Enjoying the Magic Carpet
by Mark Thompson & Robert
|June 27, 2010
Aladdin and his magic carpet traveled to
enchanted isles, so do circuit boys and
their deejays fly over oceans to
international parties in exotic locales.
Today’s circuit knows no boundaries, as
witnessed by the diversity of events
produced around the world—and, more than
ever, music has become the global language,
the Esperanto of the dance floor.
One of those ocean-hopping deejays is the
London DJ/producer known as Pagano, the
founder of Deviate Records and the
ever-popular resident of London’s Trade @
Ministry of Sound. A former resident of
Saturdays @ Heaven and Sundays @ Fabric,
Pagano holds a residency at Rapido in
Amsterdam and at La Demence in Brussels—and
he’s played Circuit Festival in Barcelona,
and numerous parties for Matinée and
SuperMartXé, the producers of Europe’s most
scandalous and salacious events.
With a background like this, it’s no wonder
that Pagano (alongside Chus & Ceballos) was
anointed to play Alegria Pride, one of the
largest parties of the circuit year, and the
Alegria that won Best National Party of
2009—and recently we chatted him up to find
out what’s what with the Italian musicmaker.
MRNY: You’re a real globetrotter.
Have you traveled a lot in the States?
PAGANO: Actually, I have. I’ve played
in San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta, and Los
Angeles among others. It’s been a pleasure
to visit the original birthplaces of garage,
house and techno.
MRNY: Now you’re returning to New
York, this time for NYC Pride. Is this a
PAGANO: When I was younger, I visited
New York various times for Pride. The Parade
has always impressed me.
MRNY: It’s emotional, right? All
those LGBT kids just coming up.
PAGANO: It’s political, but also
quite festive without the excesses and
vulgarity I have witnessed at other Pride
MRNY: Wait a New York minute—you
haven’t seen NYC Pride’s excess and
vulgarity? Clearly, we need to introduce you
MRNY: You first played Alegria in
January 2010. Had you been to an Alegria
PAGANO: Yes, I had checked out
Alegria before—and I loved it! So when Ric
Sena contacted me, I was really excited.
MRNY: That’s a great vote of
confidence into a select group of deejays.
Ric’s really engaged in his musical choices.
And Alegria’s a tight family. Were you
PAGANO: For my Alegria debut during
the MLK weekend, I was actually quite
relaxed. That was probably due to the fact
that I was surrounded by some of my North
American friends and fans who traveled from
San Francisco to support me.
MRNY: You got really good reviews for
that party. Lots of peeps we know were
saying it was a phenomenal music night.
PAGANO: I had a great time and I was
really happy to hear that the NYC crowd
connected with my sound, which was
definitely more European.
MRNY: Back in 2007, you played Winter
Party in Miami Beach, right?
PAGANO: Playing Space for Winter
Party was a lot of fun. I played the Terrace
and we went on partying—way after the
originally planned closing time.
MRNY: Don’t you love South Beach?
PAGANO: A trendy crowd partying in
the sun wearing sunglasses: an Italian boy
could not ask for more from life!
MRNY: [laughing] Exactly. We always
say, ‘Where would South Beach be without the
Italians?’ The Italians have turned that
sandbar into the Riviera.
PAGANO: You know what they say:
fierceness is always welcomed!
MRNY: [laughing] You do love South
PAGANO: Truth is, I love playing for
an after-hours crowd: that is what I do
MRNY: Well, that’s South Beach, for
sure—and that’s definitely Alegria. No
wonder you’ve had such success in the
States. How would you categorize your
signature sound to someone who hasn’t heard
PAGANO: Energetic, full-of-attitude,
and cutting-edge—and as I said, fierceness
is always welcome.
MRNY: You’re not getting any argument
PAGANO: My sound is the ultimate in
European house, techouse, and progressive
MRNY: So then—house—in all its
incarnations, right? Let’s talk about the
European scene. You moved from Milano to
London. How was that for you?
PAGANO: It was quite tough at first.
London is a challenging city for a newcomer
[but] I met people in industry who believed
in me: especially the management of Heaven.
MRNY: That’ll do.
PAGANO: They signed me to an
exclusive Saturday night residency after my
first year spinning at the club.
