"I try and stay fully aware of the moment, while getting completely lost in the feeling.”
When it comes to the current landscape of electronic music, Jason Torres' track record is by no means traditional. The trumpet was his first love and out of an affinity for traditional musicianship came what seemed like a natural development into the world of DJing and producing.
With that in mind, Torres is not one to forget his past. He spices up his DJ sets with live trumpeting, offering a refreshing dose of spontaneity that's lost in a world made mostly of digital performance in music. "I'll drop in the horn to compliment a transition, or idea," he says, revealing his secret. "Other times I'll make the trumpet the focus with an intro to a set, or a solo over a drum track. I always leave room for improvisation and space."
While his long relationship with brass may come across as unique to many in this industry, the city he reps is no shocker. "Chicago," he says with a smile. "I mean, I have the city tattooed on the back of my arm." Not only is Torres a product of one of electronic music's most storied cities, but he also has his own tales to tell about some of the city's musical pillars.
"Long story short, there are a lot of people who influenced me from Chicago," he explains. "Derrick Carter asked me to play on a remix of his song 'Where You At?' It was Chicago's theme at one point and now it has a cult-like following. I was thrilled when he asked and that made me feel fortunate to be apart of Chicago's scene during a really special time."
His lifelong mantra speaks volumes to his artistic integrity and approach to music—whether it's classical, jazz, or electronic. "I try and stay fully aware of the moment, while getting completely lost in the feeling." His attitude is almost philosophical in the sense that consciousness can actually play an important part in one's psyche while making music.
He explains that this is a daily goal of his. "There are countless ways to get into this state. It's that moment when everything feels good and you're completely engaged with what you're doing. Most musicians, DJs and performers know this feeling. It's that space where knowledge meets love, or when the right and left brain merge. It's a necessity for me, creatively."
Having released on some of the underground's most esteemed labels, Jason's latest work is not his first rodeo. He's worked with Kompakt Recordings, along with NYC's Nervous Records. His collaboration "Speaker Language" with Danny Daze charted Top 10 on Beatport's Techno chart and was played out by titans like Sven Vath and Dixon. His latest work is to be released on Lazaro Casanova's Miami-based Petfood Recordings, a label that has been on the scene for years now. Known for a no-nonsense approach to true, respectable house music, Lazaro and his team have built one of the most solid imprints the Sunshine State has to offer.
"Summer is almost here, and I wanted to offer up a few tunes for both the dancefloor and the DJ mixes. The tracks will also be used as a back-drop for live trumpet performances that I plan to make a video series with," explains Torres. "I sent the tracks over to Petfood and they picked up 'Bang' and 'Down' right away. Always a good feeling to receive such a nice reception. I know Lazaro Casanova from when I was living in Miami, and have always been taken with his and Danny Daze's of mixing. Really reminded me of my own thought process when it comes to music."
It's easy to see where Chicago's influences live in "Bang"—a fast-paced party track that is certainly meant for a packed dancefloor. Full of life and heat, Translucent put together a top-line groover that fits in wonderfully with the Petfood camp. A simple one-two lead synth stab is complemented by a heavier low-end that develops into an all-out frenzy that's obviously a testament to the warehouse days Jason evokes in his own description of the song.
"For 'Bang' I sampled Mikl Mtchl, a very talented lyricist and a really nice guy too. It's a snapshot of the warehouse scene I came from with a more current motif," says Torres.
It's a track we're expecting big things from, and a label-artist relationship that we expect to bear much fruit. Indulge in your Wednesday afternoon warehouse.
Zack Rota is on Twitter.