DJ Sneak brings his beats to SeoulSeptember has arrived, and the last leg of the summer music festival in Korea is yet to end ― as the King of Chicago House visits Club M2 tomorrow night for its “Platinum 005” series.
DJ Sneak, one of the top 100 DJs in the world, according to DJ Mag in 2002, is a familiar name across the global club circuit. As a disco filter innovator as early as the early 1990s, he has toured in every mecca of dance music at happening venues worldwide.
His dynamic style features furious percussive Chicago tracks, Latin tribal beats, disco filtered reworks of retro classics and melodic rhythms to suit wildly soulful dancers.
Born Carlos Sosa on the island of Puerto Rico, DJ Sneak grew up listening to salsa, merengue and Latin orchestral music. He came to Chicago in 1983. Before becoming a musician, he was a grafitti artist, which helped him make contact with other artists. Soon he was DJing at local nightclubs. Inspired by big-name DJs, such as Farley Jackmaster Funk, Ralphi Rosario and Steve Hurley, Sneak quickly learned about underground house music, warehouse parties and “old school” mixing.
By 1992, with his own own production company, Defiant Records, DJ Sneak began to experiment with an unusual new style while recording tracks. His international breakthrough came when Cajmere, the owner of Relief Records, released three of Sneak’s tracks. Starting from 1995, the disco-filtered house grooves became Sneak’s signature sound, inspiring already established musicians such as Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx and Armand Van Helden.
Having redefined Chicago’s underground music scene, DJ Sneak boasts several classics under his name, such as “You Can’t Hide From Your Bud” on Derrick Carter’s Classic Recordings. He also started to perfect his remix skills and worked with world-class talent fine-tuning his sound ― “booty-shakin’, bass-heavy beats and rhythms,” as described by industry professionals. Collaboration with the best UK production companies ― Ministry of Sound, Cream, Manumission, and Miss Moneypenny’s, just to name a few ― only helped his reputation reach wider audiences in Europe.
In 2002, he started a recording company, Magnetic Recordings, under which Sneak released new tracks, “Booty Shakin’,” “Fix My Sink,” and “Housekeepin’.” At Club M2, Sneak will be joined by a string of the club’s resident DJs.
Club M2 is located near the Hongdae Parking Lot, in northwest Seoul. A presale ticket costs 20,000 won, or $23, through www.interpark.com, at 1544-1555, from the Music Library store in Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul or the Ohoo Building in Hongdae, (02) 3143-7573. A ticket at the door is 25,000 won. For inquiries, call (02) 3143-7573.
Q&A with DJ Sneak
Q. Are you still based in Chicago?
A. Not anymore, I’m living in Toronto, Canada, Life is good there. Too much is happening in the States.
The expression “Music is universal” seems to fit right into the electronic music scene these days, as it is evident that all musical nationalities are incorporated into electronic music shared by global fans. What ethnic touches can the audience hear in your latest productions?
I truly believe all music is universal. People that don’t speak English are rapping, or jacking to house music. I do my music thinking about the world, not just the States or Europe. In terms of ethnicities, well, I try to use sounds all people understand and it’s working; I feel more love every time I go and play at these places and they tell me how much they love house music.
What can fans in Korea expect from your gig in Seoul?
They can expect sneak beats to rock them out by a real passionate DJ that loves the music he plays and makes. Nothing more, nothing less ...
You’ve worked with numerous artists over more than two decades of your career. What was your most memorable collaboration? Who was it with and which songs or records did it result in?
I really enjoyed doing music with several producers, but i guess the ones that really stand out are Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, Jason Hodges, Chuck Daniels and Mastik Soul, to mention a few. I’m still going so the ride is not over yet. I still have a wish list to conquer.
Where have you played recently? Where is your next gig?
I’m currently in Japan. I played a huge festival this past Saturday, still have to play in Tokyo @ Air and and am heading your way. It’s been a good year for gigs with amazing adventures and great memories. As I said, I’m still going so be ready for the sneak beats.
Is there life after house?
There is life in house music ― as long as I breathe and can make the beats, it will be alive.
Music in general is kinda here and there, but for my style and fans, I will keep it going till I quit, which will be never!
Do you have a family now? If you do, when you tour, do you travel with them at all?
My future wife comes with me when she can but she has a regular job so she can only come when she’s free to do so. The good thing is that I bring the memories to them, sometime the stories are better when they use their imagination... They are always with me in my mind and thoughts, I wish to have a private plane someday and bring them along when they can.
That’s all for now. Thanks for sharing your time and of course, soul.
Respect DJ Sneak is bringin’ the funk and soul to Seoul for the first time ― be ready for the beats!
by Ines Cho