5 Facts, 5 Tracks with Serge Santiago
One of the UK’s most prolific producers under a number of critically acclaimed pseudonyms, Serge Santiago begins a brand-new chapter.
Freshly signed to Skint Records, he returns to the scene with a fresh vision, a refined sound and his best music to date. The hype is already palpable for his new track, ‘Krayzee’, which he has been road testing to devastating effect – but the first taste comes in the shape of a revisit to his 2005 classic, ‘Atto D’Amore’.
Ready to roll from the off, Serge’s Original Dub Mix sounds just as fresh as it did the first time around. The instantly recognisable synth riff leads the way as the track builds over its 8-minute run-time, never faltering or stopping for breath; the atmospheric, layered effects create a futuristic, groovy sound which doesn’t rely on cheap tactics to make its point.
We thought we’d ask Serge for 5 facts you didn’t know about him, and 5 tracks that he absolutely loves.
I’m from Mauritius, Canada, France and England. Yes, I’m from a load of places but live in the UK now. The weather is shit but if it was sunny all the time, I’d end up in rehab and not writing any lovely, lovely music.
I was one half of Radio Slave, then Retro/Grade and now, one half of Waze & Odyssey. I’ve been everywhere and met everyone in the business – but if you just write music and have fun with it, nothing else really matters in music. I learnt a lot in Radio Slave, I was very young and it taught me a lot about confidence which was very much needed. Retro/Grade was ace and working with Tom Neville (Ten Ven) was a joy, we wrote some amazing records, MODA being one of them. Waze & Odyssey is epic to be part of and I love it, we write bangers all day long. The story there still continues and always will because we have the confidence to manage ourselves, which, is a game-changer!
I was part of the legendary Stompa Phunk night in Brighton which changed everything on the south coast. When we started, Brighton was buzzing with the free illegal party scene, we had the police on run-around due to us getting into trouble left, right and centre. The Big Beat genre was kicking off too, so we just added to the fun. We brought down the best underground house and techno acts/guests to play and had proper parties which I’ll never forget; it was such a movement that it sparked my production career and I haven’t stopped since… Side fact is that I live in Brighton, but have never met Fatboy Slim or Norman Cook. Lame!
I have done the Essential Mix three times and I’m looking for a fourth. Once each with all the above acts apart from my actual name, SERGE SANTIAGO, which is Krayzee! The real sub-fact here is that I’ve not won Essential Mix Of The Year yet – Tong’s holding out on me!
I just got a dog call Pepper and I’m sick of getting up at 3 am to clean up shit! I resigned myself to never sleeping again but to be fair, she looks like a teddy bear and she’s fucking awesome!
TRACK 1: Patrick Cowley – Mind Warp
There are so many Italo records out there, some amazing and some awful, horrible euro-pop vibe. This one is amazing and can fit into a load of house sets still, even now (at a push). It’s where I got my love for arpeggiation from, old synths and 80s underground music. My mum says the 80s were shit. No way! Some of the best music came from the 80s. my mum was just hitting the wrong clubs!
TRACK 2: Motown Sounds – Bad Mouthin’
This is where my fascination for sampling came from. Thomas Bangalter sampled this for the track Gin’n’Tonic and it blew me away just how good it was, something I wouldn’t have noticed if I had got my hands on it first. Later it seemed to come out under Bob Sinclar’s name which was little odd… I heard he gave the track to him, not sure why – it’s a banger!
TRACK 3: Nathan Fake – The Sky is Pink (James Holden Mix)
I hear a lot of people talking about techno these days. ‘Proper techno’ – techno doesn’t have to be hard, it has to be experimental… That’s what techno is. How hard it is has nothing to do with anything. Techno is like jazz to the house world; it just breaks the rules. This is techno. Fucking with you every step of the way but never losing control. It’s utter brilliance. James was a master at this!
TRACK 4: Moton Records – Y U FALL
This changed my outline on how editing records was done. Originally a Lil’ Louis track, Diesel from X-Press 2 absolutely nailed this edit… Mixing a couple of Lil’ Louis tracks together, cutting them down, making a more cohesive arrangement, and giving it an energy like no other. I’ve had so many DJs ask what this was in my sets – I kept it quiet for years. Cat’s out the bag now!
TRACK 5: Josh One – Contemplation (King Britt Funke Mix)
This taught me how good a remix can be; and what a remix it is. How King Britt got that vocal hook so good amazes me, and from an RnB record like that too… It’s the reason he blew up. Still one of the greatest remixes out there. I got the parts for this a couple years ago, listened to the parts and still couldn’t believe what he did… Total magic!
Serge Santiago’s ‘Atto D’Amore’ is out now on Skint, grab a copy here.