One of the artists to watch in 2014 rolls up his sleeves for the Trade Xmas Special

Interview : Nicky Trax

01: Hey Pagano welcome to DMCWORLD – where in the world are you right now?

“The last 6 weeks have been really exciting. I have DJ’d in Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, London and I just got back from a week of gigs on a cruise ship off the Mexican Pacific coast. I love playing on the Atlantic cruises, it is always crazy fun. Let me just say that most of the parties on the cruise had no set times to close and in Mexico I ended up eating cricket tacos under the promoter’s advice…you know what it’s like…” 

02: You are heading off to Amsterdam tomorrow, how do your sets change if at all when you spin around the globe?

“In the next couple of weeks I will be back on the road with gigs in Amsterdam, Cologne, Rome, Bologna and in London. I usually tend to stick to my signature sound wherever I go which these days is a mix of Tech House, Techno and House. Obviously, some countries are more receptive than others and it is easy to take them on a journey, while others need to hear a tune that they can recognise every now and then. The other significant difference is the bpm – some countries still like it a little faster.”

03: You readily admit that in the early days you were quite shy when it came to your DJing, but quite quickly “the beast came out!” How hard was it for you to be able to communicate with your audience and immerse yourself with them?

“I never really like the feeling of being on stage – the darker the DJ booth the better. For me, it has always been about the music and not about the fame. So the magic happens when I can feel the crowd connecting with my DJ set. The way I see it, it’s basically all about an exchange of energy.”

04: You are on side for the Trade at Christmas party at Egg…and you love Trade events right? Can you tell us why?

“Trade holds a special place in my heart. I started attending Trade as a customer in the 90s and it was my favourite clubbing experience – thanks to it’s energy, cutting-edge angle and hedonistic open-minded, friendly crowd. Time has passed and music keeps changing but Trade still retains the same exciting and fresh vibe.” 

05: London is flying the flag for clubbing yet again with dozens of great clubs all over the capital, none more so than Egg – why do you love this venue?

“I have been playing for EGG and for its amazingly creative owner Laurence Malice for years now. A few years back when I was spending more time in London I used to be a resident DJ at EGG’s terrific Sunday morning session: Breakfast at EGG. The thing about EGG is that it is constantly evolving. Laurence keeps the programming and music policy always on point and the venue fresh by changing the decor, bringing in the latest technologies, sound systems and lights. Also more recently the club’s room have been enlarged. This has given the venue a big room club vibe but it still retains the feel of an underground and trendy space.”

06: What is the current top 5 you are spinning?

Marco Bailey & Filterheadz – Rathouse – Original Mix (Out now on Intec)

Pagano & Reza – Sunkissed – Manuel De La Mare Remix (Out now on Hotfingers)

Pagano – Everybody Hip Housin – Original Mix (Out soon on UMEK’s 1605)

Pagano – Breaking Bad – Original Mix (Out now on Noferini’s Deeperfect)

Pleasurekraft & Format:B – Sexus – DJ Anna Remix (Out now on Kraftek) 

07: What have you in store for us in terms of production?

“I have just signed a new original project to Umek’s label 1605 that will come out early in 2014. On the collaboration front, I have recently finished a collaboration with Reza that has been signed to My Digital Enemy’s label Zulu and I am also currently working on a new collaboration with Jason Chance. Plus I have some remixes coming out soon on the legendary US label Twisted Records and on Vamos.”

08: You have had a memorable year spinning around the globe, talk us through some of your favourite sets please.

“The past 12 months have been an incredible ride. Some of my favourite gigs include playing alongside Satoshi Tomiie and Dennis Ferrer at the Black & Blue Festival in Montreal and playing a series of all night solo DJ sets in Paris and Amsterdam to a capacity crowd. These extended DJ sets allow me to start with a deeper, slower sound and to build up the energy track by track until I get to play my signature sound at the peak time. I tend not to rely on big records, but it’s more of a journey where I build momentum with each track that I play.” 

09: Anthem of the summer?

“The biggest track for me this past summer was ‘The Game’ by Filterheadz. A full on latin Techno tune that set alight any dance-floors around the world.” 

10: You are promoting parties around Europe with your DEVIATE brand what was the best aspect of that role or worst thing you have undertaken in service to dance music?

“The Deviate brand was born around 2006 in London as a platform to showcase different sounds and ideas at a moment when the scene seemed stuck musically and creatively. Fast forward to 6 years later and we have hosted successful events in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, France and we will soon be in Italy. The best aspect is without a doubt the freedom the Deviate platform allows me, the worst aspect is that I never realised how difficult it can be to put up with all the club politics that go on behind the scenes. I better not go into too much detail, but some people in our industry seem more intent on constantly feeding their egos than in wanting to produce great events.”

11: What have been some of this year’s highlights for you?

“One of the highlights has got to be the amount of support I have received on my productions from some of my personal DJ heroes. The icon that is Carl Cox as well as Umek, Roger Sanchez, Stefano Noferini, Chus & Ceballos have all supported one of my productions at some point during the last year or so. The other major highlight is without a doubt the amazing review I received in the Canadian edition of ‘DJ Mag’ where I was defined as “mind-blowing” and one to watch in the future. These things give me a great amount of personal satisfaction and help keep me motivated.” 

12: Who are some of the young up and coming producers we should be looking out for in 2014?

“There is definitely a lot of exciting and fresh sounding music around at the moment, but to be honest also a lot of very poorly produced garbage. The MP3 and internet revolutions have opened the market to infinite possibilities, but we have lost the filters that used to be in place before. There was the label’s A&R dept, the distribution companies plus releasing something on vinyl was very expensive so they were less inclined to take a risk. Now anyone can set up their own label on the internet and put out track after track. That’s not necessarily a good thing because it fills the market with lots of poorly produced tunes. There are plenty of new great producers out there too – if you like your Techouse/Techno a little harder, then people like Tesla or Schuhmacher are constantly putting out some interesting material, but if you like your beats with a deeper vibe then I am really feeling the sound of DJ Anna or Dusky.”

13: And finally, let’s get the Trade faithful excited about your appearance at Christmas at Egg on December 14th – what is the one song you can’t wait to drop?

“The Trade birthday event last month was really off the hook – just what London needed. The Christmas party already promises to be another spectacular event. The room I am playing in is Trade Modern, which represents the more contemporary and cutting-edge sound of Trade and for me it’s all about playing contemporary underground music that has that Trade edge. Trade babies certainly know what I mean by that! There’s a few new tunes I can’t wait to drop: one of them is Wehbba’s recent single “No Face, No Problem”, a sexy Tech groove that is perfect for building the excitement at the beginning of my DJ set. From then onwards it will all go bananas!”

Pagano headiness Trade At Christmas on Saturday December 14th alongside Tom Stephan, Smokin’ Jo, BK & Andy Farley 4 Hours Back 2 Back, Guy Williams, the Sharp Boys, Jim Warboy, Nick Tcherniak, Sam Townend, Severino Panzetta and over 20 DJs at Egg London.

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