HORATIO is a seasoned connoisseur of getting us to move our bodies from Producing and DJ’ing to running his own record labels. Active since the 90’s, the Romanian producer/DJ has kept his finger on the pulse of dance music, strongly purveying a distinct blend of stylistic fusions of sounds that attract listeners worldwide. Horatio’s releases have been housed by important labels like VIVa Music, Desolat, Circus Recordings, Rawthentic, Bouq and Stereo Production. Horatio proves once again that Romania is a fertile ground for DJs and producers and deserves his place within these imprints known for their techno / tech house and house specialities with an added organic swirl.
Decoded Radio manager Daz Pearson grabbed the opportunity to discuss some of the highlights from this season in Ibiza, his label Natural Rhythm and a run through of his excellent label feature guest mix.
Welcome Horatio and thanks for joining us on Decoded Radio. How has your summer been?
I spent my summer in Ibiza and was absolutely amazing.
Lets talk about a couple of upcoming gigs you have in Geneva and your home town of Bacau Romania. Where will you be playing and when?
Well I’ll play at Kheops on 1st October, 8th October in Bacau (my hometown) in Romania, 12th October in Bucharest and 21st October in Berlin plus more dates are yet to be adding in.
In August you had the honour of playing at Carl Cox: Music is Revolution – The Final Chapter @ Space Ibiza in the Premier Etage. It’s always an honour to play at Space but how special was the experience as it’s in it’s final season before closure?
I have to mention a big shout to Mike and Ben and the whole Lucky Life Team for making this possible and I can say that was a total awesome experience. Playing on the best club in the world for one of the best promotions on the island is just magic. After posting the set the after reaction on it said it all. People were into it and I was very happy to see that I captured a part of magic that was on the terrace.
Keeping on the subject of Carl Cox your track Avalon was named by Mixmag as one of fifteen tracks that marked the best moments from his closing set at Space Ibiza. How much of an accolade is that for you?
For me I think sums it all. Carl is playing my music since 2013 when I released on Yousef’s label Circus for which I am very grateful. That was a turning point of my career going from a more tech house sound to a more serious techno-ish sound. Ever since then Carl Cox constantly supported my tracks which for me was a dream came true.
I have a small tale. Last year in Ibiza I wanted to approach Carl to speak with him but we couldn’t connect due to so many people behind the DJ stage and I left a bit disappointed year. The next day I went for a stroll with my wife on the sunset strip in San Antonio and guess what, Carl Cox was there at Baybar. Much to my surprise he recognised me and I was totally blocked for a couple of seconds and then we had a chat.
It’s not the only track of yours that’s been played throughout the season at Space. Joris Voorn has also been caught dropping a few too I believe?
I am constantly working to improve my tracks. I always try to make them better than previously and yes Joris dropped my tune and I also got to meet him in person, for me that was also a very nice experience. You have so much to learn from these guys. What I like about Joris is that He’s still the same down to earth guy with no high nose and a hard work etiquette . He strives to improve his music all the time both as a DJ and a producer and for me that is a true example to follow. I also need to mention the constant support over the past 5 years from Roger Sanchez, a truly legendary DJ and producer who I’ve followed for a very long time.
This year I also had the pleasure to meet him in person and talk with him and see him live. He is a total package DJ. He has amazing DJ skills, Watching him made me want to learn even more, work even more and his words burned in my mind: “even now I am still learning”. I also can announce in exclusivity for Decoded that I have an upcoming EP with Roger as a collaboration and I must say is too dam amazing. This is just one of a few surprises for the 2017 release schedule.
Congratulations that’s awesome and thanks for letting us hear the news first. Now let’s talk about Natural Rhythm. How long has it been running and was it the natural next step from production?
We started Natural Rhythm in 2011. We wanted a platform for a more deep tech groovy sound with some tribal typical Ibiza sounds. Much to our credit we have painted our direction and we helped put on the map several producers. For that I am very happy. Currently we have four producers which are under exclusive contract with us and they are truly gifted: Larisse Van Doorn, Luca Barbieri, RockyRocky and Alex Twin. These I am sure will have a really bright future.
Has label management lived up to what you expected it to be? What are the most rewarding aspects you take from it?
The label management has some ups and downs. The most rewarding thing is that it allows me to be in constant contact with the persons who are producing the music. Being in constant contact allows you a very clear perspective over the industry direction and even more. The down side is that some guys don’t understand that this is a professional job. You have to submit your pre-masters correctly, artist info’s and more, also many forget or don’t care to promote their own music. They have to understand that even though the labels are doing their work you have to promote yourself as well.
… and could you tell us about the Natural Rhythm Ibiza compilation CD which in now available from Bandcamp?
for the third consecutive year Natural Rhythm have launched a CD and digital VA for Ibiza. People wanted a more direct approach to the label so we decided to make it available through our Bandcamp. I don’t want to sound modest or so but the tracks on the CD were very impressive and I liked them a lot.
You have kindly prepared a feature mix for us comprising of material only from Natural Rhythm. Can you give us a run through of some of the tracks that made it onto the mix?
Matteo Cabassi – My Friend (Martin Patino Space to Core Remix)
Martin did an absolutely amazing remix for Matteo’s track. The vibe of it is incredible.
Larisse Van Doorn – Biotic
We got this one as an exclusive on vinyl for our vinyl only series and boy it had an impact. It was played by Villalobos, Sonja Moonear and some more vinyl players.
Brigado Crew – Tsulu (Original Mix)
These guys are doing absolute smashers. I got to know them through an earlier EP which they launched on Natural Rhythm and I must say this tune was one to stand out for me.
