July 27, 2021

Hernán Cattaneo: “Pink Floyd was a rock band, but there was a lot of electronics in there”

Hernán Cattaneo He was born in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Caballito, on March 4, 1965. Today, at 56 years old, he is one of the most recognized DJs in Argentina and also the world. In addition, he is the new guest of Black box, the cycle of interviews of Filo.News conducted by Julio Leiva.

From a young age he showed interest in music and gathered audio equipment with friends to put on music and play games. “We were minors so we had never seen a professional. One day I went to a party at the San Silvano de Caballito school and, for the first time, that day I saw him”:

“A guy, probably Alejandro, would be 23 years old, but for me he was a big guy, a big man, with lots of records and everything. And I went crazy because it was like NASA’s version of what we did. From then on, every time I tried to go to a party to go see who the DJ and stay watching and learning, “recalls Hernán.

Hernán during his adolescence, learning the trade.

“We were a group of boys who liked electronic music and music made with machines that at that time was still not very accepted. Today the boys, on the one hand, start with that terrain already won, that battle already conquered. But at the same time the Internet and communication and the global world. Because before they make music for Argentina, they make music. Today a boy who is a musician makes music for the whole world. That makes you in a sea of ​​competition and from different cultures which makes it so much more difficult. And on the other hand, it has happened a lot that before you had much more time “.

And he analyzes: “If I had been measured by the success I had in the ’80s, it would have been very, very mediocre. I started to be successful later, in the late 90’s, early 2000. TI was lucky that my career was very slow, that makes people not tire of you. “

A short time ago the producer released his book “The DJ’s dream” in which he mentions many anecdotes that occurred throughout his career, some of which he recalled in the living room of Caja Negra.

“Madonna came in ’93 to play in Argentina. The day after her show she wanted to go out and they told her they could open Pachá. She said she wanted to listen to house music. Although I was not the only one, it is clear that someone told him that I could. Then they started looking for me to go. At that time there were no cell phones, and I had gone to the movies. When I returned home I had about 40 messages, “he recalls.

Another one includes the British duo The Chemical Brothers, after whom he appeared during a festival at their will and where he conquered Paul Oakenfold, London colleague.

“The thing is that they wanted yes or yes to play early. And in those cases the headliner rules. So they play first. Then I was going. It would have been kind of ridiculous for me to try to say ‘well, now I’m going to break everything after Chemicals to show off’. Yes, I tell you, there was no room. The thing is, I didn’t know that Paul was there listening to everything and when he finished he came thanked me. He told me that he was not going to forget that gesture. And I also did not know that he was about to start a world tour where he was looking for someone to open the tour. When he finished and he congratulated me, I left happy and I remembered that I told my friends. “

In his book he also mentions a scene in which, at age 6, he is listening to “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, the iconic Pink Floyd album. On that account: “The rock of long and very flying songs by Pink Floyd completely caught me. The atmosphere it generated marked me for the rest of my life.”

And adventure: “Pink Floyd was a rock band but there was a ton of electronics in there. ANDThey were recording on Abbey Road with Alan Parsons, who was one of the pioneers in electronic engineering, and he had a lot to do with those recordings. After that there began to be more electronic records. Namely, I do not mean a heresy against rockers who can get angry. Let me say that Pink Floyd was a pioneering electronic band, but in many ways it was. So, maybe not in the musical, but in the technical part, in how they recorded, in things they did with the effects. It marked a lot to me, to me and to the entire industry, because it began to generate a lot of common denominators “:

Taking this as a basis, define genres in electronics: “There is a very hard techno that would be like the metal version of electronics and there is one called progressive out, which is the most flying version as Pink Floyd would be, which is what I do. And generally in the same way that Pink Floyd bores metalheads and very hard techno Cattaneo bores, let’s say, but it makes sense “:

The eternal? confrontation between rock and electronics led to another anecdote:

“In English you say ‘play the guitar’ like Pappo and ‘play record’ like me. So: play the guitar, play a record. But when you say you play a record you are not doing the same as Pappo, that he went to the conservatory or is known or spent 40 years learning to play the guitar. It was a misunderstanding more than anything else, “he says about the memorable cross between Norberto Pappo Napolitano and Ezequiel Smuszkowiez, (DJ Deró).

“There is no serious DJ who wants to pass himself off as a musician. It’s like saying ‘No, I’m not really a musician, but I’m going to say that I play. So they think I’m like Pappo’ and that’s what bothered Pappo But that didn’t happen. No DJ feels like a guitarist when he’s playing music. Obviously that marked because today they tell you. I sometimes see it on Instagram posts and you have a lot of people saying ‘uh that’s good’ and sometimes you ‘find yourself a job’ “.

Another of the moments that, unfortunately, marked the history of Argentine electronic music was the tragedy of the Time Warp, which Hernán classified as “a nuclear bomb”.

“You had to forget about doing anything in Argentina because it was impossible. The effect that this generated was tremendous, because, as happens almost every time, there is so much misinformation that you saw journalists saying that music is made to sell drugs. in the parties. They accused anyone who was close to electronic music of being a little less than a drug dealer. “

“From then on, I started to get together with my manager and we started saying ‘well, ok, let’s try to do something to turn this around a bit.’ music. And for me music had nothing to do with it. For me, what was wrong is how many things are done in Argentina. ”

Cattaneo brought electronic music to the Teatro Colón.

There the idea of ​​bringing electronic music to the Teatro Colón came up: “As music for me had nothing to do with it, I said ‘well, ok, for me what bothers them is the environment, not the music. ‘ So we are going to put it in an environment that the establishment respects. We are going to take the music that they say is the devil to a place that they respect and you will know that there the music will not have any problem. It turned out great for us, it also turned out badly and I was back living in Europe.

And as a final fact he adds: “If you see now there is a documentary on Netflix of all this and you see that I have six kilos less than now because I wait out of anguish, it was human.”

What is the moment that made Hernán Cattaneo who he is today? “You have 2 or 3 more or less. The three milestones that transformed me were politics, Oxford and meeting my wife.”

Towards the end of the interview the box is opened. An unexpected challenge begins. Week by week a figure will be submitted to the living room to dialogue and reflect. And you, do you dare to remember what moment clicked in your life?