The Journey Begins: Victor Calderone
Carving out a career spanning two decades and forging a reputation as one of electronic music’s great innovators Victor Calderone refuses to be pigeonholed. From working with Sting and Madonna to crafting classic pieces of underground electronica with the likes of Nicole Moudaber or running his cutting edge label Waveform the Brooklyn native keeps his finger firmly on the pulse. Raised by the scenes iconic New York nightspots the Paradise Garage and Funhouse in his formative teenage years it is little wonder that Victor remains so committed to being at the vanguard of house and techno music. As famed for his mixes as much as his skill in the studio we caught up with the Waveform boss to discuss his busy schedule of summer dates including his upcoming visit to London’s Egg, performance alongside Canadian techno don Richie Hawtin in Ibiza and stellar collaborations…
Its safe to say that some of your productions are becoming legendary, only last year your track with Nicole Moudebar was one of the hits of the year, did you expect that response?
Thank you, I had great vibes about the track during the production process, but sometimes you just don’t know if it will be well received on the dance floors. When Adam Beyer agreed to sign the track to Drumcode and showed massive support on it, I knew at that point we had something special. I’m super grateful for the positive feedback and reaction it received.
What was your thoughts behind the production in terms of inspiration of ‘The Journey Begins’?
Nicole and I have talked about collaborating for some time. I started with the vocal, baseline and drum foundation. We exchanged files back and forth a few times. It sort of just started to unfold into this super heavy groove, but it was still missing that one layer, the element that would gel everything together. Nicole was going through an emotional time with her dad passing, and I remember her telling me how she was feeling at the time. I asked her if she wanted to take a break and reconnect at a later date but she said “No, I need to work” I sent her the production folder and she then sent it back with those massive emotional strings and the extended arrangement and I remember playing it in my studio and saying “Thats it, she’s fucking nailed it”. She channeled all that she was feeling into the track. I think “The Journey Begins” holds a special place for her.You have also worked on remixes for some of the biggest artist on the planet; Madonna and Destinys Child to name a few, do any of the remixes stand out for you?
It would have to be the “Desert Rose” remix I did for Sting.
I have done so many mixes for international artists and it was always a long distance process. I would have very little if any contact with the artist, with the exception of Madonna. Sting made an extra effort to see the production through himself. No middle man or managers to get in the way of the creative process. We spoke on the phone for the first time and he was picking my brain to see what direction I would take with the mix. I told him I would clearly keep the integrity of the original but would have to bring the tempo up to make it dance floor friendly. I spent the week working on the mix and sent it to him for his reaction. He called me immediately and said “I love the mix but… I would like to re-cut the vocals to your production. I could have not asked for more, that was the highlight of my career. I will never forget that studio session with him. The “Desert Rose” remix hit number 1 in Billboard magazine and spent 85 weeks on the charts.