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Introduce yourself to us for anyone who doesn’t know. Give us some background.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic from Chinese parents. Moved to NYC in 2003 and have been living here since. A vintage gear collector and user. Geek of anything that makes sounds and I love tostones (a dominican dish made out of plantain).
How did you get into dance music in the Dominican republic? Was there a good scene there?
I went to my 1st party in 1998, it was Misstress Barbara djing and just saw how she dj’d with 3 turntables! I was curious and hooked! There was no scene back then. It was just a few of us djing locally. We would only have parties maybe twice a year in the late 90’s.
What’s it like now, are there good parties and clubs and labels etc?
The scene has been growing for the past 10 years. We have good parties every month where big dj’s are flown in to play at parties of 1000 plus dancers. We also have festivals througout the year that are pretty insane to see in the DR. But promoters don’t really care about local talent and just look for somebody who will warm up the floor for free.
What music style is most popular there? Do you have a certain sound and style because you come from the DR?
It’s pretty much the same as in other parts of the world, we have our EDM crowd, House Heads, and Techno freaks. I have been living in NYC for the past 16 years… so my influences have been the underground warehouse parties that has been around forever in New York City. While living here is where I started working with the Sheik ‘N’ Beik Collective as their label manager, co producing their events and as a dj. I would like to add that DR has influenced me in being more focused on the rythmn aspect part of a track rather than the melodies and keys. Like Miles Davis said “it takes a long time to sound like yourself”
How has your year been? What has been good and bad for you?
My year has been exciting as I have been focused only on my label this year and working on other projects like “Just Are” my other musical outlet. The bad has been being patient with the process, so it’s not really a bad thing.
What’s it like being part of the Sheik n Beik collective? What are some good memories you have of playing with them?
I’ve been with Sheik ‘n’ Beik for the past decade and it’s been great ride and still is… being able to travel the world djing and co producing parties and festivals with the collective has been a great learning experience, meeting so many people along the way.
What is your approach to DJing, who influenced you as you got into it, what is your own unique style?
My approach to djing has always been to watch and feel the crowd. To make them dance. My influences are so many to mention but to keep it short the OG’s Plastikman, Danny Tenaglia, and Josh Wink. Nowadays I’m focusing on my laptop-less live set with my modular rack and octatrack. Since I’ve been doing this for so long I had to find ways to get me excited to perform and it was around the same time I started my modular rack where I was this looks challenging and exciting at the same time.
Tell us about the new EP on Boutique Bouquet. What inspired it, where were the tunes written for?
My new EP was written and recorded in my home studio in NYC. The tracks were inspired by my introduction to the modular world fusing the new with the old. Mimulus (newest flower found) representing my new modules fusing it with my vintage gear which is why I named my 1st release on Boutique Bouquet, Montsechia (the oldest plant fossil known).
What gear did you use, what sort of studio setup have you got?
For this release I used a Roland TR-808 for kicks and hats, MFB Tanzbar for other hats, Roland Juno 106 for keys and pads, Roland SH-101 for Bass, Octatrack MK2 for Samples, and my Modular Set Up for Bass and effects. My Studio consists of pretty much the classics gear from Roland (Roland tr 909, 808, 606, 101, 106, 303…), an Octatrack MK2 for my samples and sequencing, A case of modular (Mutable Instruments Clouds, Strymon Magneto, Make Noise Maths, Erica Synth Graphic VCO, Hermod, Make Noise Telharmonic to name a few), pretty much record everything as audio to Ableton Live and then compose from within Ableton. I usually record 32 bars of audio of every track seperately then I choose the best parts of the loop that will go in the track.
What’s next, what else are you working on?
Right now I am working on the last release of the year as Just Are, some orchestrated tunes and a meditative hip hop track. Also preparing the release schedule for 2019 which will be the year the Bouquet will really bloom.
Mimulus is out 30th November! Grab it here: https://www.junodownload.com/products/ray-rose-mimulus/3960946-02/?track_number=2