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My Musical Influences: Pagano

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DJ Pagano announced a special Christmas treat in the form of his label, KISM, first compilation, ‘EVOLUTION Vol. 1’, due out on Christmas Day. At over 70 minutes the mix is a spirited blend of tech house and techno, which sees him distill the good time feeling that has cemented his reputation as one of today’s most entertaining DJs to have emerged from the modern gay club scene.  The mix includes some of the label’s biggest tunes plus 8 previously unreleased tracks and remixes from artists like Ben Remember, Paride Saraceni, Filterheadz, Skober, Chris Bekker, Tuff London, Agent Orange and Pagano in both mixed and unmixed formats.

To celebrate this release, we asked him to join our ‘My Musical Influences:” series, he’s picked his Top 10 musical influences.

My influences are very broad. I grew up listening to New Wave, Italo Disco and Proto House in the 80s living on the Italian island of Sicily where I was born. Then in the 90s it was all about the new music genres stemming from House and electronic music: Techno, Nu-Energy and Progressive House. I’ve been DJ-ing and raving since I was sixteen years old and have worked in the music industry since the mid 90s, moving to London in 2000. Mostly because I was obsessed with its nightlife and especially its legendary Trade after hours at Turnmills which I attended religiously for years until eventually becoming one of its resident DJs playing the final event at Egg London in 2015 alongside Nicole Moudaber, Nina Kraviz and Christian Smith.

Valerie Dore – Get Closer (12” Version)

In 1984 I was only 8 when I was given a cassette tape mix of a live recording from a nightclub. This 90 minutes journey included a mix of Italo Disco, Afro, Proto House, Disco and Synth Pop. This edgy and dark mix certainly shaped my taste as an adult.

Depeche Mode – Stripped (Live 1988)

I have always been obsessed with Depeche Mode. By 1989 they had been around already for some time and as I was looking for a Greatest Hits at a local records store in my hometown Catania I came across their album ‘101 – Live’. This is an amazing live album with a few great exclusive versions of some of their biggest early tracks. I went to see them in concert in 2017 and they are still amazing live!

The Shamen – Move Any Mountain (12” Remix / Beat Edit)

The Shamen are another one of my favourite Electronic British acts. ‘Move Any Mountain’ was their first track I’ve ever come across on a local radio station. I immediately loved the mix of different vibes and genres. It was definitely a new sound for 1991.

The Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

I remember hearing this one as the sunrise hit the dancefloor of open air club Marabù in Sicily. One of those magic moments when everything stands still and the music does the talking.

Jam & Spoon – Follow Me (Original Mix)

This is another one from my early clubbing years. Probably one of my all time favourite electronic tracks. It was originally released as the B side to Jam & Spoon big hit ‘Right In The Night’ and later included in their album ‘Tripomatic Fairytales’ . To these days listening to this nearly 13 minutes journey from beginning to end gives me goosebumps.

Bjork – Hyper-Ballad (Album Version)

I love everything about this incredible Icelandic creature. I remember buying her album ‘Post’ on vinyl and listened to it incessantly. It was a difficult time in my life and ‘Hyper-Ballad’’s lyrics really spoke to me. They are quite dark but the lesson they teach is invaluable.

Gat Decor – Passion (Naked Mix)

One of the most beautiful piano riffs I’ve ever heard. Another cult classic record from the 90s. I still have the original 12” vinyl. Just like ‘Follow Me’ and “Smokebelch II” it’s one of those records that takes you on a journey.

De’Lacy – Hideaway (Deep Dish Remix)

This is a huge House classic that needs no introduction. It has some great vocals and an amazing ethereal vibe but what has always took it to the next level for me were those drums and that groove. This has inspired me many times in the studio.

Marmion – Schöneberg (Tony De Vit Remix /Original)

As a former resident DJ at legendary London After-Hours club Trade I have to say that this is one of those records that would bring the house down. Tony De Vit is a cult figure for many DJs of my generation and his ‘Global Underground’ compilation ‘Live in Tokyo’ is one of those double mixed CDs that I have consumed. They should really re-issue it digitally because it is a flawless and inspirational mixed album that would certainly help many young DJs to understand the importance of programming.

GusGus – Over (Album Mix)

When GusGus’ album ‘Arabian Horse’ came out in 2011 I was blown away. I could hear everything I liked throughout the years: 80s inspired vocals, 90s Techno, Progressive House and a magical ethereal vibe. Another point for the volcanic island called Iceland from a guy hailing from the slopes of the Sicilian volcano Mt Etna.

‘Pagano presents Evolution Vol 1’ compilation is out now in mixed and unmixed formats on all digital stores and streaming services via KISM Recordings – head to www.facebook.com/djpaganofanpage

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