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Go BackSOMETIMES WE ALL NEED A DISCO DOCTOR – Madrid-based dj’n’producer Dr. Kucho! is proud of the police in his hometown

Posted: 23/4/04 8:42

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Dr. Kucho! does not have a PhD, but he is a smart man. Despite Spain’s status as perhaps the most popular destination in the world to jiggle about frantically to house music, the local scene has not had such a proud record when it comes to producing it.

Shrill Ricky-Martinesque vocals and samba-lite rythmns do not a thumping 4/4 club track make. But el ciudadano de España Daniel Manzona Salazar is a successor to far older and prouder dance traditions such as the Fandango and the infamous Flamenco, often heard the tipsy-gypsy area of Sa Peña here in Ibiza’s main center.

The traditional way of life was preserved in Spain up to and past the 1970s; it was not until then that towns started being influenced by other cultures through technology and travel. Invaders over the centuries also added to the country’s diversity of musical styles (thanks to for that last bit). These artistic riches now include the electronic works of Dr. Kucho! who's work is rated by quite a remarkable range of the ace-est of djs.

His ability to catch the ear of the professionals has undoubtedly propelled his career, however he’s also very much a man for the masses.

Critical reaction is important, but i think is much more important what the dj and the PEOPLE thinks. The first filter you have to pass is the dj, and then is the people. But i think is still more important the people even if they are in the second place of filtering. Because if the dj plays the track, even if he really don’t like so much it, if the people really like it , the dj will keep in mind the people reaction and will play again and again.This happens to me, i play some tracks i don’t like so much but people get crazy when i play them so finally i play that tracks because when i dj i try to make the people enjoy.”

Music is plainly his native tongue, but his ability to communicate his enthusiasm in English, probably his third or fourth, is equally persuasive. His friendly website is a good example. Rather than relying on mere words, you can listen to a wide selection of his handiwork. And there is a lot of it.

On the site he lists all the remixes he’s done (over 50) for the great and the obscure record labels of the world and invites potential clients to get involved:
“With Dr. Kucho!’s remix service you can transform your tune in an updated house track for the dance floor. Many record companies have trusted Dr.Kucho’s work, ranging from pop music to underground house labels. Commercial to hard underground mixes, whatever you can even think, everything can be done… just ask the Dr.!”

His candour re: the money side of the business is refreshing. Señor Salazar’s got a skill and he’s selling it. It just happens that his abilities cause people to experience spiritual moments of connection with their immediate surroundings, which must engender great job satisfaction. But he didn’t start his own label to facilitate this necessarily. He wants mo’ money, as he makes clear in his response to a query about the reasoning behind starting his own label.

"First of all, that thing everybody don’t want to say because they will look not so good but everybody knows ... money! to have your own label gives you more money! i am tired to see all the people answering to this question with "you have more control on your music" (true indeed), or "i wanted to create a new concept" (maybe true, why not?) All of those things are good reasons of course, but why everybody never talk about money? i think is the main reason most producers create their own labels. Maybe those producers which don’t have so much success trying to put their tracks out, want to create their own label to finally release those tracks, but those producers releasing records with many labels and selling good, they look for more money creating their label. This is definitely the natural way of all the intelligent business man, i don’t think this is a thing to hide."

Given the low start up costs and the cost-efficient and effective structure of the clubbing experience (herd punters into venue, tax until they stop having a good time), it’s no surprising that suppliers of quality services like Dr. Kucho! have thrived. Not even the recent bombings in Madrid have failed to damp his enthusiasm for music and life in general. Read and learn kids, this guy is switched on and plugged in.

Is the doctor in? Why do you call yourself a doctor? Did you want to be one when you were younger?
When i started into the music production i needed a name sounding good, it was different than now. Now it's cool to have your real name as the artist name, but when i started (1994) in Spain all the artist was using a different artist name. i thought "Dr." is cool , that's it.

What did your mum want you to be?
My parents didn’t have a clear idea but they wanted me to study in the university. i didn’t do it and that was difficult to them, my parents always thought i was getting fun with the music, not working seriously, not even creating tunes, just modifying other tunes or something like that. Every time i got a new synth or rhythm box, my father always said the same : 'Another machine? You already have other machines! Why do you need more?' When i released my first record he started to think different :-)

How did you learn to dj?
i tried to learn from other dj friends of mine, but a definite step in my dj learning was when a friend count on me to work with him as secondary dj in his club. It was a funk-house-pop club so it was not necessary to beatmatch all the mixes. This way was easy to learn to beatmatch without stress while i was learning some about dj psychology.

