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Juan Deminicis [Interview]

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As a favourite of progressive music's top tastemakers in Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren and Guy J, Juan Deminicis has released on some of the genre's finest imprints over the course of his now fifteen year career. Hoomidas, Lost & Found, Replug, Souksonic and Sudbeat Music have all been regular landing spots for the talented Buenos Aires resident. Also a highly regarded DJ, Juan has programmed music for some of his country's trendiest venues, in turn sharing the stage with 16 Bit Lolitas, D-Nox, Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Jody Wisternoff and Roy Rosenfeld. With a year that has already yielded releases via Clubsonica, Mango Alley and Proton Music, Juan now steps up to Musique de Lune with a much anticipated five track showcase entitled 'Illusions'. We had a chance to catch up with Juan for an interview leading up to the release. Enjoy.

Hi Juan, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi there, thanks for having me!

I feel great right now, making a lot of music and feeling really inspired, thanks for asking.

Being honest I'm not listening too much music recently. I'm trying to be 100% focused on finding myself, working on my own style and I can say that I'm feeling great with the results.

Of course I never stop listening to music and looking around for another producers I like, but I'm very much focused on my own path.

What are your plans for the coming week? And for the impending summer season in Argentina? Are you looking forward to this?

My plan for the next week is to look for new music and to think what I'm gonna play at a Christmas event and New Years of course. Yes the summer is always a great season in Argentina, DJs work a lot, people are going out a lot too and that is great for our scene.

How did growing up in the Argentina influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

It was important, of course, for many years Argentina has been doing top quality electronic music events like, Energy, Creamfields, Moonpark, South Fest, and it was magnificent to have the possibility to hear the best DJs in the world every year. That's why we have a lot of great music producers here, because we grew up listening to the best electronic music since we were young.

When we ask most artists what is responsible for the popularity of progressive music in Argentina the overwhelming answer is Hernan Cattaneo, would that be your feeling also? And if so please speak on that, also to add to that, who else from Argentina inspired you when you first discovered the music?

Yes, of course Hernán is the ambassador of progressive house music in Argentina, he is our Messi of the decks... Other local DJs I grew up with were, Carlos Alfonsín, Deep Mariano, Martin García, Guille Quero, Gerardo Boscarino to name a few... Having the possibility to hear these masters at my 15 years was super important to my formation as an artist. Of course I listened international DJs too like John Digweed, Sasha, Troy Pierce, Carl Cox, James Zabiela, Nic Fanciulli, Sven Vath, Satoshi Tomiie etc... But I always feel a special connection with our local ones.

What are your favourite venues to play or attend events at in Argentina and why?

I can't pick just one venue, every event has something special. The only thing I can say for sure is that we have a special crowd, in every event you will find people sharing in love with respect, screaming, dancing a lot... We feel the music very deeply, that's why I to love to play here in my country.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

Yes I learned on my own, I was always looking for tutorials and fresh material that can help me to get a little more close from what I was looking for as producer. I come from a family with not too much resources to pay me a career of an engineer or something, but it wasn't a problem for do what I wanted to do. I always said, that you can make excuses for what you are missing, or can you just can go for it no matter what. I always choose to see the glass half full. My advice to new producers is that: always keep learning, and never stop trying and fighting for your dreams. Consistancy is the key.

You have a new EP ‘Illusions’, out this week on Musique de Lune, tell us about the release, how do these tracks showcase your current sound?

Yes, the upcoming EP is a reflection of the idea of what I'm looking for in electronic music right now. Groove, harmony, melodies and a little touch of darkness.

This is your first release on the label but it’s one of the biggest original projects of your career, what made you feel so comfortable doing this with Musique de Lune?

Yes this is true, this is one of the biggest projects of my career, and I feel great doing it on the label / booking agency who trust in me and help me to grow.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of these tracks?

I think I feel great using both, analog and digital combined. In this case I used Omnisphere, one of the most complete vsti on the market, and others vsti like Diva, Zebra 2, Dune 3, Repro-1, Subboom bass to name a few. And I used a lot of analog instruments that I recently bought called Behringer Cat and I'm very happy with the results!

