Toni Rios, DJ, label owner of Soap Records and producer has been on the scene for over twenty years. A major part of the prolific Cocoon family, Rios is a household name in the world's international clubs and has dropped us an exclusive mix. Pulse caught up with Toni about the past vs present, Sven Väths non existent secrets and IT doing the work for many DJs.
Hello Toni, describe your sound in five words. Finest groovy electronic and house music
You started DJ'ing back in 1989 - halcyon days for the clubbing fraternity. What one thing do you like that's changed since then? Back in the days it was more intimate, the scene was smaller in each city. The most DJ’s just acting in their “areas” and it was quite difficult to discover new one’s. With the time it grows and the DJ’s could connect each other. So what I definitely like these days, is that you can act international faster and easier.
And what do you wish hadn't changed at all? I think that the “digital revolution” destroys the exclusivity of a mix. A lot of vinyl releases were limited, sometimes just a few copies and it was hard to get them. Mp3 and other digital formats flooded the market, click – got it! The technical progress has not contributed to the quality of the DJ scene, once an DJ was an artist at the turntables, today a lot of them let their IT work for them.
You've been a stalwart of the Cocoon label since since the 90's. Tell us a secret something about Sven Väth we may not already know. Sorry, no secrects, Sven is an open book.
The party vibe - better now or back in the day? It’s difficult to rate this, each time have it’s up and downs, good and bad things. I would say it’s different, the vibe of the party’s is still good, people always getting crazy, but in some cases it was a little bit better back in the days. Every time there was something new, the promoter had a lot of ideas, when I came to a club it was like “Wow, didn’t saw that before”. I think the younger generation should have the balls to create something new, don’t be shy and don’t do what everybody do!
What made you start Soap Records and what's the ethos behind it? Chris Liebing, Andre Walter and me were signed in the mid 90’s with our project Traveller on Harthouse. Which was a really good inspiration for us, we got in touch with a lot of different labels, worldwide, like Touché, Strickly Rhythm, Nervous and some other US labels.
With this inspiration we were sitting in the studio and creating more house tracks. After some sessions we were sitting there with some housetracks and had no idea what we can do with this. The tracks wouldn’t match with the “Traveller” project or Harthouse, so we decide to start a new Project (E:H:R) on our own label. Soap records was born.
What can we expect from the label in the next few months? We present our new SOAP selection in 3 digital packages, a fine mix of selected tracks by new and established artists. The series launched with our SOAP selection Vol. 1 in April this year on Beatport, the next 2 volumes well be released during the next 3 month.
You do a lot of travelling and have played some of the biggest parties in the world. Where are your top three places to DJ either now or in the past? Past: Omen (Frankfurt), Tresor (Berlin), Orbit (Leeds) Today: Cocoon Club (Frankfurt), Amnesia (Ibiza), Up Club (Madrid)
Name a producer from the 90's, one from the noughties and one from today that you play in your sets regularly. Carl Craig, Marco Carola and Jamie Jones
We hear you're revisiting your Holocube guise; tell us a bit about what's coming up. After almost 18 years we have Holocube revived, Marco Cannata, Andre Walter and me currently working on our first Holocube album. The style will be mixed by sounds of the past and present and it will be very electronica! We just finished our new remix for Spektre this will be published on blufin, in the next few weeks. And there are some other releases in the pipe, but I don’t want to give away too much right now
Finally, you'll be with Cocoon over the summer. What makes their parties so special for you and why do you think they've had so much success? The spirit! Go to a Cocoon Event and you will feel it One of the main reasons are the people, the heroes out there. They make the night special, without them it wouldn’t work. They make the special atmosphere on every Cocoon event worldwide. And also you can’t plan success; the whole cocoon crew just do what they love! …and it looks like the people like it!
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