What was the first piece of musical equipment you bought and why?
The first music machine i bought was the Commodore Amiga 500. i really bought it not for music but for playing videogames, but then i got a primitive music tracker, that way i got interest in making music. A little time later i got a Kawai PH-50 keyboard, then the Korg Poly 800, Roland TR-707 ...

What musical and computer equipment do you have now? Where do you record your music?
Now i work with a PowerBook G4 12", i use external keyboard/mouse and a secondary external monitor, but the machine is still the laptop. I produce all my tracks and remixes only with the computer and logic audio. i am not using anymore my keyboards, rhythm boxes, external processors, even my studio mixer anymore. i moved to the digital world completely. Many people say to produce with analog system is better, warmer and etc.... But i think for most cases of audio working digital sound is better, fast, cleaner, and you have more possibilities.

Mac In Touch is an interesting name for a song, I take it you’ve got a Mac? How many hours a day do you sit in front it?
Yes i love Macs. i used PCs for long time because i got lot of problems and i was turning to computer engineer to fix all those problems instead music producer!!! That needed a solution and i moved to mac. How many hours in front of my Mac? I’m not sure, maybe 10 - 12 hours. i not only do music in all that time, i do my emails, contracts, browse internet, shopping , chat ... Actually if computers didn’t exist i will turn to a plant for sure.

Is being plugged into the internet the future of mankind?
I think so. i use Internet for everything - to buy cinema tickets, buy computer stuff, look for info, translate dictionaries, chat with friends, send masters to labels, share music and ideas with other producers. The internet has no limits, you can imagine utilities to plug any machine to internet: cars, freezers, clocks, tvs, stereos ... We will see lot of wonderful creations related to Internet in these upcoming years, I’m sure.

How important is the Internet to making a name for yourself? How long has been online?
i think is very important because it is a fast, easy and cheap way to promote yourself. Anyway still there are a big amount of people not using internet as usual thing when they need info about whatever, but it's a matter of time that people start to use it as the first way to look for info. Anyway there is the other hand of all of this, and it is the fact that it is so easy and cheap to have a website, and that means you are not really important just because you have a nice website. You can write wonderfulls about yourself in your site and maybe it’s only bullshit. You can have a futuristic flash animated website with lot of colors and sound but maybe you are a small dj. That's why the first objective of my website is the information. i try to keep the people informed with news, and useful things like track listening. have been online since two years ago.

Your records go down very well in Ibiza – why don’t you play here often? Did you come to Ibiza last year?
I only played in Ibiza one time, two years ago. And it wasn’t in summer, but in winter. Why i don’t play there often? i think there is two ways for play in Ibiza:
1.- to be a superstar DJ , like Roger Sanchez , Morillo, Tenaglia etc ...
2.- to have good relations with the clubs, promoters, i mean , to have good friends in the game
Both of those reasons doesn’t fit in me. i am still not so big to Ibiza clubs and promoters want me directly, and I am not good in public relations. So should i make some friends there to get some booking ?? Definitely not, this is not my style and fortunately i don’t need to do anything like that because i am getting enough gigs in summertime in other places around the world. Anyway , since last year i am working with some booking agencies so i hope they can get some booking for this summer in Ibiza this year, we will see.

What do people in Madrid think of Ibiza?
This is a funny question because few years ago to go to Ibiza to party it was the coolest thing you can do in the year and it was like people was going there for maybe only two days and only because they wanted to say "yes i have been in Ibiza". In the last two years i think this it is calmed down but still its a very cool destination in the summer. One this is true is Ibiza is considered the paradise of clubbing and dance music.

DowntownWhat was it like in Madrid when the bombs in the trains went off? How do you feel about it? How much do you think it affected the election result? Do you think an event like that will affect the club scene in Madrid? What are you doing this weekend?
I was in Miami when the bombs exploded, i was nervous because my family lives near Atocha train station , so i made some calls to ensure everybody of my family was ok, after that i connect the tv to check the BBC and was horrible , also feeling like this shit is impossible to avoid , they can repeat it whenever they want... Fortunately in the next days the Spanish police is stopping lot of attacks projects, arresting people and it looks like they can do it ! :-) I feel very proud of the police and also i feel more secure. I think the terrorist attack was definitely important to get the PSOE [Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol or Spanish Socialist Workers' Party] in. Anyway i don’t understand about politics.
About club scene , i really don’t know , people continues doing their life , what can you do? i took the metro yesterday and i didn’t feel scared of bombs. I feel younger people are not afraid but maybe older people... It’s a horrible thing sometimes you prefer not to think about it because if you do you can feel as bad as you don’t want to get out your door house...

