GOING IN DEEP WITH DEE MONTERO


Dee Montero is a very welcome new addition to the island. No stranger to islands, he was a resident at the infamous Cafe Mambo in Ibiza for many years, where he also used to play at various other hotspots such as Amnesia, Pacha and Space every summer. After a few years in Hong Kong he made the move to Bali most recently to focus more on his production and to take up a residency at the W Bali where he is set to make use of the W Sound Suite alongside music director Damian Saint. Dee very kindly took some time out to answer a few questions on his past present and future for Secret Bali Life…. Welcome to BALI!!! 



GIVE US A BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF YOUR MUSICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND AS YOU HAVE HAD AN INTERESTING JOURNEY BEFORE YOU RECENTLY LANDED IN BALI...

I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and got into DJing around the mid-90’s after listening to pirate radio stations and attending raves in the city at the time. When I turned 17, I won the Vestax N.I Mixing Championships which lead to a few residencies at clubs such as The Network and Thompsons in the late 90’s.

I started playing in Ibiza in 2000 and have been there almost every summer since DJing at clubs such as Space, Pacha, Amnesia and of course my long-standing residency at Cafe Mambo where I played 8 hour sets on a daily basis.

I lived in Hong Kong between 2008 - 2012 where I was music director of Kee Club bringing over artists such as Greg Wilson, Nina Kraviz, Satoshi Tomiie and Joris Voorn to the city while touring myself around Asia.

Production wise I’ve been making music since 2001 on labels such as Renaissance, Saved, Stereo, Diynamic and Anjunadeep.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO BALI?

I just wanted a change this summer to focus more on my productions and I’ve always wanted to live in Bali. Damian Saint gave me the opportunity to be involved in the W Sound Suite so it was perfect timing and I can maximise the studio over the coming months.

WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF BALI BEEN SINCE YOU STARTED COMING HERE AND SINCE YOU MADE THE MOVE?

My first trip to Bali was in 2005, I think there was only 3 clubs then - Double 6, KU DE TA and Deja Vu. Each year I come back there’s always something new popping up so it’s great to see how much it’s expanded over the years with more international talent coming through regularly. Living here’s been great so far, I’ve even started surfing!

WHAT IN YOUR OPINION ARE THE NUANCES OF THE TWO ISLANDS IBIZA AND BALI THAT MAKES THEM WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT ARE THE STARKEST DIFFERENCES?

I don’t think you can really compare the two. I used to think Bali was like Australia’s Ibiza and in someways it is with the sunset bars etc but after coming here for a long time I’ve noticed they are very different.

For one Ibiza has some of the biggest and best clubs in the world with 5 or 6 big parties going on each night of the week, so it’s much more intense with fiercer competition. Another big difference is that Bali is a hindu island, and although you can party here it’s nothing like the extremes of Ibiza where clubbers go on benders for days. I like that Bali is more relaxed though and it’s actually possible to live a healthy lifestyle while enjoying the music on offer.


The W Sound Suite, where Dee will be spending most of his creative time

HOW WOULD YOU BEST SUM UP YOUR MUSICAL STYLE AND WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCES IN SHAPING THAT?

I would say my musical style is warm and emotive club music. I’m not a fan of genre naming or pigeon-holing as I’m inspired by an eclectic mix of styles. It comes from playing those long sets in Ibiza, being exposed to all forms like ambient, movie soundtracks, classical, funk, soul, disco, acid-jazz and house which is what I’d loosely call balearic.

YOU MUST HAVE SEEN IBIZA CHANGE A LOT OVER THE YEARS... BETTER, WORSE OR JUST DIFFERENT?

Ibiza is always changing. It’s a very different beast to when I first started going 20 years ago and it has lost some of that freedom it once had but the party spirit definitely remains. It’s always been pricey and people don’t expect it to be a cheap holiday but as it’s the epicentre of dance music during the European summer it’s an automatic choice for most clubbers to descend upon the island every year

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT STATE OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC GLOBALLY?

Electronic music is as big as it’s ever been for sure and it’s great to see the younger crowd getting into housier stuff now and outgrowing the EDM phase. I would like to see more fresh talent coming through instead of the same old names on festival line-ups etc, there’s a risk of big names and branding outweighing the actual music which is what it should be about at the end of the day. I’m still enjoying DJing as much as ever though with so much quality music coming out every week and I still buy vinyls which keeps it interesting for me.

PICK 3 TUNES THAT HAVE HAD A MASSIVE INFLUENCE ON YOU

Blimey thats tough! Off the top of my head big tracks like these are up there:

DJ Rolando ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’


Orbital ‘Belfast’


Leftfield ‘Not Forgotten’


WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE RECORD LABELS AND WHY?

At the moment Running Back from Gerd Janson who’s releasing that nostalgic late 80’s/early 90s acid house sound which is sounding fresh as ever.

Others labels I’d say Tale & Tone and Knee Deep In Sound which I’ve got forthcoming releases coming out on in July called ‘Mandala’ and ‘Voyager’, also remixed by Martin Buttrich.

WHAT'S THE BEST SET YOU HAVE EVER WITNESSED LIVE?

Probably Laurent Garnier on the Space Terrace in Ibiza 2005. Effortlessly jumping between genres and completely in the zone. He dropped Prodigy ‘Out Of Space’ at the end which destroyed the place and I’ve never seen anything like it since.

IF YOU COULD CURATE A LINE-UP FOR THE W BALI AND MONEY WAS NO OBJECT WHO WOULD BE ON IT?

Gerd Janson (Closing Set)
Laurent Garnier (Main Set)
John Digweed (Warm-up house set)
Vangelis (Live at sunset)
Phil Mison (Daytime)

WHAT'S THE STRANGEST THING YOU HAVE EVER WITNESSED IN A DJ BOOTH?

Brandon Block taking over from me at Cafe Savannah on the sunset strip in Ibiza years ago and asking if I had a bucket he could vomit in so I went and fetched one for him straight away before things got messy. Back in the days when the island was a bit more random!

WHEN CAN OUR FOLLOWERS CATCH YOU PLAYING?

I’ll be starting my weekly residency at Woobar from the 7th July called Foundation with forward thinking guests every week from regional to international. This will be my first residency in a while so looking forward to building up a weekly night in Bali and getting to dig deep into my collection for a musical journey

HERE'S A VIDEO OF DEE MONTERO'S SET IN SAN FRANCISCO RECENTLY WARMING UP FOR PETE TONG



CHECK OUT DEE MONTERO'S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE RIGHT HERE
https://soundcloud.com/deemontero