In this interview #itchysilk talks to the musical Venezuelan dj and producer Jorge Montiel.
As a dj and producer, Jorge Montiel and his Venezuelan musical partner Juan Laya have been releasing sterling cuts for over ten years now. In fact, last year they celebrated their 10th anniversary by joining forces with the soul legend, Omar on the single It’s So/History (2017). Championing a unique fusion of funk-infused grooves under the aliases of The Boogie Man, Boogie Magic and Los Charly’s Orchestra via their Imagenes imprint, they’ve impressed music loving connoisseurs like Pete Tong (Radio 1) show and Craig Charles on his Funk and Soul show (BBC Radio 6) just two of their growing legion of notable fans.
In 2018, (June to be exact), the duo released their latest project Electropical. It’s an album that does exactly what it states in the title. The duo launches listeners into a heady aural journey of vibes where “tropical vibes” and “electronic grooves” are used to great effect “to reflect the vivid ever evolving Latin American soundscape”
Music starts with a sound system.
My mum agreed to lend me the money to buy a sound system when I was 18 years old. That was the official start of my trip into the dj world. I formed a business partnership with a friend Douglas Romero aka El Pelon who was and still is a well-known character on the radio scene in Caracas. He promised to get us on the nightclub circuit in Caracas if I was able to buy the sound system. In a month or so we were playing the best parties and locations in the city, including a residency in a club called Bar Two which had been musically the most influential venue I frequented before starting my DJ life.
Paloma Faith used to work there as a barmaid too…..we would sometimes philosophise about our aspirations in arts and how possible it would be to achieve the things….I think her mental focus was far stronger than mine though.
A dj slot, Paloma faith and mental strength.
When I came to the UK I was lucky enough to get dj slot at a venue in Hoxton Square which at the time was called Bluu Bar. They gave me a summer dj residency back in 2002 and that sparked a lot of motivation to carry me through. Paloma Faith used to work there as a barmaid too. She was just finishing her studies in performing arts. Hanging about we would sometimes philosophise about our aspirations in arts and how possible it would be to achieve the things when you fully focus your thoughts on what you believe. I think her mental focus was far stronger than mine though.
The Joey Negro connect
Meeting Joey Negro and getting him to remix our first breakthrough track Some Of The Things 2010. One night I went down to check out our friend Simon Lee from Faze Action dj-ing at the Big Chill in Brick Lane. Simon said: “Jorge I’m really digging your new project Los Charly’s Orchestra I think you should get in touch with Joey Negro and play him your music. If he likes it he can spread it around”. So that’s how we got in touch for first time. After a little while we went to Z Records studios to finally arrange the re edit of Some Of The Things which came out on our Disco Funk ep (2009).
Sunsets and sets
Ibiza chill out king and former Cafe Del Mar pioneer, Jose Padilla invited us to play with Los Charlys at his night at Blue Marlin Ibiza back in 2014 which was amazingly good fun! Our set was at sunset on Sunday, which is the biggest night for that venue, but we weren’t aware of this and suddenly the whole place started to get really packed. Ibiza Sonica Radio were also there broadcasting live. The stage was placed facing the beach and the sun started to set-it felt like living the dream – it just couldn’t get any better. We played into the night closing with Feeling High. That was the song that started our whole connection with Jose Padilla, who had licensed it a few months before on one of his compilations. That was how Blue Marlin got to hear about us in the first place.
Sound systems, Japan and heaven
My first Asian tour was very life enhancing as a professional, especially my experiences in Japan. The gig in Tokyo was at the AIR club, which really has one if not the most amazing sound system I’ve ever heard. The Japanese crowd love this kind of Paradise Garage style of sound system and they are perfectionist when it comes to sounds so as a dj that is just like heaven to work with.