DJ Chris Cags has been visiting Prague for a few years now.
He's a Deejay, music producer and his work has been influenced and inspired by the Bohemian spirit and in this issue he speaks with us about the Winter Music Conference in Miami, his current works, plans for the future and boat parties...
His love of vocal house and the ways it can be used to highlight a deeper house set has been heard around town for the last month as he has sat in with the Intergalactica set, Radost, Le Clan, the Think Halloween Parties and more.
He plans on coming back to play some gigs periodically and has got props from a lot of scene vets such as Lumiere and the Quadrant gang. In the meantime Chris has been working on his own music (currently in Las vegas), while Djing in Rome and down on the Mediteranean resorts.
He got into DJing quite young and moved quickly through the eighties club classics, through acid, techno, finally settling on house with the mentorship of DJs Pierre Zon Zon and Max from Taboo (NYC) at Club Med. His unique style ussually entails a long smooth jazzy mix, ocassionally with 3 decks, that resolves in a satisfying song like choral vocal track.
His Red Beard label is a vehicle to collaborate with artists who want to extend the limits of jazzy house with live instrumentation.
He is careful to avoid the trap of trying to produce records and forget about his real passion, "What's wrong with the DJ world today is that some of the best DJs never get heard because their art is not as commercial as DJs who produce records. A lot of these big names are not especially good DJs."
Prague has been good to Chris, he says, "It's nice to play in Prague. People don't have expectations. You can come here and play, and if you are good, the people will dance. They enjoy new things, and not everywhere is like that.
THINK: Hi Chris and welcome back to Prague.
CHRIS CAGS: Thanks it feels nice to be here again.
THINK: I understand you just got back from the Winter Music Conference in Miami. So, how did it go?
CHRIS CAGS: For me it went well. Black Vinyl is releasing a track of mine 'Sugar Jewel' and they did a party with King Street Sounds in Club Goddess on Saturday, the first night of the official conference, and played the test pressing. The mastering was done at Abbey Road studios and it was written on the disk and it was the first time I had seen it.
THINK: How did that make you feel?
CHRIS CAGS: Really good and the people took to the track, so it was a rewarding experience.
THINK: Other than that, what were the best parties you went to?
CHRIS CAGS: On Sunday at a club called Rain was the Large Records and 3rd Degrees party, On Monday was the Paradise Garage party at Level and it was great. Tuesday afternoon was a serious NJ, NY, Chicago live vocal performance/DJ pool party at the Clevelander Hotel by Soundmen on Wax and Soulhaven. Tuesday night the Wave, Chez, Bombay Party at Rain and again Rain on Wednesday for the Yellorange party and the Music is Life party with Deep Swing and Eddie Amador at the Surface Lounge were all good parties.
THINK: What was the worst?
CHRIS CAGS: Anything at Crowbar or Nikki Beach.
THINK: What is your overall view W.M.C.?
CHRIS CAGS: Overpriced and full of spring breakers who get everyone treated like crap at the doors even if you're on the guest list. In the end it's worth it to be there, if you have a reason, and I mean a work-related reason. Did I say overpriced?
THINK: How is Prague seen on the international music scene?
CHRIS CAGS: People are very curious about it and most say they have heard that there is a lot going on here and they want to hear and know more.
THINK: How do you compare the American scene to the Czech scene?
CHRIS CAGS: You can't there is no comparison and now after 9/11 it's even more unthinkable than before.
THINK: What is new for you, musically speaking?
CHRIS CAGS: I just finished a track before Miami called "It's a Wonderful Day." Allegra my singer did the vocal and we threw in a harmonica solo by a guy from Naples who has been playing harmonica for over 20 years, his name is Blue Angel.
Before that here in Prague I did a track with DJ Czar Ascendant other wise known as Robin Hood from the Sensei Brother fame called "Stevie Detroit". And Robin, Chris Chemist and I did a track in January called "Sanction."
THINK: What are you planning for in the future?
CHRIS CAGS: I'll be pushing those tracks I just spoke about. I'm working on a wide variety of things including a 15 piece band from Italy and more releases for Black Vinyl as well as my own label Red Beard Records.
THINK: Sound like you're busy what is going down on the Prague front?
CHRIS CAGS: Well I hope it does not literally go down but we have the first of the four Full Moon Boat Parties going out on Sunday May 12th from in front of the Intercontinental Hotel.
THINK: That sound like fun.
CHRIS CAGS: If you missed them last year it was to bad because there's nothing like raging on a boat under the full moon.
THINK: Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
CHRIS CAGS: See you on the boat!
- Chris Cags on Facebook