Pagano interview (Digital Generation Volume 2, Kult Records)

How would you describe your sound/style as a DJ?

My sound is the result of different influences. I always liked every style of electronic and dance music: from eighties electronic bands like Depeche Mode to the nineties US House of Masters at Work, from the German Progressive-Trance of people like Jam & Spoon with their Tripomatic Fairytales album to the Funky Techno of the early Intergroove label. The only requisite is that it has to be well produced and artistically valuable. I highly dislike cheesy, manufactured and vulgar music: essentially 90% of what you find these days in the UK charts. Having said that: I would describe my style as energetic, eclectic and cheeky.

What is the concept behind the compilation – are there any tracks you particularly like on the CD?

The compilation, which is the follow up to mine and KULT Records’ DIGITAL GENERATION from 2010, appropriately titled DIGITAL GENERATION 2 aim to capture the essence of one of my live DJ sets. It is hard to concentrate in approximately 80 minutes what is usually spread over 3/4 hours during a live set. But I think I managed this time too. I like every track I have included or they would not be there in the first place. But if I have to point out a track in particular, I am quite proud of the single HISPANICITY. This track shows the more organic side of my sound and it is currently storming the Beatport Techno Top 100 sales chart. I hate being pigeon-holed as a Progressive House DJ, because I am not. I play a lot of House and Techno during my sets too, but people always seem to have the need to categorize everything. I hate boundaries, you know what they say: sky is the limit…

What equipment do you like to use to DJ with – any hidden extras in your set-up?

Yes, my hidden extras are imagination and creativity: the most powerful tools ever invented! I started DJing nearly 20 years ago with vinyl and always using 3 decks. I now continue the tradition by using 3 CD players. I realize that with a laptop you have more effects and tricks up your sleeve. But using a laptop is cheating. This guy recently messaged me to ask: what were the beats per minute of one of my productions because the program he used on his laptop could not figure out and he could not beat-match the track. I mean: seriously? There were no beat counting tools in the nineties, yet Carl Cox and many other DJs mixed flawlessly with 4 decks simultaneously. You cannot call yourself a DJ if you need a machine to beat-match and do everything for you…perhaps more like a programmer?

Which clubs have you most enjoyed playing at?

Too many too mention. But clubs in Northern and continental Europe or in Northern America are usually the clubs where I have the best time and where I can be really creative with my music selection.

What are you listening to at home to relax from it all?

I usually listen to a lot of electronic, rock and indie bands. I find there is so much good music around these days, but you have to dig for it. My favorite artists at the moment are Chad Valley, M83, Cut Copy, Holy Ghost!, Gotye, Hurts, Monarchy, Robyn, Delphic, I Blame Coco, Bag Raiders and the list goes on and on. Check their stuff out!

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