Robot Needs Oil – Alfajazz (DJ Dep Remix)
DJ Dep or superluigi (I call him from the Super Mario Bros) because he creates super tunes all the time. I loved Cala El Verano tune and I asked Luigi to remix this tune for us. He created a deep tech tribal monster tune. Total smasher for the summer. Also stay tuned for the next materials from Horatio & DJ Dep – Echoes Of Elyma and Children of Elyma.
Xavier Arak Feat. Marianna Nasa – A Change (Darko De Jan Remix)
Xavier and Marianna are a formidable team. A DJ with huge experience and a singer with an astonishing voice is the perfect symbiosis for creating a tune to be remembered. Darko created this remix in Dubai and I liked it a lot.
Julien.M – Rebellion (Brigado Crew Rmx)
Brigade Crew strikes again. These guys are just smashing the place.
Hunzed – Radamantis
Radamantis is a perfect summer tune. Deep, tech, tribal with a lovely summer theme. I love to play this in the morning, It brings so much emotion in people when I play it.
Housetronix – Vozes Da Savana
Victor and his partner draw my attention with this monster tune. Every time when I play it no matter where this tune always catches fire. One of the best tunes in Ibiza in 2016 season.
Davina Moss feat Danakil – Le Champ Des Roses
This jam got huge support from Jamie Jones, Richy Ahmed and some more biggies. It’s a perfect blend of tribal, tech and reggae. The vocal is astonishing and it always surprises the people on the dance floor.
Dr._Alfred – Funtek
I am a big fan of Dr. Alfred’s work. The tune went to heavy rotation on radio’s in Ibiza and got played and supported by Roger Sanchez and more. That says everything about it.
Vladimir Acic – Feeling Good (George Vala Remix)
George is providing the perfect sound for us, deep tech with lovely tribal percussion’s. You can call me a George Vala fan.
Mr Bosco – Jazzy Life.
The last one is from one guy who sum it all . MR Bosco has been a big part of Ibiza for a long time. I got to meet and know him when We played together and I got to see a very good producer and DJ going on a rampage. His works are always quality and for me is a great honour and privilege to have him on my label.
Even though I haven’t included them in the mix I would like to mention a couple of tunes from Natural Rhythm which are truly special:
Luca Barbieri – Kinoah
Alex Twin – Vellum
RockyRocky – Nostradamus
Iran Mendoza – I hate this DJ
A brilliant evaluation, your passion really shows through. How would you summarise the sound of the label to anyone who is not yet familiar?
I think it’s a nice blend of deep, tech house with a strong tribal influence.
How did you first get involved in the industry and where did the initial love story begin begin for you?
I began my journey in 1998 as a DJ. I was in the 9th degree and due to the fact that we were very poor due to an unfortunate situation from the 1990 revolution in Romania (in which we lost everything) my parents almost had no money to give me to go to school or eat. My brother took me under his wing, he saw the big passion that I had for music and he helped me enter into this world. I loved to prepare music for him, to select tunes, dig deep for new music, be involved with the people from the clubs and much more.
In 2000 I started to create the first edits for my brother who was a DJ at the time and we wanted to make a difference in our competition with other guys which were in our town. I progressed slowly and in 2005 I decided to take the Horatio name and ever since I am working to grow it. I can say that I am still learning the CRAFT of making music, that’s one of the reasons our logo is double infinity. The music never starts or stops but is a continuum.
It’s been great chatting. I’d just like to round the interview up with any future plans or projects for us to look out for? Thanks for the fantastic guest mix and all the best for the future.
Well for now I can confirm the following; I just released on Seamless and on Armada a very well received EP called Serengeti, a new EP on Rules in October, a release on my own label called Celebration which actually is the 200th release from Natural Rhythm in November, a release on New Violence in December, a new EP on Shodan Records in January, an upcoming vinyl only with GAS, an EP with Hector Moralez on Natural Rhythm in February, an EP on Roger Sanchez’s label Undr The Radr for March called Agua Blanca, a tune for Quanticman vinyl only Twisted Dubs vol.2 and also I have an upcoming two track EP with Roger Sanchez. I also have 3 tracks finished with Tomy DeClerque and much more.
Thank you kindly for the invitation.
Best of wishes
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents Natural Rhythm with Horatio.
Decoded Hot Picks Chart Countdown
#4. Khen & Guy Mantzur Feat. Kamila – Children With No Name (Original Mix) [Lost & Found]
#3. TILT & Silinder feat Natasha Cadman – Black Hearts (Silinder’s Nod To The 90’s Remix) [Pro-B-Tech Music]
#2. Jeremy Olander – Roots (Henry Saiz Remix) [Vivrant]
#1. Cornucopia – Pursuit Of The Orange Butterfly (Original Mix) [microCastle]
01. Dee Montero – Solace (BOg Remix) [Selador]
02. Phil Martyn – Come On (Original Mix) [Perspectives Digital]
03. Kasper Koman – Trail (Original Mix) [Plattenbank]
04. KatrinKa feat. Thomas Gandey – How Does it Feel [Chapter 24]
05. Jos & Eli – Unleashed (Original Mix) [Sudbeat Music]
01. Matteo Cabassi – My Friend (Martin Patino Space to Core Remix)
02. Larisse Van Doorn – Biotic
03. Brigado Crew – Tsulu (Original Mix)
04. Robot Needs Oil – Alfajazz (DJ Dep Remix)
05. Xavier Arak Feat. Marianna Nasa – A Change (Darko De Jan Remix)
06. Julien.M – Rebellion (Brigado Crew Rmx)
07. Hunzed – Radamantis
08. Housetronix – Vozes Da Savana
09. Davina Moss feat Danakil – Le Champ Des Roses
10. Dr. Alfred – Funtek
11. Vladimir Acic – Feeling Good (George Vala Remix)
12. Mr Bosco – Jazzy Life
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13/10: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
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On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com