It’s very easy to think that England and America are the only places in the world where amazing parties take place. Despite the fact these two countries provided the formative foundations of dance music as we know it today, they are now constantly being challenged by new kids on the block; new countries who are discovering dance music, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and embracing it wholeheartedly. With this comes new talent; fresh producers and DJs who are being thrust onto the world stage and given the exposure they so richly deserve. One such success story is South America’s Hernan Cattaneo.
Growing up in Buenos Aires, Hernan listened to Europop bands like Simply Red and Level 42, music he found sifting through Billboard magazine (the only music journal he could get at the time). But in 1987 a friend visited Vinylmania in New York City and brought back a sweet taste of Chicago house in the form of Traxx and DJ International pressings, which featured artists like Frankie Knuckles, Derrick May and Inner City. “They blew my mind,” exclaims Hernan. “I loved them because they combined the energy of Europe’s electronic music – bands like Depeche Mode and New Order – with the soul of American music. After that, everything changed for me.”
Shortly after, Hernan scored a residency in a small club in Buenos Aires that led to him being invited to play in clubs throughout South America. His talent was fast becoming recognised and in 1996 he secured the hotly contested residency for a new weekly Saturday entitled ‘Clubland’. Within 2 years the night had developed and was being hailed as Argentina’s best club. Soon all the world’s elite were beating down the door, giving Hernan the chance to share the booth with DJs like Sasha, John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Cox, Darren Emerson and, of course, Paul Oakenfold. The night went from strength to strength and, as the Millennium loomed, became widely regarded as the best in the world, with Hernan’s contribution being cited as a major part of its success. On hearing Hernan’s eclectic deep house, tribal and progressive sets, Cream immediately chose him as their South American resident. He then went on to win Best DJ Award in 1996 and 1997. From there its only a matter of time before Hernan would get the chance to played beyond his home continent, que one Paul Oakenfold, who invited Hernan to tour Europe with him. It was from this point on that universities and clubs throughout England and Europe began to hear the sounds of Hernan Cattaneo, which in turn, led to his Perfecto signing for both the seminal ‘Deep Funk’ and ‘South America’, his first original production and mix compilation respectively.
In ‘98 and ’99, Hernan also toured the States with Oakenfold, which introduced him to many high profile venues and events such as Nevada’s Burning Man festival and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. Residencies soon followed at Cream, both in Liverpool and Ibiza; Perfecto in Ibiza and gigs from Iceland to Singapore.
Come the summer of 2001 and Hernan was playing gigs such as Channel 4’s Clapham Common extravaganza to a stunning 70, 000 screaming fans. Other outstanding performances of that year included the Bedrock anniversary, Creamfields and the Cream Birthday at Nation in Liverpool. He headlined Creamfields in Buenos Aires and scored his first Homelands appearance. By the end of the year, with his club hit “Deep Funk” blowing up the charts, Hernan made # 50 on the DJ mag chart and was awarded the honour of becoming one of their cover stars. September 2001 also saw Hernan winning the ‘Best Newcomer DJ’ at the Pacha Ibiza awards.
The momentum did not stop there though, continuing throughout 2002 / 2003 as Hernan firmly cemented his increasing reputation, rising to # 22 in the DJ mag poll and getting re-booked to play all the aforementioned festivals (that included a 2 set appearance infront of a record-breaking attendance at Creamfields, Buenos Aries), whilst his domestic club bookings continued to take him around the world. Things were no different in the studio, where matters went from strength to strength and recently culminated in an amazing remix of Morgan Page for John Digweed’s prestigious Bedrock imprint, plus an original production alongside Subliminal and Yoshitoshi favourite, Dean Coleman. As yet unreleased, the track has more than a few labels getting hot under the collar, keep you eyes and ears peeled in the coming months…
Keen to capitalize on this consistent exposure, Hernan knew the time was coming to once again release a mix compilation and, in one of those simple twists of fate, his wish coincided with an offer from Renaissance to compile and mix their next ‘Masters’ compilation. From its conception back in 2000, the Masters series has always showcased some of the world’s finest DJ talent, a fact that Hernan is aware of, “I’ve always been a big fan of the Renaissance CDs, from those early Sasha and Digweed mixes through to the likes of Danny Howells and Deep Dish. It feels really good to be part of that now.” With favourable reviews flooding in ahead of its imminent early February release, the juggernaut express that is Cattaneo shows no sigh of slowing down, and with another full promotional world tour confirmed, he’ll be coming to a town or city near you soon – listen up and watch out people!