Roger Sanchez: The S Man’s Sweetest Sounds

From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 21 January 2015

Engineer, programmer, DJ-Producer, songwriter, keys nut, technical head, nerd: Roger Sanchez is electronic music incarnate. If ever there was a DJ-Producer to worship, Roger Sanchez is that S Man. Ever since his days growing up in Queens and learning drums while breakdancing as a teen, Roger has always set his own groove. Initially inspired by the local DJ, Roger took in the hip hop beats, latin rhythms, funk meters, blues structures, disco textures and soul melodies to heart, laying down his own mixes from behind the wheels of steel to pioneer the scene alongside David Morales and Danny Tenaglia.

Renown for ubiquitous dark glasses covering his eyes and bling adorning his ears, wrists, neck, and headphones, Roger Sanchez, nevertheless, is a man of contrasts. Starting his musical career on drums, he is far more known for his popular hooklines and catchy melodies. Presenting lyrics that resonate with deep emotive feelings in songs of unrequited love or love lost, his songs manage to remain uplifting and inspiring in their delivery. And in an industry that’s more often than not fixated on getting loose, he abides by a very disciplined path of good health and a clear mind in the gym and through martial arts. He chases the sun for nine months of the year, performing all across the world from Ibiza to Europe, The States and Down Under, yet he plays in the dark recesses of the underground dance scene. He loves his New Jersey studio, yet needs the reaction of the crowd from the dance floor to be inspired for his albums. Roger Sanchez is a dichotomy where music allows him complete expression and fulfillment.

As he lands in the Sunshine State this Sunday afternoon when Family presents Roger Sanchez at Cloudland for Australia Day Eve celebrations, we dig into the Roger Sanchez bag and unearth The S Man’s Sweetest Sounds.

ANOTHER CHANCE. REALLY?

Everyone always says 2001 track Another Chance is their favourite S Man track. It’s understandable, given it was sampled from Toto’s I Won’t Hold You Back – a damn fine (albeit soppy) tune. But just focusing on Another Chance is like listening only to NOVA and not acknowledging any other music. Loving this track is predictable – and the only predictable thing about Roger is his talent to keep his sounds fresh. Be it 2005 or 2015, none of his productions songs or sounds are dated – they still remain banging and evocative to the ear. That, dear laptop warriors, in today’s world of plug-ins, USB sticks and Rekordboxes is what genuine craftsmanship is all about. Feel it.

WE LOVE YOU ROGER

TRACK: YOU CAN’T CHANGE ME FEAT. ARMAND VAN HELDEN & N’DEA DAVENPORT
ALBUM: FIRST CONTACT, 2001
CLIP: PERFORMED AT TOP OF THE POPS
N’Dea Davenport is a goddam goddess, and always will be. This particular clip stands out because while studio recordings are all well and good – particular in this era of auto tune – amazing live performances will always win. N’Dea’s voice hitting those notes are just magical. The addition of live instrumentation (bass and drums, complete with pads and perc setup) and Roger slamming it on the wheels of steel (go CDJs!) in the background merely adds another dimension to his repertoire of electronic wizardry. Oh – while there, make sure you admire his black mac laptop. SEXSHEE.
 

THE ALBUM COME WITH ME

If there are some superlative S Man sounds to consistently tune into, his Release Yourself Radio Shows are surely those. His podcast has plenty of cred too, taking out the first Best Podcast Award at the 2007 IDMAs. But, in saying all that, Roger’s 2006 album Come With Me presented an incredible array of tracks that are difficult to ignore. And while it might have been released almost a decade ago, the freshness, production, songwriting skills and relevance of this album still remains. Cue Roger sighs… now

TURN ON THE MUSIC, 2005


HOT 4 U FEAT. LISA PURE, 2006


AGAIN, 2006

LOST FEAT. LISA PURE, 2006


TAKE A CHANCE, 2006

LET’S REMIX THIS

Roger has remixed loads of esteemed artists, from Madonna to Kylie and Daft Punk. But his remix for No Doubt’s Hella Good was so awesomes, he got a Grammy for it. 

LET’S DROP IT LIKE IT’S ROGER

TRACK: I FEEL LOVE: NARI & MILANI VS LOUIS BOTELLA
ALBUM: RENAISSANCE 3D, 20009
First: this is a damn iconic track. Released in 1977, I Feel Love was the first ever purely electronic track, with all treatments – including Donna Summer’s voice – recorded through The Moog. Thanks Giorgio Moroder. Roger dropped this particular track at his 2008 Sensation White set from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne – one of the most incredible dance music experiences I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of. Records were broken that day – and that was just with 40,000 kids in attendance, dressed up in white clothes and running around the stadium like unicorns.

GET IN THE MOOD

And to get you in the propa mood, this unbelievable set from Evolution Party Live at Pioneer DJ TV from back in 2013 will set the course straight to Cloudland. It might be almost 18 months old, but there’s a reason why 20 years down the track Roger Sanchez is a stalwart in the industry.


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here