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pedro cali interview

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Pedro Cali Biography

Pedro Cali was born the 19th of March 1979, in Charleroi, Belgium.

At the age of twelve, he begins to have a passion for music, dicovering a "LP" of "The Doors" in his Father’s vinyls collection. This drives him to play piano as a self-taught person and to improvise inside various musical groups.

At the age of sixteen, it is love at first sight for electronic music, and especially for the "Detroit sound". In this music, he finds the melodies and the free pattern of artistic expression that he was searching for.

Few years later, while completing his studies to become an infographist, he works on his first tracks. One friend advise him to send his tracks to Fabrice Lig (Fcommunications) and the feedback is pretty good… Pedro Cali signs his first track, "Behind The Clouds", on F… U ! FCOM.

In 2006, he founds the Chroma Electronic Collective with his friends Erell Ranson, (AW Records, Styrax) and Tyler Smith (Audiocrash).

Today, Pedro has a job as infographist and travels on his way through his melodies and their characteristic "deep & funky" side.

Interview with Pedro Cali by Kazuumi Ishii

Can you tell us a little about your musical background ? What did you start out doing ?

I don’t really have a musical background, just a lot of passion for music. I remember my first listening to The Doors first LP. I thought: "Whaou ! I want to do it !" so I start to play piano as a self-taught person. By chance, my father have a big LP’s collection from the roots of blues and jazz to the end of 70′s. That’s it my background. After that I discover the Detroit sounds !

Can you tell us know the name of artists who have given you a lot of influence ?

George Clinton, Funkadelic, Motown Records, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson (when he was black), and many more because I am addicted to funk music !

Of course a lot of influences from Detroit and the Detroit sounds such as Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, all the Underground Resistance crew, Fabrice Lig, Aril Brikha, Titonton Duvante…

One of my favourite album is "Dummy" from Portishead. I am also a big fan of John Coltrane. I think all is good (in music) is good for me.

Your single "Behind The Clouds" was released a year and a half ago, how did you first get the attention of Fcommunications ?

Very simply: I sent a CD to Laurent Garnier at Fcommunications office. 4 weeks later, he calls me on my phone. It was amazing ! I have a lot of respect for Laurent, it’s an incredible DJ !

How did your relationship with Fabrice Lig start, are you producing together or how do you work together ?

I send him a mail from his website and in the same time a CD with my very first tracks. The feedback was good so a few month later I sent him another CD. He choses 4 tracks for his label "Melodika" since this time, we have a good relationship together. Fabrice Lig is a reference for me, I think he’s an amazing producer and DJ. He plays exactly what I want to hear in a club and put many influences in his own music. His new album will be big ! We aren’t producing music together yet. Maybe in the future.

Do you produce all the tracks in PC or do you use any outboard stuff in your studio ?

I like to mix the different technology together. I use software synth but I love the old sound from vintage keyboard too: Roland Juno 106, Matrix 1000, Korg Polysix… I think emtions you put in your music is more important the the setup you use to do it. Without emotions you have nothing.

Do you put more weight over live side rather than DJing ? If yes, why ?

I’m not a DJ, I play only live for the moment. Maybe in the future ? I have a light setup for the live, I can put all in a rucksack and a travel bag. I use a sounds module with a small keyboard to reduce the weight. If I can I bring my Roland Juno 106 for the funky solos.

Can you explain a bit about the setup of your live performances ?

I use Ableton Live 5 with MIDI. I control Ableton with a short mixtable and a MIDI controller, and 3 VST instruments with a small USB keyboard. For hardware I use a Roland Juno 106 for solo and a Matrix 1000 as a sounds module. I try to remix my tracks for the live and let some place to improvise. I like to take risk and play music ! There is to many wrong performer.

Do you want to setup your own label in the future ?

I never thought about it yet. I want to explore my own sound before.

What are you currently working – currently project ?

Two EP’s are ready for Melodika Recordings. Secrets EP Part 1 will be release very soon. An EP is ready for Poussez ! Music the label of DJ Yellow, schedulled for 2007. Several releases on Fine Art Recordings: two tracks on a various CD, an EP and another big project but no more information for the moment ;). I just finishing a remix for Basic Unit too. Currently I try to develop my own sound and work on new tracks.

With my two friends (Erell Ranson and Tyler Smith) we have a radio show each month on www.livesets.com called INTERSTATE94.

Can you let us know what’s happening around techno scene in your home country ?

Fabrice Lig has a monthly residence in the city where I live. It’s fun to have quality music in your own city. There is also the Sub-Scape party in the north of Belgium. I think this is the best parties in Belgium. Maybe some other underground parties but nothing else for the Detroit techno lovers.

If you do play out, where are some of the places you like to play ?

Everywhere in the world, it would be great ! Of course some great clubs and festivals. One of my dreams is playing in Japan. Every artists I know say that Japan is one of the best place to play in the world.

What is your, and your peers, general perception about the Japaneses techno scene ?

Wonderful ! Japaneses clubbers are amazing ! Very positive people, open to all kind of music.

Will we see you in Japan anytime soon ? You have a lot of fans ?

As soon as possible. I repeat myself but it’s one of my dream and I am addicted to Japaness food.

Honestly, I don’t know if I have a lot of fans ?

Any messages to Japaneses fans ?

Do you know Belgian beers ? Serously: thank you for your love.

Pedro Cali Discography

own releases

  • Behind The Clouds, 12"
    F… U ! FCOM (2005)


  • Electronic Resistance – Boumtchicbam (Pedro Cali remix)
    Boumtchicbam, SÅHKÅTEK (2006)


own releases

  • Secrets EP Part 1, 12"
    Melodika (2007)
  • Secrets EP Part 2, 12"
    Melodika (2007)
  • Escape EP, 12"
    Poussez ! Music (2007)
  • Misty EP, 12"
    Fine Art (2007)


  • (Pedro Cali delivers a few tracks for Fine Art Recordings album compilation.)
    (Title TBA), Fine Art (2007)

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Written by Kazuumi

February 5th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Posted in Features

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