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Steve Porter on Junior Vasquez & New York's Music Eco-Systems

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, February 21, 2005
"The dance music scene in general is getting larger and larger, and thus more competitive, and so the cycle that goes on in New York continues to rotate. . It's an evolutionary cycle; clubs open and close on the drop of a dime, but as soon as one closes, there's some other promoter, parasite, whatever you want to call them, who comes along and opens another night. And there's always new DJs coming through."

Six years after he was discovered by progressive house star Chris Fortier, 25 year old Boston raised producer Steve Porter is one of those jocks, building himself an international profile via a production career that's already seen him releasing over 50 singles and 28 remixes. Nowadays based in New York, he's unimpressed and unconcerned about legendary local DJ Junior Vasquez' recent comments that the City's once infamous club scene is finished.

"I'd have to say he's from a completely different generation," Steve points out.

"And as far he's concerned, I'm sure it is over, but for me, forgive me for being an eternal optimist, but all I see is just a series of new beginnings that occur in the city."

With his music picking up props from the likes of Felix Da Housecat and Sander Klenenburg, he has every reason to be optimistic and if his words come across as blunt, they're softened by his enthusiasm, particularly about his debut artist album Homegrown.

"The object was to create a piece of music to accompany life experiences, whether for a road trip, getting ready to go out at night, doing your homework or just browsing the internet or doing emails, whatever," he explains

"It's an instrumental album without vocals which made me think it has a classical nature in a way. I tried to make a record that's compatible with the everyday life experiences of your typical dance music lover".

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): On your press release you've described Homegrown as a 14 track collage, how different was the whole process compared to making a stream of singles-

Steve Porter: "Making the album was about being able to branch out creatively, up until that point all I'd been able to do was release singles and I'd grown tired of doing just that. I felt it was time for me to move forward and have a larger avenue to explore my creative influences. When you release singles, it's just one record that comes out and you put al this energy into this one single and people either dig it or they hate it and that doesn't quite fulfill the artistic expression that I was looking for."

Skrufff: Most DJs are constantly on the hunt for brand new records and remixes, when you spin are you committed to playing all 14 tracks in your sets-

Steve Porter: "I have actually played every single track from the album at some point and I still do play a select few, but I don't usually play all of them in one set, I'll maybe play two or three because there's so many other good records that I have in my box. In the last year I've played an enormous amount of these tracks already and I'll definitely still be touring with them and playing them, but more for nostalgic and crowd pleasing purposes. I have so much other new music of my own and certainly as a DJ after you've played a record a certain amount of times, you do start to think "OK, it's time to retire this record."

Skrufff: Most American kids follow R & B or hip hop or death metal, what got you into dance music in particular-

Steve Porter: "I think it was connected to the fact that I was a very slow bloomer when it came to music. I don't have music in my family; I had a scientist father and my mother is a college professor, so I grew up in a pretty studious household. The first CD I bought was Def Leppard's Hysteria and I just bought it because I knew I should start getting involved with listening to music, I didn't even have a CD player at the time. This was around 1989 or 1990 which was a couple of years after the album was released. That shows you how<