into the underground circuit with flair in 2014 and he hasn’t left since.
More recently, he’s showed no signs of slowing down. Weiss has released four EPs in 2017 and dominated an array of festivals over the last 12 months. After charting his continual success, it’s easy to see why Weiss’ popularity has withstood itself over the years. He’s an ambassador for real house music, the genre’s emotional impact, and is always sure to imbue his love for the craft in his work — which is surely something the dance world can always use more of.
Weiss will be playing at La Senda, in the Costa Rican Jungle on Saturday, January 6.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?
“My first Weiss release was with Toolroom Records back in 2013 and it was an E.P. called Old School Bizz. Yes I would definitely still play it today and I still do play it in my sets! The track “Baby Talk To Me” did really well in terms of DJ & radio support but my favorite from the EP to play out to this day is ‘Old School Bizz.'”
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
“That’s a tough question! Each time you achieve something you set as a goal is seen as a breakthrough! But I guess when the track ‘My Sister’ was released it really changed things for me, it went Beatport No.3 and was a pretty big club track across the summer back in 2013, DJ bookings started to increase quite a lot and it gave my career a real boost. I’ve also been lucky enough to have a lot of support from the get go from lots of major artists who I see as my heroes, DJ’s like Pete Tong and Carl Cox, so that’s been a big thing for me. Getting nominated for best breakthrough act at The DJ Mag awards a couple of years ago was pretty cool too.”
What’re your thoughts on the potential of Costa Rica as a cultural hotbed for underground house and techno?
“I heard music is a staple of Costa Rican life, so it comes to no surprise that when they put on a festival it’s talked about a lot with the locals. I know there are a handful of good venues that put on House & Techno nights but I think the potential could be great for House music to grow bigger and bigger in this country especially having that salsa, calypso vibe.”
What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso Festival?
“Well it would be the first time in Costa Rica for me so I’m very much looking forward to visiting this beautiful country and it would obviously be the first time playing in Costa Rica so I’m not sure what to expect which is always exciting. And just to experience the culture, people and the food!”
If you could be another artist for a day, whom would you pick?
“Probably Dr Dre or Quincy Jones, their studios are on another planet and the artists they have worked with over the years is like a who’s who list of the worlds best artists.”
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
“Rodriguez jr., Carlo Lio & Huxley and of course, myself haha ;).”
If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2018, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out and why?
“Quite often with the Essential Mix artists tend to do a current mix of songs but I’d definitely have to drop a classic or two in the mix, I always do when I DJ so it wouldn’t be right not to have one included! This classic would have to be Gat Decor “Passion”. Every time I hear it I’m taken straight back to the early 90’s and my memories of clubbing and record shopping as a young teenager! I play it every now and then in my current sets and it always goes off too!”
Ocaso festival will be held January 4 through January 7 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tickets, lineup, and more information are available here.