Photo Credit: Mario Pinta
Madrid-based DJ & producer James de Torres is on a path of rediscovery. Making the switch from the Trance scene to more Progressive-minded sounds, the NYC Dubspot Academy alumnus is wrapping up a sensational summer season in Ibiza which included having performed at Hï Ibiza’s Wild Corner, doing shots with world-class DJs, and even dropping his brand new ‘Behemoth / Parallel Dimension’ EP on UV Noir.
EG caught up with James de Torres to learn more about the drop of his ‘Behemoth / Parallel Dimension’ EP, his move from Trance to Progressive, his season in Ibiza, and much more.
EG: Hi James! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?
James de Torres: Thanks for the invite. Until October I will stay in Ibiza, where I moved at the beginning of the season in April. This summer has been hectic, working every night at Hï Ibiza has been exciting and stressful at the same time.
EG: Summer’s just about officially over. What have been some of your highlights?
James de Torres: Working in the production area of the best club in the world has left a huge list of interesting highlights. Sharing shots with Fisher and Martin Garrix, Djing with CID and Vintage Culture at an afterparty, meeting some big legends like Simon Dunmore, David Morales, or Roger Sanchez and sharing stories with them, discovering very talented artists like Natasha Diggs or Dan Shake, becoming a good friend of Paco Osuna, DJing in the Wild Corner of the club,… I don’t know where to stop.
EG: Congratulations on the release of your ‘Behemoth / Parallel Dimension’ EP on UV Noir! What has the initial reception been like?
James de Torres: The first person who congratulated me were the main owners of the label, Aly & Fila, which makes me really happy. Paul Thomas has also been impressed by its position on the charts (made it to the Top 11). The EP has received great support and good reviews, I hope this change of style brings a lot of good things in the future.
EG: So, what can fans of James de Torres expect to find on these tracks? Is there an inspirational trigger to these?
James de Torres: I wanted to keep the uplifting feelings from trance into a darker techno vibe, let’s say it this way. To focus on a more ‘club’ sound that can be played by different DJs with different styles, with that groovy bass line. My inspiration could be the way that the music has evolved right now and thinking more about underground clubs than big festivals.
“I saw that trance music was getting very repetitive, without the passion that it used to have. Producers now need to make tracks very quickly, and it is more about quantity than quality, unfortunately”
EG: We also know you’ve got a new single dropping soon via Interplay Flow. What can you anticipate about this one?
James de Torres: You will find two versions, vocal and instrumental, with more energy than the FSOE UV EP, more progressive than techno, and a track that I think is very easy to listen to, perfect for all kinds of ears.
EG: You’ve recently made the transition from the trance scene to a more progressive sound. What motivated you to adventure into deeper sounds?
James de Torres: I have liked progressive House since the beginning, but my career drove me to the uplifting trance of that moment. When I saw that the niche was not only small but also getting saturated by many artists, with very few options to get over the finish line, I decided that it was the moment to change the sound. Also, I saw that trance music was getting very repetitive, without the passion that it used to have. Producers now need to make tracks very quickly, and it is more about quantity than quality, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, progressive and melodic techno have been getting bigger and bigger, and you can tell that those tracks are made to tell a story, like trance used to be. I would say, this is the new “trance”, and I am not the only one who thinks so 😉
EG: Let’s step inside your studio…What does your set up look like? Any new soft or hardware that you’d personally recommend?
James de Torres: Right now my studio is unstructured, as I have been moving all around non-stop with headphones, a Macbook Pro, and Ableton. I have been using Sylenth1 since day one, Valhalla Room, EchoBoy, and Serum. I’m looking forward to getting some new hardware after the season ends, maybe a Moog synthesizer.
EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you come across any good movies, books, or albums lately?
James de Torres: My three passions in the world are music, photography, and books. During the pandemic, when there were no music events, I was living thanks to photography, as I am a professional food photographer, believe it or not.
Regarding books, right now I am reading one called ‘The TAO of Bill Murray’, a mix between biography and steps to be like him. Before that, I read a Murakami one, and a Javier Marias (a Spanish writer who passed away this same month) book.
A book I recommend all the time, especially to the impatient people who do not have time to focus on lectures, is ‘Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory’ by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of the TV Show, BoJack Horseman. Is a book of little stories that will make you think about your own life in a psychological way.
“Meanwhile, progressive and melodic techno have been getting bigger and bigger, and you can tell that those tracks are made to tell a story, like trance used to”
EG: What does a regular Monday in the life of James de Torres look like? And a Friday?
James de Torres: Right now I am living in an upside-down world, working every night, where Monday is my day (night) off, so it’s the rest-a-bit day. I check some promos, go to the gym if possible, to the beach or do some shopping.
Friday is a hard day, it means I had the Afterlife party the night before, which is the busiest one in production terms in the club, and we start to get ready for David Guetta’s night, which is much easier. But the stress to do an amazing job is always there because it’s the most successful night. That’s why on Fridays I normally stay home, work a bit on my music, read and disconnect before going back to work. Ask me in a couple of months and my answer will be totally different (laughter).
EG: By the way, what are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?
James de Torres: As I said before, trance is going down unfortunately and EDM is starting to disappear. That space has been occupied by melodic underground vibes, names like Tale of Us, Black Coffee, Solomun, and ARTBAT are on the top of the wave right now.
On the techno side, the groove is the main thing, the vibes are the same but you can see that the big names are losing their space and new generations are hitting hard, like Michael Bibi, Fisher, and Dom Dolla. It’s good to see that in those genres the change of the main characters has been accepted and the crowd is fresh and looking for new things.
EG: What’s next for James de Torres? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?
James de Torres: In addition to the single ‘Whispers From The Ocean’ dropping on Interplay Flow in October, I still have a three-track EP coming out on Natura Viva. Sincerely, I’m also looking forward to 2023, full of gigs and bringing good music and better vibes to the music ravers around the world.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, James! We wish you all the best for the future.
James de Torres: Thanks a lot for having me, it has been a cool interview, hope is the first of lots with EG.
James de Torres’ ‘Behemoth / Parallel Dimension’ is out now via UV Noir. Purchase your copy here.