MRNY: Apart from your London
residencies, you have a seriously popular
residency at Rapido in Amsterdam.
PAGANO: Rapido and its after-hours
are probably among the most famous events in
Northern Europe. Edgar Bonte, the promoter
of Rapido, has been responsible for putting
Amsterdam back on the European clubbing map.
MRNY: How would you compare the
nightlife in London and Amsterdam?
PAGANO: Rapido is a big event
attracting an international crowd and it
takes place six to seven times a year, while
London has always enjoyed numerous small to
medium-sized events taking place every
weekend. London has always been about
underground clubs and only recently has it
started to see the rise of big room events.
But the London scene has always been alive
MRNY: No question—although maybe
that’s because the Tube shuts down, so no
one can go home. And speaking of partying
all night—are you dropping new stuff on us
at Alegria Pride?
PAGANO: I have a series of new
unreleased projects and remixes—and yes,
some of them have an Arabian theme or
MRNY: Aladdin—it’s so perfect for
Alegria, right? Genies and magic carpets and
three wishes—it’s every circuit boy’s dream
night. And Nokia Theatre is such a great
space. It used to be one of the largest
movie theatres in the city.
PAGANO: I cannot wait to spin
Rosabel’s remix of my forthcoming single on
Kult Records, titled “Drama on the Dance
MRNY: Oh, this is where you’re gonna
see that NYC excess that you claim you’ve
yet to see.
PAGANO: [laughing] I am sure
Rosabel’s remix will unleash a storm—
MRNY: NYC Pride excess—happening now
at Nokia Theatre! You have your own label,
Deviate Records, and a number of your tracks
have been picked up and released on Stereo,
the label from Chus & Ceballos. The three of
you are pretty tight?
PAGANO: DJ Chus has believed in my
sound from the very first demo I sent him
and this makes me really proud. So far, I’ve
had three singles on the labels of the
Stereo Productions group.
MRNY: You played with Chus & Ceballos
for Alegria Musica in January 2010—and now
again for Pride. Would you say that your
sounds are simpatico?
PAGANO: Chus & Ceballos are at the
top of their game and being associated with
them is a great honor. I have always admired
them and their influence in my sound is
quite evident. We’ve played together
numerous times in Europe, especially in
London, and the combination has always
seemed to work quite well.
MRNY: Your tagline on your website is
ENJOY THE RIDE. What’s that mean to you?
PAGANO: ’Enjoy The Ride’ was actually
a trance project I released during the late
Nineties. The whole ethos behind the track
was about enjoying life and about enjoying
every minute of the journey. This is
something that I personally believe in.
MRNY: Live the moment; that’s so
true. Your website also has a section about
various charities that are important to you,
which is really refreshing to see.
PAGANO: I am really glad you noticed
that! I believe that music can be a vehicle
for important messages. If someone connects
with my music, if someone is sensitive
enough to get emotive dance music, [that
person] might also relate to more important
matters. So for me it is a way to try to
create awareness about some of today’s
issues among young people.
MRNY: You’re so right. If we’re
sensitive to the music, the implication is
that we can be more sensitive to our
environment—and the planet at large. Thanks
for taking the time, Pagano. We’re ready to
enjoy your magic carpet ride!
PAGANO’S CLASSIC CHART:
Gat Decor – Passion
X-press 2 – London Xpress / Muzic Xpress
Human League – Life on your own
Jam Spoon – Follow Me
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
The Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch 2
Faithless – Insomnia
Royal House – Can you feel it?
Sueno Latino – Sueno Latino
Madonna – Ray of Light
Transformer 2 – I Just can get enough
Basstoy – Running (Original Instrumental)
Wubble-U – Petal
X-press 2 - Muzikizum
Danny Tenaglia – Music is the Answer
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
Masters at Work feat. India – To be in Love
Kings of Tomorrow – Dreams (Chus & Ceballos
Robbie Rivera – Feel This
Prince - Kiss
Alegria Aladdin: Alegria Pride
Music: DJ Pagano / DJs Chus & Ceballos
Nokia Theater, 1515 Broadway (@ 44th
Sunday, 27 June 2010, 10 pm until