Hernan Cattaneo’s twenty year journey through music shows no sign of slowing down over right now – anything but. From Bahrain to Belfast, Singapore to San Diego, Hernan’s love laboured travels know no bounds in their trans-continental reach with the Argentinean on a round-the-clock mission to spread his love for electronic music. Constantly absorbing new sounds, cultures and influences from the most varied outposts possible, Hernan bleeds them into as many projects as he can – be they production work, his masterpiece mix CDs ,his radio shows or forthcoming music label.
Make no mistake, Hernan is riding a creative wave right now. Recently dropping some of his most complete productions on labels like Urbantorque, he’s also stepping up his game with his new digital label which will offer a regular output for his creative visions. But for a man literally living and breathing through the scene such endeavours are simply instinctive. Put simply, for Hernan music isn’t simply an occupation – it’s an existence.
Indeed, one thing you’ll never see Hernan do is complaining. Blessed with a passion as warm and honest as his welcoming smile, Hernan’s rich journey has been rooted with an innate understanding ever since he heard imported 12”s from Frankie Knuckles, Derrick May and Inner City back in the mid 80s. Already a lover of bands like Depeche Mode and New Order, the sound at once inspired and excited Hernan with possibility. Consumed by the nascent electronic energies of Chicago, Detroit and further a field in Europe, Hernan was driven to express his passions for these sounds through DJing and soon earned a cult residency at Buenos Aires Clubland.
The epi-central club of a burgeoning Argentinean dance scene, it is here at the legendary Clubland where Cattaneo established professional respect and personal friendships with DJs like Danny Tenaglia, John Digweed and – most significantly – Perfecto boss Paul Oakenfold. Immediately impressed with Cattaneo’s impassioned genre-traversing abilities, the extent of Oakenfold’s belief in the Argentinean was as obvious as it was instant. Just months later Cattaneo was invited to join Oakenfold on a European wide Perfecto tour.
With the window of global opportunity opened, the Argentinean ambassador impressed at every turn. Club giants Cream soon secured him their South American resident and were impressed enough to install him as international resident at Cream Liverpool. Rapidly gaining a taste and skill for the larger stage, Hernan doubled with appearances at festivals like Nevada’s legendary Burning Man as well as key debuts at European institutions like Homelands, Bedrock, Pacha and Fabric. By the time, Hernan had mixed Perfecto’s first international mix CD –South America volume – he was confirmed as one of those rare DJs able to their art in an adventure through sound – each individual set a true journey through varying genres, sounds and emotions.
Both a true DJs DJ and a peoples’ favourite, Hernan’s popularity spiralled within the new Millennium and his efforts were rewarded with festival sets at Creamfields, Homelands and Clapham Common festival in 2001. Always looking forward, the music lover soon turned his hands to production with a stream of deep, carefully crafted releases on Perfecto including collaborations with Cass and Mangan before his remix for Morgan Page courted vinyl release on John Digweed’s standard bearing Bedrock imprint. Since Hernan’s visions have explored productions many different territories, each one has been a further step on his journey through music. As a remixer labels like Deep Dish’s Yoshitoshi, Ministry of Sound and Renaissance have all called upon Hernan magic touch.
As a DJ, the most lasting documents of Hernan’s unique ability to weave stories from sounds are his many CD outings for the legendary Renaissance too. Back in 2005, it spoke volumes on Hernan’s rising stock that he was hand-picked to succeed DJ legends like John Digweed, Deep Dish and Sasha on the aptly named Masters series. But far from sitting in the shadows of his predecessors, Hernan seized the opportunity to mark himself out as a legend in his own right. Widely loved and acclaimed, his individual mix shifted seamlessly through genres and was coloured with both the rich seam of melody and lush lulling groove that his fans have come to love and know him for.
A second seamless Masters volume followed in 2006 before Hernan embarked on his own individual Renaissance series named Sequential. For many, it is here where the Argentinean ambassador truly came into his own with a mix that was as deeply international as his own ceaseless tour diary. Uniting seductive international electronic sounds from across the globe – including Belgium, Slovenia, Norway and Poland to name just a few – Cattaneo created a timeless mix CD so carefully constructed and considered that it sits and fits perfectly to this day. It was followed by another faultless Sequential in 2007.
But as much as his CDs provide a perfect snapshot, it’s that human connection that drives Cattaeno further through music. And whether he’s taking crowd on an epic journey at festivals like Coachella, Exit and Creamfields or getting down to some honest house grooves at Def Mix’s institutional night at Pacha Ibiza, he is able to be inspired and inspire in equal measure.
Indeed, as long as he’s playing the music he loves, you can be sure of three things; that he’ll be happy in whichever corner of the globe he finds himself and that those on the dancefloor are in for some special.