Let’s talk about production for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired the tracks which make up your ‘Illusions’ EP?

I don't know where the ideas coming from, I just sit in the chair and let my mind flow in the direction that it wants.. I always say that producing music is like assembling a puzzle with the pieces you create and that's how I do it.

They play a very important role. The secret is to find what inspired you the most. That's why it is very important to know yourself. In my case I get inspired by videogames. I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember; also playing sports, I love to see classic movies, go to dinner with friends, or just being at peace with myself and others. That's what inspired me to write this illusions EP, I'm passing through a period of inspiration and I took advantage of it.

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?

I have no rituals, being chill is more than sufficient.

All you do is playing a role in everything in your life, Everything is energy, what you eat, what you hear, what You see, physical work, everything, it's like a diet, you always are feeding your body and mind with all of this information. Knowing this I try to be prudent to feel great and when you feel great everything flows better.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you're satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practice? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

For me it is super important to leave the projects to rest and go back to them after 2 or 3 weeks to listen with fresh ears, if things don't flow and you keep insisting finally you will get tired of the track and probably you will not finish it with your best effort.

Personally I can't be with a project for too much time, because I get bored fast.. what i do is work fast and do everything I have in my mind till my ideas go empty, it can be one hour, or ten minutes, or 10 hours.. depends if the project has inspired me a lot or not. And after that I shut down and leave rest the project till I forgot everything I hear.. that's how I work, in that way I don't loose the motivation with the projects.

I share my new music with no one, what I do is follow my taste 100%, and I think if I like it someone else will also.. or sometimes when I feel insecure with some parts or elements I show it to my younger brother, he has a really good ear for the music and I respect that, even if he don't know anything about production.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

I really enjoy creating all the elements and glue them with the rest of the sounds.. I'm good at arrangement automatizations and i those do very fast. That's my forte. I'm a faster producer and with the years I learnt a Lot of skills that help me improve my workflow.

Mixing and mastering I would give it to anyone else who has analog stuff to make it biggest and louder, I feel I'm not very good on it.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

I tried out an instrument called matrixbrute from arturia, and i fell in love with this one.. of course a moog sub 37 and a have a prophet 6 would be cool too!

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

Yes being a dj is a beautiful art. I really love creating a journey of 3 hours or more, trying to tell a story.. I plan every set, I never leave it to random. I think it is like a concert band, where they already test the songs they are going to play, at which time etc. That's the difference in being a professional and an amateur DJ I think.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

Being DJ and also producer is not an easy process, you always look for the best music to play, like the world's top producers, and then, when you are back at your work you see miles of distance between the music you love to play and the music you make. Sometimes the bar is so high that it's normal to feel frustrated.

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?

Good one, I think My picks Will be:

Roy Rosenfeld

Lee Burridge

Sebastián Leger

Hernán Cattaneo

Guy J

In that order in the schedule.

Current top five tracks?

Mike Griego - Fying doves

G-pal - 3rd of July (Simon vuarambon retouch)

Sebastián Busto - Sanctuary (Andrés Moris remix)

Jamie Stevens - Crosses (Tantum remix)

Mike Rish - The Middle

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you?

Few books that impacts me:

Osho, the book of the Ego.

Encounter with the shadow from Carl Jung.

The monk Who Sold His Ferrari from Robin S. Sharma.

Some fav movies: Metropolis, They live, Forest Gump, Big Fish, and Full metal jacket from kubrick.

What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

A super power? Endless money, to help people with no resources and put an end to hungry people all over the world (but with this power I'll not keep alive too much anyway ;)

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Apart from music, mental peace makes me happy, travel, a healthy family among other things..

What does 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

2023 looks promising but, I'll keep doing my best, with no expectations, will focus on being better than yesterday. That's my goal for 2023.

Thanks for having me, it was very fun!

Best regards.

Juan

'Illusions' is available now via Musique de Lune: https://bit.ly/3FKUdcY

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