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Dabeat [Interview]

21 min read

Sitting as one of Colombia's premiere progressive house talents, David Barragan aka Dabeat has enjoyed a steady rise since first emerging in 2008 with a release courtesy of Beatfreak Recordings. Now laying claim to an impressive discography, the Santiago de Cali resident has showcased his music via Anjunadeep, Mango Alley, Plattenbank, Proton, Replug and Sudbeat. Also a primary contributor to Juan Pablo Torrez's Clubsonica Records, Dabeat has recorded six remixes for the Colombian imprint across a five-year stretch, beginning with his label debut in 2018. Now, following a well-received debut for Global Underground to begin the year, Dabeat returns to Clubsonica for his first artist EP entitled ‘Vesta | Evolving', alongside remixes from Rauschhaus and Sean & Dee.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Dabeat to learn more about the release of 'Vesta | Evolving', his background, nightlife in Colombia, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

Hi David, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hello, thanks for inviting me. happy to share with you. This year has started full of music and big changes in my life. Among them the most interesting is being a father.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in your life look like?

One of my days starts early with exercise, I do garden maintenance, I take care of household needs and then I go into the studio to work.

Looking back on 2023 what gigs of yours have stood out and why?

I have two, in Cali my city warming up the dance floor for Einmusik, it was a great night and he is an artist that I admire a lot. the other in the tunnel in the city of Pereira where we played with Kamilo Sanclemente and Giovanny Aparicio, it was a night where we were able to share a lot of our music and the atmosphere was great

How did growing up in Colombia influence your music taste and direction? Or did it all?

The city where I grew up has a great influence on the salsa genre, since it is dance music, I think it influenced the music I produce. I want the music I make to be danceable

Who else from Colombia inspired you when you first discovered electronic music? And what was it about their DJing or production which led you to pursue it yourself?

I discovered electronic music at a radio station event at school. Its innovative feeling was something that greatly impacted me. Later I saw Javier Muñoz A.K.A DJ Killer play in a club in the city. His handling of the public and musical taste was something that inspired me to continue forward.

Being a Santiago de Cali resident, how would you say the nightlife differs there to the other major cities in Colombia? Or is there a difference at all?

I find the difference in the influence that the salsa genre has on the city. It is music to dance and celebrate and I think this has influenced the entire night in the city.

You have a new EP in collaboration with Kamilo Sanclemente and Juan Pablo Torrez entitled ‘Vesta | Evolving’ for Juan’s Clubsonica imprint, tell us about the release and what sort of vibe you guys were going for on these tracks.

We have this new ep with Kamilo and Juan Pablo. In addition to being colleagues, we have a great friendship and this has allowed us to merge in music. In these tracks we look for good grooves, hypnotic and psychedelic sensations.

Which of the two originals on the release have gotten the most play in your sets and do you have special moments from playing either one of them?

I think I have used them equally since they have similar energies. I have the memory of having played them at a b3b with Kamilo and Juan in Viuz Medellin. It was a great moment.

There are also excellent remixes from Rauschhaus and Sean & Dee on the release, how much were you involved in the remixer selection and why do you think they were a good fit to re-interpret these tracks?

Over time Clubsonica has established relationships with great artists. I was always confident that the right artists would come for this project. I am very happy with the interpretation of Rauschhaus and Sean & Dee. They gave much more depth to the melodies and that seems very special to me.

Staying briefly on the subject of remixes, when you are offered a remix, what do you look for in a particular project which makes you want to do it?

I'm looking to have a good connection with the track to be remixed.

Clubsonica is a label you’ve had an ongoing relationship with for some time with six remixes recorded for the label across the last six years, but this is your first official artist EP, what makes the label a good home for your music?

The professionalism and love with which Juan Pablo manages the label are decisive in moving forward with the EP. As a work team with Kamilo we thought it was a good opportunity to make the first ep on Clubsonica

You’ve done a lot of collaborations across your career, and working together generally based around balance and compromise, how do you manage these things within your collaborative projects?

Enjoying the process of making these collaborations is the most important thing for me. feeling that music flows and makes us happy keeps me motivated

As one of Colombia’s most well known progressive house artists and DJs, you’ve had quite a lot of high profile gigs this past couple of years. Please tell us your approach to DJing, and how go about programming a set.

As a DJ I try to involve several subgenres to have different moments and states within the DJ set. I involve my recent productions and always compose music for the DJ set.

Now that you’ve been on the circuit for a while, how has DJing to larger crowds influence your view of music as a producer?

It has made me look for more surprising sounds and sensations. emotions that can connect most of the public

Where do you source the majority of music for your gigs? Is it primarily from producer friends or promo mailouts at this point?

I try to listen to as much music as possible. Most of them come through producer friends, but I also pay attention to promotional emails.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part? And how does feeling the crowd's energy affect your selections?

My preparation consists of filtering very well the music that I would like to play. With this I let the live experience and the energy of the audience carry the set.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

I would love to hear Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, Sasha, John Digweed. in that order

Current top five tracks in your sets?

1. Pink Floyd - Is there anybody out there (Dabeat remix)
2. Dabeat , Kamilo Sanclemente – Decode
3. Dabeat – Allion
4. Dabeat , Juan Pablo Torrez – Evolving
5. Jamie Stevens - Kanlan (Extended Mix)

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (Something not music related.)

I would have liked to be an athlete, I find satisfaction in exercise.

What’s something we do not know about you?

I really enjoy the silence and life in the countryside. I have 4 dogs and 2 cats =)

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

In the studio living in music. I think it is the greatest blessing to be able to get up every day to create.

What are some of your favorite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Share time with my family and friends. Learn new things-

What does 2024 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

You can expect a lot of music from me and I will be visiting Argentina for the first time.

'Vesta | Evolving' is available now via Clubsonica: http://tinyurl.com/yvcb9v46

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