who’s ever tried to mix heavy drug abuse and base jumping will
attest - from the comfort of a powered
wheelchair, naturally - some pairings simply don’t work. So how, you might well ask, can Los Chicharrons be? Ramon
Santana and Morten Varano make up the unlikely partnership that is Los Chicharrons, and a better testament to the importance of brawling with convention at every corner would be near impossible to find.
Roots Of Life (out February 21st 2011) is the fourth Los Chicharrons album from dance music's own odd couple. They are both musicians, DJs and producers but their backgrounds couldn't be more different.
Ramon was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up within earshot of the voodoo drums of Haiti (the birthplace of real trance). Relocating to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the mid '60s, he gradually steered a course towards Corona, Queens, where a period of a rich musical development began. In the early '80s Ramon's DJing progressed apace, with regular shows in Dancetaria (where Mantronix were resident) leading to the inception of a club called Boomba Makao, operating out of three NYC venues: Giant Steps, The Soul Kitchen and Great Jones.
Morten Varano's background as a graduated psychologist from the university of Copenhagen is something of a contrast to his musical spar. Born in Copenhagen, he started playing piano at age 6, and at 14 began playing 'indie-rock' in his first band. Morten's interest in dance music and sounds of a leftfield persuasion led him to the club RUST in Copenhagen which formed the missing link in the evolution of Los Chicharrons when Ramon's international DJ'ing excursions took him there. Morten later joined projects Puddu Varano, Slow Train and has to date released 13 albums on labels such as Tummy Touch, Quango, Wagram, EMI, Sony and Tommy Boy Records.
The idea of Roots Of Life came to them when Morten traveled to Bamako in Mali. Mali might be one of the poorest countries in the world but it is rich with music and a great philosophy of life. They hooked up with local musicians and recorded some songs in Mali and in Paris with finishing touches applied in Copenhagen and London. The truly international culture clash that is Roots Of Life, with its irresistible blend of Bass Music, Afro Funk and House, will be filling dance floors around the globe in 2011.
Putting the ‘fusion’ into ‘confusion’ and bridging the gap between your brain and your feet, it can only be Los Chicharrons…