The weekend has landed and all that matters now is clubs, drugs, pubs and parties. You’ve got 48 hours off the 9-5, it’s time to unbutton your hustle and breathe vigor back into life. Whether it be through losing your soul on the dance floor or grooving to it, we have your soundtrack covered. The EARMILK Weekend Selector, an exclusive guest mix series where we invite the latest budding talent from behind the booth to usher you through all the boozie and jam. From your morning bedside to tonight’s evening formal, your weekend selector is here to fill a void of good taste and allow fresh connections to flow vicariously.
(WKND25) EARMILK Presents: Weekend Selector – Nathan Barato
What was often a city to strike gold and make your getaway, Toronto is beginning to bloom into a creative cosm of artists willing to push the boundaries of electronic music while still staying in city bounds. Nurturing talents in genres across the board from deep house to dubstep to techno and bass aplenty. Toronto has yet to have earn its fair share of spotlight, but the locals can feel it coming. One of those long standing natives is Nathan Barato, a staple to the city’s underground house scene. With residencies at some of the most esteemed clubs like Industry, Stereo, and Footwork to count, Nathan is filled to the rim with dance floor knowledge and experience on how to make a room move. Naturally he progressed to the studio and has a slate of upcoming releases with the likes of Blackflag, Area Remote, Fantastic Friends, and his own local imprint he calls Roots and Wings Music. We really caught on to Nathan when he released Back Up Queen, a one off green room jam that saw remixes from 808 Fake and the world renowned Oliver $. Nesting itself on the dapper London house label Rekids the release became a good look and a number that will surely put his name on the map.
The original mix makes its presence known in the track list this weekend as Barato makes a crisp transition from Oshana‘s “Acid Disco” into the breakdown which samples some watering hole bathroom banter. The tape was recorded live at Terrasses Bonsecours, a club situated right by the port in Old Montreal. Highlights include tracks from Den Ishu, Nikola Gala‘s “Only” which stood alongside Nathan’s release on Rekids, and a 95 hit from Barbara Tucker. The intro is definitely noteworthy as it fades into a bit of nostalgia by Phil Weeks’ in “By My Side” which employs the same Creative Source sample in a more recent Kanye West collaboration. And who can’t forget Robert Hood‘s “Dancer” which turns the groove up to 11 and sets it up for C.G.P. to close with his seductive Omar S remix. It’s 90 minutes of house bliss, so wrap yourself around it and peep our sitdown with Nathan below where we talk passion for DJing, house, and his native city.
EARMILK: You’ve been DJing for quite a while and have a lot of years under your belt. Looking at the latest controversy of DJs “just pressing play”, what would you say has changed over time? Has technology sucked the soul out, or made it even better?
Nathan Barato: To me what’s changed the most, is probably the frequency of new DJs. It’s way less of a commitment these days if you want to try DJing. You don’t have to get turntables and a mixer and speakers and spend a ton on wax. All you have to do is get a cracked version of Traktor and get some of Zippyshare’s latest releases and you can get that Soundcloud crackin!
I don’t think technology can suck the soul out of anyone or put the soul into them. Just because you play vinyl doesn’t mean you have any more soul than anyone else. Either you have it, or you don’t.
EM: It seems like you have a very deep love for house, tell us what draws you to this genre of electronic music as opposed to techno or garage? Do you think Toronto being a house city has anything to do with it?
NB: Hmm well for me, I find Toronto to be a pretty deep mixed bag. Also for me, techno and house have always gone hand it hand. They’re like two brothers separated at birth. I definitely have a deep love for the housier side of things but my favorite records over the years have always had a techno edge to them.
EM: It says that you run your own Toronto-focused label called Roots and Wings music. How do you go about finding talent in your local city, and would you say there’s a lot to go around in Toronto in terms of ground breaking house artists?
NB: I wouldn’t say I go looking for artists from Toronto to sign but I’ve set up my brand in a way so that anyone from anywhere can feel free to try to be a part of it but I really want the upcoming Toronto producers and DJs to get involved too. There’s some groundbreakers in Toronto but I would love to see more.
Thanks to the recent worldwide successes of some of Toronto-based artists, I feel like the city is inspired. I know I am. If you can’t be inspired in Toronto these days, then you may wanna try something else.
EM: What clubs in the city do you frequent the most and can you point out some local DJs that may not have the spotlight but are still good to see opening for a headliner act?
NB: Toronto has very good DJs. Lots of them. Lately I’m most impressed with Chris Larsen, Philip Arruda and Nature Of Music. Footwork is pretty much the only steady place I frequent. More of us are starting to do different events at various places but in terms of consistency and value nothing comes near Footwork.
EM: Last question is going to be a tough one, name your favourite house record pre-2000.
NB: I always try to think of another fave record to surpass this one but to this day, I can’t think of a record I love more than “Club Lonely” by Lil Louis. I just want to say thank you for tossing the tape over, maybe it’s because it’s a wav but the sound quality is superb and the transitions are really crisp. Thanks so much. Thats a super nice compliment. Means a ton. Thanks for posting my set! Im very happy.
01. Phil Weeks – By My Side (Original Mix): Exotic Refreshment
02. Den Ishu – High You Gonna Feel (Original Mix): Supernature
03. Joss Moog – Drummin Fgn’ It (Original Mix): Robsoul Recordings
04. Philip Bader – Good For Nothing (Album Edit): Highgrade Recordings
05. Roy Davis Jr – About Love (Pezzner Remix): Classic Music Company
06. Nikola Gala – Only (Original Mix): Rekids
07. Oshana – Acid Disco (Original Mix): LOK Records
08. Nathan Barato – Back Up Queen (Original Mix): Rekids
09. Bodj – Every Day (Argy’s NYC Dub): Claap
10. Andrew Grant – Riverboat (Original Mix): EDEC Music Outlet
11. Tripmastaz – Guess Who (Original Mix): K7 Records
12. Nathan Barato – Can You Hear Me? (Original Mix): Black Flag
13. Nathan Barato – Hard Werq (Original Mix): Unsigned
14. Clio – Bad Boy (Original Mix): Balance Music
15. Barbara Tucker – Stay Together (The Ravin’ Mix): Strictly Rhythm
16. Robert Hood – Dancer (Original Mix): M-Plant
17. Omar S, L’Renee – S.E.X. (C.G.P. Remix): FXHE Records
Grab Nathan Barato’s “Back Up Queen”, out now to ring in the hot summer. An EP spelled with seductive grooves from top to bottom with remixes by the likes of soul train conductors Oliver $ and 808 Fake. Make sure to also flip through the Rekids catalogue to find solid tunes by Nikola Gala, The Rhythm Odyssey, and of course the stunning Nina Kraviz.