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Fresh Beats w/ Felipe Callado, Fran Bortolossi & Pedro Bueno

It’s really amazing my strongest connection musically is with people on the other end of the earth.  The South American vibe will forever be close to my heart and it only seems to get stronger as the years pass.

Our trips to Argentina and Brazil have only strengthened the bond.  And every time one of the suave South Americans visits us here in the north, we hang on to a little of their spirit to keep us inspired through the trials and tribulations of promoting our shared style.

This isn’t to say our mates in the south don’t struggle with the same issues we do.   Electronic hasn’t become popular by remaining underground.  So many artists and venues have compromised cutting edge for fame.  It’s the same all over the world. Underground enthusiasts like us may always be on the outside looking in when it comes to widespread success.

I’m not sure of the specifics of the situation, or maybe it’s just an accumulation of consistent disappointment from the commercialized scene, but Pedro Bueno’s temporary thrown in the towel on his DJ career.  And how can you blame him?  I’ve felt many of the same frustrations throughout the past several years, but I love the music so much, I always seem to get drawn back in.  I truly hope the same for Pedro.

Fresh Beats w/ Felipe CalladoFelipe Callado is dealing with his own set of complications with his newly launched brand Exzellenz.  He’s done everything right. is a slick promotional tool for the event series and bi-weekly podcast (which has already featured two incredible instalments from Add2Basket and Fran Bortolossi). When we were in Joinville the Exzellenz launch attracted 700 people to Moom, and another 1000 were outside wishing they could get in.  It was a seriously in-demand party. But convincing people on the dance floor to buy into a music-first concept is a whole other ball game.

This is why I love Felipe.  He could be satisfied with numbers, but without vibe, numbers mean nothing.  I know that, he knows that, and anyone who truly respects the scene knows that.  Its unfortunate most people pulling the strings don’t.

There’re two extremes: ones who are in it just for the money and others who are trying to escape a real job.   These people are either never on the dance floor or partying so hard they let special moments slip by unnoticed.

The harsh reality is it probably won’t change anytime soon.  If these guys want to continue to play music, if I want to continue to promote music, we’ll all have to fight the power right to the bitter end.  We’ll need to let the music speak for itself and do whatever we can to show the underground the proper love and respect it deserves.  Hopefully the others will follow suit one day, but we can’t hold our breath.

Fresh Beats w/ Fran BortolossiThis two-hour extravaganza from Felipe, Fran & Pedro is the best example why people need to take notice of what’s quality and what’s made just for quantity.  This mix was prepared over three months and was handled with so much care it couldn’t be passed on until it was absolutely perfect.

Each guy completed a section and then passed it on to another. Then they went through it again to ensure the flow was absolutely seamless when compiled as one.  Through the wonderful powers of the internet we have one cohesive set from three geniuses separated geographically, but connected musically and therefore emotionally.

I’m the fourth musketeer, so happy to have it on the site and so appreciative they’ve allowed me to put the bringthebeats brand on it.  Who knows this could be the last mix they do together?  I sure hope this isn’t the case, and after you’ve heard it, I know you’ll hope not too.

Fresh Beats w/ Fran Bortolossi

Last weekend, after a four year hiatus, we returned to the floor of the most fantastic club we’e ever had the privilege to dance in. Stereo in Montreal is a shrine to everything we love about the nightclub scene, and it’s only become more incredible after renovations that were initiated by a devastating fire in the summer of 2008.

The analogue based sound is unbelievably exceptional, one of a kind. Being amidst its delicate power can easily trigger an out of body experience; it has for me many times. The classy and sophisticated decor is absolutely how we’d outfit an underground space and the clubbers the Stereo legend attracts are seriously intent on an uninterrupted session of non stop grooves. Picture the super sexy people of Montreal, armed with running shoes and cool, comfortable styles; Stereo is most definitely our kind of place, hosting our kind of people.

Unfortunately for us, the bliss ends there. Outside a couple inconveniently scheduled appearances by Danny Howells, a few Harem Records parties and a rare underground booking of Claude Von Stroke, Stereo simply doesn’t give a second look to the fresh talent of progressive house. Yes, over the past four years we could have traveled for a commercialized Sander Kleinenberg or any of Stereo’s old school New York House residents, but the thought of being back inside the newly renovated temple of sound and not enjoying what was coming from the speakers was (and is now confirmed) a completely empty feeling.

This most recent return came out of the blue as our trip was planned for months and it was only a spur of the moment decision that we attended Danny Tenaglia’s 20 years of DJing anniversary. I’ll try not to waste too much of this post complaining about Danny’s skills, track selection and total lack of direction, because that’s not what the piece is supposed to be about. But I have to say every minute of our time inside Stereo was spent consumed with unfulfilled dreams of developing a proper music policy for such a legendary venue.

Knowing this Fresh Beats promo from Fran Bortolossi was on its way, many of my thoughts revolved around the quality sound we were sure to expect within this mix. I imagined the groups of people hovering around each other actually facing the booth and not one another. I tried to feel the melodies and smooth grooves of Fran’s selections heard over the warmest sound system in the world, not the banging and monotonous build ups that were effectively wearing me down and were the only way Danny could get through a mix. I yearned for a DJ who would be paid a fraction of Tenaglia’s fee but would perform to a level actually deserving of the coolest club on the planet.

Fran is without a doubt a perfect example of the new breed that should be given the opportunity to express their interpretation of today’s electronic music in the marquee clubs of the industry. No, he won’t be playing for 30 hours over a weekend, but he’d give you five hours of undivided attention and focus. He’d tap into every bit of the musical training he’s developed since the age of eight and would respectfully pay homage to his greats, influences like Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Sasha & John Digweed. Fran would provide the South American soul that is so desperately lacking in the North American sound and I know the Stereo faithful would absolutely adore what he’d do for them.

I’m under no illusion that for now Fran Bortolossi at Stereo is anything but a dream, but for just one hour humour me. Close your eyes and listen to this mix in your headphones. Envision yourself in Stereo or simply on your favourite dance floor and truly embrace the emotion created by this budding Brazilian superstar. If you’re anything like me I think you’ll agree, this is the music that should be heard in the right place at the right time.