Maceo Plex, Stephan Bodzin, Pagano
Maceo Plex, Stephan Bodzin, Pagano

TP MIX #125 – Pagano

Bridging the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and techno music, Pagano continues to share his sound with a diverse range of audiences throughout the world. Previously sharing remixes for his Define The Light EP via his imprint KISM Recordings, the producer dabbled with many forms of techno enrolling peers like house producer Siege and enigmatic vocalist Brunetti into the mix. The result is an ethereal and melodic techno listening experience. Pagano first grabbed the attention of the technosphere with his chart-topping album Infinite Regress, which featured on seven of Beatport’s Top 10 charts. 

Since the release of the remix EP and album, Pagano has also shared the song ‘El Ritmo’ via reputable label Toolroom, as well as  EP Maelstrom via Transmit Recordings. Today, we are pleased to share this exclusive mix from Pagano below. This hour-long mix features energetic techno kicks and house rhythms ideal for your typical 12am club atmosphere. You know this is the time when the party really begins. Enjoy this exclusive mix below: 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I discovered music very early on and became obsessed. I started pestering radio DJ’s to play my favourites so that I could record them on cassettes. There was never any other career path in my mind, no matter how much my family tried to dissuade me and tried to steer me away from it. I did my first paid DJ gig at 16 at an afternoon school disco event and the rest is history as they say…

 

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

It depends on the type of track I’m going to be working on, but I’d say generally it’s the idea that comes first. Ideas strike me anywhere and anytime – while I’m DJing in a club, but also while I am watching the telly or heading out to buy groceries. I think you might start to understand why I’ve just used the word obsessed, right?!?

 

Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Yes, I’ve done a few collaborations through the years. I co-produced a series of tracks and EPs with the Belgium Techno duo Filterheadz. I’ve been a massive fan of their sound since their first big hit ‘Sunshine’ on Carl Cox’s label Intec. These two brothers from Belgium also happen to be such lovely people and that’s a big plus when you’re trying to be creative. I’ve also collaborated and featured various singers on my tracks including the legendary De’Lacy.

 

What’s on your current playlist? 

I do not really listen to club music when it’s not for work. I’m a big fan of indie and alternative singers and bands. Some of my favourite artists in recent years include Cut Copy, The Black Queen, Holy Ghost!, East India Youth, GusGus, and there is always room for some Depeche Mode and The Cure. 

 

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage. 

I’m actually a pretty shy person and I do not enjoy the spotlight. Well… nothing that a “cheeky” whiskey & coke cannot take care of. I prefer dark sweaty clubs to massive events. I’d say the chemistry comes from every good reaction I get while I play. That’s the moment when I feel we are all partying together, and me and my music are just a vehicle to bring like-minded people together and to have a good time. 

 

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

When I put my rough demos together on my laptop, I just go through sounds until something fits my idea and the frequencies of the arrangement. Once in the studio, I can sit down for hours with my sound engineer going through plug-ins and sounds until I hear something that instinctively feels right. Then it’s all about refining, processing, and making everything sound bigger. 

 

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually put together a few ideas on my laptop, lately, I’ve been doing more and more in Ableton rather than in Logic. In the studio, depending on which sound engineer and type of track I’m working on, I usually start from the musical elements / samples or the rhythmic section. Quickly putting down a rough arrangement with all the ideas. Since I work against time restrains, this is the best way to see if the idea and track have potential. Once the idea and structure are down, we start picking and refining the sounds. 

 

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

As I mentioned previously, there were never other options in my mind, the thought was more like,  “this is actually working now and I can make a living out of it”. And this was the moment when I finished college. I had been working on and off in the music industry for 5/6 years before going back to college. I worked as an import / export manager for various important music distributions, as Head of A&R for several labels (including Nukleuz Italy), and as a recording studio manager. Around 2002 the music industry imploded because of the digital revolution, so I went back to college. By the time I got my degree, I was DJing every weekend and I thought, I do not need to look for a “real job” for the moment, let’s see for how long the DJing can sustain me. 20 years later I am still DJing and producing music. 

 

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Not sure if they can all be considered emerging artists, but I have recently been playing a lot of stuff by Horatio, by Australian Rory Marshall, and the mysterious Ango Tamarin. I also love everything Italians Francesco Poggi and UAKOZ have been putting out…

 

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry? 

I’d like to think I have. When I hear some of the stuff I produced early on in my career I sometimes cringe. But it is obvious I was always motivated by passion, never money, nor fame. Now I have a better understanding of what works on the dance floor and I certainly have a better understanding of what kind of artist I want to be. The refinement certainly came through trial and error, through hours spent in the studio and DJing in clubs. Through accepting that, even within a creative industry, there are rules to follow and boxes to tick. 

 

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 

My last release of 2021 was my debut EP on DJ Boris’ label Transmit in December. I am working on follow-up tracks for my recent releases on Tronic and Toolroom Trax. After the success of my Beatport #1 album Infinite Regress, I’m also planning a new mixed album. I have some exciting gigs lined-up, with highlights already including the 30th Anniversary event of London’s most legendary After-Hours, ‘Trade’, that will take place at EGG Club on February 12/13 with a 24 hour party. Plus, my one-night OFF London will be back for a series of special events.

 

Famous last words?

Always trust your instinct!

 

 

Follow Pagano:

Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud / Spotify

 

 

 

Image credit: Luxxshoots

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PLAYGROUND is part of the GROUND Music Group. Founded in 2008 the music group has branched out into international Music PR, Events, Record Label, Agency and Social Music Network.



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