Cali Lanauze: 'Everybody wants to copy all the big hits, but it isn't working. Let's try something new'

House | Tuesday 9th May 2017 | Joe

At only 24, Cali Lanauze has already left a permanent mark on the house scene, garnering support from heavyweights like Carl Cox and Samuel L Session, you could say that he was born to DJ.

Now kicking off his new label Opulenece with fellow DJ Jonny Cruz, Lanauze lets us know what we can expect from the label aiming to not 'follow any trends'.

When did your musical journey with electronic music begin?

Well, it began almost 9 or 10 years ago, when I was around 15-16 years old I started just by buying a DAW and making some beats here and there but nothing special.

A few months later I started discovering electronic music, especially Techno. Minimal was at an all time hype, so all the Minus Records stuff (Richie Hawtin, Magda.etc) had a  massive impact on me, then I started discovering the Detroit guys, especially Kenny Larkin and Carl Craig, those were my all time favourites.

Soon after that, I began producing mostly before starting to play out. From a young age, I had pretty good support from guys like Samuel L Session to even Carl Cox; they were playing my tracks back when I was 17 years old!

After that I started releasing with Sleep is Commercial in Berlin, BlaBla Berlin, My Favorite Robot with Jonny and few more here and there. At the same time I started playing around in my hometown of San Juan and until now I've been curating lineups and booking here in Puerto Rico for a few years now.

How would you describe your sound? 

For me, the most important thing is versatility and to always keep it interesting. I love to experiment, playing from Techno to House to Electro to Minimal, so this is very crucial for me, even when I'm listening to new talents I've never heard before.

I can't be stuck listening to Techno set all night, for example. I would just want to go home when that occurs, and it happens a lot!

So I hear that you and Jonny Cruz have started a label together. Can you tell us about this project?
Yes, Jonny and I's decision to start Opulence was natural. We've been collaborating and playing together for years and now its time to unite all our favourite producers and friends and most importantly not follow any trend.

For us it was crucial from the beginning, to not have a "sound". We are going to be releasing different flavours of music. For our first release, we have a VA called Ostentatious with tracks from veterans like Guido Schneider, Lee Jones, Daniel Dreir, Alexi Delano to new young guns like Atelier Francesco, Pablo Mateo & more.

So basically our sound is house to techno to anything in between but always dark, groovy and "atmospheric."

Besides the new label, what other projects have you got in the pipeline?

We are just working 100% on Opulence right now and making music. The second release is mine and Jonny's with some big special collabs and remixes. We are doing North and South America launch parties soon & lots more.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?

I think the lack of identity, everybody wants to follow all these new trends and to copy all the big hits, but it isn't working. Let's try to bring something new to the table, share some good music & memories, and that's it. 

So much politics has been thrown into the industry nowadays, if you had one more night left on earth and had to programme 12 hours of talent, who would you book?

That's a great question. I hate playing short sets so I would give 3 hours at least to each of the artists, but I think this could be my rundown: Zip, Kenny Larkin, Cassy and Roman Flugel.

If you were not djing and producing, what wold you be doing?

I have a degree in 'Marketing & Advertising', so definitely working on something like that.


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