What is Iberican Sound, you ask? Well no other artist personifies this musical genre more than DJ Chus. Whether you have heard of him or not, Chus has been in the electronic music game for well over 20 years, and he continues to lay down tracks of his signature Iberican Sound and hold residencies at major clubs in New York (Pacha), Miami (Space), and Montreal (Stereo). So listen up and get into his groove, because this is a sound you will want to know about!
So who is the man behind it? First let me answer the initial question: Iberican Sound is rhythmic, percussive electronic house with a touch of soul, sometimes with some vocal rips mixed in, stemming from the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal. Chus L. Esteban started his professional career at the end of the 1980s in his hometown of Madrid, Spain. Amidst the full-blown euphoria of the acid-house movement, Chus became a resident at Alien, one of the first clubs of the famous Kapital Group. He also landed residencies at such prestigious clubs as Kapital, where he spun for 7 years, and Kadoc Club in Algarve, Portugal. Chus’ unique style, developed from Portuguese and American underground house, continued to gain worldwide appeal and respect over the years. His innate desire to create and improve led him to begin dabbling in music production and further develop his signature sound.
As luck would have it, in 1994 Chus happened to meet (at the time) up-and-comer David Penn, now one of Spain’s best-known DJs and producers. A very beneficial meeting of chance for Chus, as Penn would then further guide him in his craft throughout Chus’ career. Also along the way, Chus met someone who would influence the following 10 years of his music career. Pablo Ceballos, whose techno background has been described as a blend of bottom-heavy rhythms with warm and inviting soul-grabbing elements gelled with Chus’ house style, creating a sound that is sure to have you moving on the dance floor. At present, Ceballos holds several residences at internationally renowned clubs such as Space in Miami, Stereo in Montreal, and Pacha in Ibiza. From the fusion of Chus and Ceballos emerged the Iberican Sound, which then evolved into a worldwide movement.
The Iberican Sound is particularly Chus’ trademark, his personal vision of house music, which has contributed positively to the global electronic music scene. As a team they have built a mini-empire, encompassing a record label (Stereo Productions), management and DJ agency, recording studio, and a supervisory role with Double Zero publishing. In an interview with ResidentAdvisor.net, Chus described his style as “electronic, but with soul, sometimes a bit housey, sometimes harder, but never cold, it’s hot, ‘caliente’!” When asked about each other’s personalities, the two had this to say about each other:
Chus: “Ceballos is really friendly and patient. He is so calm, no hurries, the opposite of me.”
Ceballos: “Chus is so active, impatient and nervous. We are like yin and yang, a good balance.”
Chus’ first record with Stereo, The Strong Rhythm, was an instant success and soon, more hits came from Stereo’s factory. As a remixing “maestro” he has worked with some very important names in the music industry including Madonna, Paris Hilton, Enrique Iglesias, Yoko Ono and Kathy Brown and top electronic artists like Deep Dish, Danny Tenaglia, Superchumbo, Tedd Patterson and Sandy Rivera, among others. His remixing work with Pablo Ceballos and David Penn has also given him international recognition. A tireless worker, Chus travels the world visiting the most exquisite clubs – Ageha in Tokyo, Peppermint in Dubai, Stereo in Montreal (David Morales’ club where Chus & Ceballos have a residency), and Kremlin in Moscow. All this has culminated in a recording legacy of over 20 years of original productions and remixes. Some of the most notable tracks from this list include DJ Chus “That Feeling,” “Harmonica Track,” or “Back2NY,” as DJ Chus & David Penn “Baila,” “Will I,” and “Burning Paris,” and as Chus & Ceballos “In Stereo” and ”Baguio Track.”
Chus has become a global artist, playing some of the world’s most renowned clubs, and continues to make waves on the radio with “In Stereo Radio show,” which can be heard live on radio stations worldwide, the internet, and in a weekly podcast version. Chus has pioneered a music genre, and is still on the forefront of dance music and its evolution. Keep him on your radar, and if he happens to stop by in a city near you, be sure you make it to the show and check him out – get your Iberican Sound on!
Have you seen DJ Chus? Have you ever partied in Ibiza or Spain and experienced this Iberican Sound? Share your thoughts – your feedback is appreciated.
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By: Angelo Castañeda