Roger Sanchez's Favorite DJs

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Roger Sanchez

Globally recognized for absorbing air with captivating choons, Roger Sanchez tours and masters media all while keeping up his Release Yourself audio podcast offering exclusives and highlighting other artists.  DJ Times was lucky enough to catch up with him for a few minutes as he passed through Boston.

You grew up in New York when Larry Levan was at the Paradise Garage and Dave Mancuso was at the Loft. Did you get to experience any of that? The good thing is, I was a member of the Paradise Garage in the last couple years, actually like the last year or two before it closed. A friend of mine was a member who took me in and I kind of jumped on that. Then I went to the Loft a couple of times and it was just an inspirational period because it was the early days of house music. Coming over from Chicago and New York CIty has a key unique flavor and vibe to it, and I just remember going to these events- being at the Paradise Garage with the most insane sound system, having that bass just kick you in the chest and the way Mancuso used to play his tracks from beginning to end at the Loft- there was nothing like it.

They just knew how to work a room. Are there up-and-coming guys you see now who might get to that status? It’s a bit different now because the other thing is, back then, music was played differently. I think the attention span for the crowd is a lot shorter now than it used to be when music- especially dance music-was really emerging and making an impact. People used to play records from beginning to end and that was Mancuso’s magic. Now it’s a lot more about playing the big records or doing something really creative and having a technique that’s a lot different so I don’t know if the crowds would react the same. I think you could create that. I don’t know how many of the up-comers have that type of education in terms of how to work a crowd; they do it differently and I think some of them do it amazingly well.

Who are some of the guys inspiring you now? There are a lot of new guys coming up, and most of them happen to be producers. DJ’ing-wise, it’s interesting to see how the tech movement has really started to take off, so you have guys like Carlo Lio and David Squillace who aren’t as well-known in the broader circles, but on a techy side, going back to the deep roots of house music, I love what they do. On the big room sound, you have producers like Afrojack who know how to work their crossover big room sound. There are a lot of people who are definitely doing their thing out there. — Joe Bermudez and Angela Bray