How important is production to making a name for yourself?
In my case its 99% important , i started doing production before dijing , and actually I started to get good gigs because my productions , they never listen me djing , but they trust in me because they know my tracks , now when I have done lot of gigs maybe the promoters ask around about how was my dj set to other promoters who booked me or something like that , but in the beginning I got the gigs only because of my productions.

How big are you in the US? Where are you best known?
Well , I am not so big in the US as here in Europe, I think there there are too much hip hop , and big dj parties are for trance or more progressive , not house. I think house parties are more for small clubs and for those its difficult to pay my fee plus the flight ticket , that's why i don’t get so much gigs there, also the Dollar is down the Euro and this makes it more difficult , anyway i already Dj there in Washington and New York. I Dj from Colombia to Shangai, but I think the place I am bigger its maybe Russia , I Dj there lot of times and i felt there like a superstar sometimes ... other places could be France, Malta, Slovenia... I don’t know , its difficult to say...

You seem to get good reactions from the speakers of a number of different languages. Do you have many fans in Germany? Have you played there much?
No, Germany its a difficult territory, they like or very commercial house music or more progressive style , I don’t fit in that so much i think , I have some request to Dj in Germany but have to say no because of low fee.

What’s it like getting on a plane, going to some cool club you’ve never seen, then having to make all these people go bonkers? Is it hard? Is it easy? Are you really good or just really lucky?
Hahaha , I think you can be lucky maybe some weeks but if you are not really good and you don’t have a really strong agency pushing you or something like that , people will know you are a shit Dj. The peoples changes from one place to another , that is true , but the only thing I need to know is if they like more soft music or more hard , that's it , if you play always good stuff, people will like it.. the question is ... what is good stuff and what is not?

What did you think of Alan Simms from Shine when he said (in the “La Luna” reaction sheet) “Don’t believe they are Spanish for a minute?”
I was very happy and feeling something was changing . Now Spanish house music have very good reputation, but before was the contrary or maybe not the contrary but nobody care about Sanish music, and for me , the moment of that change was when "Patricia Never Leaves The House" and "La Luna" , I red a lot of great feedback like that one of Alan Sims, maybe that one is the best to describe what was happening in those days.

Was there ever a time when Spanish productions were inferior to UK ones?
have many more years of house music than Spain , but I think Spain is almost as good now.

What kind of music do you really enjoy listening to?
I like to listen the music I buy to Dj , but the softer one , the harder one I usually play later in the sets its maybe too much for listening at home, also I listen chill out , funk classics, 80s ...

How important is critical reaction? Or is it more important what the djs think?
Critical reaction is important, more important is what the dj and PEOPLE thinks, the first filter you have to pass is the dj, and then is the people , but I think is still more important the people even if they are in the second place of filtering as if the dj plays the track, even if he do not like the track so much, and the people really like it , the Dj will keep in mind the people reaction and will play again and again. This happens to me, I play some tracks I dont like so much but people get crazy when I play them so finally i play that tracks because when I dj I try to make the people enjoy.

You seem to have very good relations with the media? How did you achieve this?
Do you mean I pay them or something? I did nothing man, as said before I am not good in PR i just make music. Think about this interview , you contacted me :-).

Well supported by Dj Mag. How do people get to hear of you? How important is a name? Why do people in dance music use so many aliases?
Well, there are many ways to the people get heard of you, press, Internet, friends, just your new record in the record shop... A name is very important in each one career, I think to use various names is stupid , actually I did it some time ago but not anymore. The labels wanted me to use an exclusive name with them, so I needed one name for each label i was releasing with. Then I also started to use various names even releasing in the same label!!! why? I tried to separate styles of music: more disco house , more tribal... I did that in weekend records, i used feeling inside, Hari Seldon and Joni Quest...
Now I think using various names is very stupid. Think about this: if you release 3 records each one with different names you have nothing , but if you use the same name on all of them you have a career.

Thanks DR!

Thanks to you

Ibiza Voice International Dj Database

Words by Disco patient