Quantic on Uniting Latin and Electronic Dance Music Lovers
As an electronic dance music artist, you can either draw your influences from the relatively limited palette of styles within the genre itself, or reach beyond it.
If you're Quantic (AKA Will Holland), the quest for inspiration could even take you as far as crossing the Atlantic, from England to Colombia, to discover the South American country's rich folk music heritage.
As an expat living and working in Colombia for almost a decade now, the British DJ-producer has explored traditional local music flavors like cumbia and salsa through the kaleidoscopic lens of modern electronic music production. The new crown on Quantic's formidable discography is his latest long player, Magnetica, which he will be presenting at Electric Pickle, along with other choice cuts from his catalog of Latin-electronic fusion originals.
Ahead of the show, we spoke with Quantic about falling in love with Colombian music, the new album, and his return to a more dance floor-focused sound.
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Crossfade: How did you first get introduced to Colombia and its local music traditions? What drew you to this country and its music?
Quantic: I was introduced to Colombian music through traveling to Puerto Rico and New York -- this was my introduction to Latin music in general. I was aware of Latin jazz through listening and collecting jazz records from labels like Impulse and Blue Note, but until then, hadn't had a chance to listen to the roots. After collecting jukebox 45s in San Juan, I got into the accordion-led cumbia from Colombia's Atlantic coast, and later into the Medellin studio Fuentes' sound, the more orchestrated and electric take on Colombian folklore. From there, I took up an invite from a friend to stay with his family in Cali, on the west side of Colombia, and later traveled extensively with my friend Beto Gyemant to look for records in both Colombia and Panama.
As a DJ and collector, those trips proved very educative, and as a music producer, they fueled my curiosity for new sounds and arrangement ideas. After a while, I thought it best to live in Colombia and pursue my thirst for recording a little more. There were things that I wanted to try in the studio, and South America granted me a freedom to do so that I couldn't find in the UK at the time.
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