JUNIOR SANCHEZ spinning as part of the House Stage at MEKKA (POSTPONED) Rating: NNNNN
Junior Sanchez may be one of the younger celebrated house DJs coming out of New York, but he's not short on experience. From the time he was 13, he was messing with his mom's record players, and by 15 he was already spinning in clubs and creating tracks of his own.
Having collaborated with big-name European producers like Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk and teamed up with American heavyweights like Armand Van Helden, Roger Sanchez and DJ Sneak, Sanchez has worked his way to the top in record time.
His own productions range from the minimal, hard end of the spectrum to filtered disco cut-ups and vocal tracks. "When I was a kid, I was listening to everything from Ritchie Hawtin to Little Louie Vega. House should just be music. Who cares if it's hard or soft? It's the same as anything else -- you've got chords, rhythm and melody that combine to give you something to make you feel good, to dance to and leave you with memories."
Sanchez doesn't seem overly concerned about how the growing mainstream appeal of underground dance music is changing the scene. He doesn't see house music taking over American radio any time soon. "In the States, if it isn't a guitar band, they don't get it. The big guys are opening doors a little at a time, but there's still a long way to go for house to be considered pop music. Artists come and go -- Generation X spawned Billy Idol -- but there will always be an underground."
After releasing singles on a number of influential labels, he's now concentrating on his own label, Cube, and will be putting out a full-length by Felix Da Housecat soon. The Mekka label will release a mix CD after the tour, recorded in one take with no editing. "I had just come out of surgery and was in the middle of buying a house, but I think it's pretty good. It's not the same as a live set, because there were certain records I had to play that I wouldn't normally put next to each other, but that's always the case with mix CDs."