Montesa is a DJ/Producer that might be a new name on the circuit, but from his recent release ‘Cala Comte’, you immediately knew his tastes and interests in dance music had gone back to way back when. A penchant for classic New York house with an Iberican feel, it’s music to move your feet to, and perfect for summer dance floors. We caught up with the artist recently to talk about his new release, the launch of his new label Dance Company and it’s event in London, and his plans for himself and the label over the coming months…
How are you, what’s good, what’s bad? How does it feel to have the label land first release ready to go?
Hello, it feels great thank you. A lot of hard work has gone into it and hope it shows. So we’d like to thank everyone involved from the designers to the musicians for their patience and efforts. There’s so much music coming out all the time now from all over, people can see it, click it once, if your lucky, then move on which is only a healthy thing but we hope people can feel an identity with the releases.
Give us some background, tell us when you first got into dance music, what parties, labels, DJs.
Getting into Dance music I was around 13/14 at the time and was in my friends bedroom after school, he grabbed a record from a pile, walked upto a Technics 1210 and whacked Jimi Polo – Betters Days on Urban straight on the deck. Hearing that intro and the drop I knew that was the start of the electronic journey, hip hop was prior to that. Growing up in the 90’s was a great time to grow up, we missed the Acid House boom, but we will take the 90’s. Listening to the tapes with friends of the early days of Sasha, The Gallery at Leeds and the Hacienda is what booted it all off. Factory, Outer Rhythm, Debut, Warp, DJ International etc the talent Sasha had almost 30 years ago was immense and he’s still impressing millions each year now, incredible. Sasha is God and all that… A lot of friends also grew up becoming hardcore dance music fans through school, passed down from brothers really, were from the North of England you know! So we ended up going to UK raves underage like Raindance and Vibealite at the time. You could walk past our year at school and they’d always be a tape blasting out, some dreamscape pack, Hardcore, Jungle or Drum and Bass with the MC’s doing the business. Oi oi!!
Who or what is Montesa, why use that alias? What does it mean?
Montesa is a name of a trails bike, a type of motorbike we rode as kids. A sport popular in the north of England and also in Spain coincidently where we’ve spent most of our time. The sport is losing its following more now as the generations are whizzing by but they used to ride these bikes and do trails during the day at KU Ibiza (now Amnesia) in the late eighties. Then they would socialise and party in the evening. Some of the flyers are so good, so it’s a bit of recognition for the great sport, era, and the antics that took place at our favourite club in the world.
How long have you been making music, why was now the right time for your first release?
About 7 years, we like to listen and work with different projects and go back and fourth with it. The problem is fitting in with trends and what’s popular and thinking when the best time to release stuff is, but nothing will ever get released if you dwell on that too much. We wanted to make sure the record was ready to be released by the middle of summer as it has an old Iberican feel to it.
What are your aims when making tunes, sounds like you’re a fan of a classic house sound, New York influences maybe?
There’s never really an aim, just to be happy with it and believe that other people will enjoy it and dance to it. That’s about it. Sure the classic house New York House scene has a big part to play, also the UK and Italian scene have huge parts. The 90’s records hold a special place in our hearts, there was a real passion for it in the north of England and still is, like some kind of breeding ground.
What’s your studio set up like? Have you got hardware or software in there and does that matter, is the gear key to getting the sound you want to achieve?
Yes and no, for us every tracks different. One of the tracks is only the Roland 909, the Korg M1 and the Korg Polysix, three simple bits of equipment that have been used to the earth and back but they get the job done and the sound we’re after on that particular track. It wouldn’t sound as warm and rich trying to create it in software say but we live in London so are fortunate to get access to different studios. So we can make tracks on our home set up that consists of the basics of a midi keyboard, sampler and ableton, then go into a studio and run tracks through the hardware, if that’s the route we want to go down. It depends on what you want to do and what you enjoy, there’s no right or wrong. I know amazing producers that use nothing else but a daw and amazing producers that have incredible studios full of hardware old and new. The bottom line is you can only trust your ear and that’s it.
How much is sampled vs made in the studio? If there are samples, where did you go digging from them? Sample libraries or records or?
It’s 50/50 and what you feel on that particular record some tracks dont need samples others work better with them in. Sample packs always come in handy, you can never have enough, if something catch’s your ear work with it. On ‘Chic’ it’s a played bassline and chorus, yet all the rest of the track is samples from old records with different recordings and sample packs, chewed up, reversed and splatted together. That’s what makes Dance Music and Hop Hop so good, the manipulation of audio and the art of Sampling. Some people aren’t fans, others are.
Is deep house your main sound, or might we hear techno or disco from you?
With Dance Company there’s a strong presence of that vintage feel yet still modern and looking to the future. We have had amazing support on the release from Horse Meat Disco to LTJ Bukem so a real wide spread of artists on the electronic music spectrum have come out and shown their full support, so we’re really happy as you can imagine. Names we have a lot of respect for giving love so it’s great to get recognition from more than the house scene aswell.
Will the label just be for your own music or will you release music by other artists?
There will be music from other artists also, sure. We’re in talks with a well known singer in the U.S who’s sang on some pretty legendary house records so hopefully we can get the deal ironed out over the coming weeks.
What’s next? What else have you got coming up?
We have the official release this week on all stores of the ‘Cala Comte EP’ on Dance Company and with that our Label Launch party at The Basing House in Shoreditch. We thought this was the perfect place as it’s a real venue for the heads and ravers, amazing soundsystem, exposed brick wall, intimate yet still spacious so we’re really looking forward to playing there and dropping the release.
Montesa’s ‘Cala Comte’ is out now on Dance Company! Grab it here –