Most DJ’s know Lux: It’s something of an institution in Lisbon, and has a great reputation for an uninhibited crowd and forward thinking booking policy. Tiago joined The Pool family last year, and with his new album on Groovement rapidly approaching, we took the chance to chat with the man himself & Pedro, the bookings Director at Lux.
Hello Pedro & Tiago thanks for agreeing to chat with us.
Ok first things first, tell us when you first met? & Were you both born in Lisbon?
Pedro: To be honest I can’t really recall when we first met… I guess way before we met I was already aware of him. Actually I’m old enough to remember him playing bass with Pop del’Arte (a Portuguese’s truly essential unique veteran combo/band). DJ wise I’m not sure but (maybe at Xabregas rave parties? Did you play there? I guess he must have been friends with friends, or something).
Definitely I was totally aware of him in the early days of a young DJ crew he was involved with, and he made me dance a lot… Countless nights to be precise… That’s before we actually meet and worked together. I have to say that, even at the time, you could tell him apart of the DJ’s surrounding him. More solid… An ethic virtuoso, a step ahead of everybody… Kind of the same felling that remains up until today, even if more than two decades (?!) have gone by. I was born in Lisbon. I think Tiago wasn’t, he’s from Guimarães, the birth place of the country
Tiago: Yeah I was born north Portugal, almost 400 klm from Lisbon but soon moved in when i was 17. I met Pedro at some friends party but very briefly. Pedro was hanging with this guy and his wife i was hanging with their daughter. But then we settled at the club, yeah.
Pedro, describe Tiago as DJ
Pedro: Regardless of styles that he may have favored differently over the years, there’s a watermark that has always remained the same. Not easy to pin down, but something you could describe a total refuse of the easy, obvious solutions. An absolute devotion to finding his own way into people’s heads, hearts (and hips).As we (older ones) know so well by now – and the faster the young ones learn it, the better for them – the road worth taking on the dance floor is often not the shortest nor the easiest one.
So those who can show us different places – because they have a secret knowledge that allows them to divert from the main road into uncharted territory – are always (those) we should be more grateful to. Because, the fact is they’ve discovered and charted those secret sonic lands themselves, and they chose to share it with us: their most precious findings. That’s a brave/generous thing.
Words coming to my mind would include explorer, guide, rather than preacher.This, for me, is the essential thing. But on top of all that he also happens to be one of the most technically skilled DJ’s I’ve ever met! And trust me, I’ve met a lot. Really!!
Later on I had the opportunity of working with him more closely, and tour for some dates with him and all that I’ve previously stated just became more solid. Be that the biggest festival or strangest club abroad he always knows how to handle different crowds (regardless of the their size) without submitting to it. Always sabotaging the “déjà-seen-solutions”…
Ok too long already!
When did the Lux first open it’s doors?
Pedro: End of 98. I was not there yet though… I was lucky enough to join in, handling bookings and communication, in mid 99.
Who designed the Lux?
Pedro: It was (and it remains) the work of a team of many talents put together, co-ordinated and inspired by Manuel Reis, aka the boss. He’s the one who really handles the bututa of the whole thing.
What type of sound-system is housed in the club?
Pedro: Funktion One, but as you know it’s always a combination of the sound system with the acoustic work you do on the room
Tiago when did you first start your residency with Lux?
Tiago: Started Lux in its very beginning, 1998, 15 years ago. I was 21.
Do you feel resident DJs are often looked over in this age of super-star travelling guest DJs?
Pedro: Yes, there’s a point there. I think anyone who has been around for some time knows that not all crowds can truly appreciate the importance of residents DJ’s. Or the warm-up sets for big names. And the need of “attention grabber names” sometimes helps to lose the focus on some essential facts. You’re never a preacher in your hometown (do you have the same saying there?).
But, to be honest I think we’re kind of an exception to that. We have a large team of Residents who have played here always, plus some people who play on a regular basis. I think our crowd knows how much they owe them. And they owe a lot!!
We believe in them, and in the way they remain true to themselves and what motivates them. Being excited about music and making people dance in a happy-true-felt way,. They are all different but they share the same ethos: all are aware of how dance music has evolved over their lifetime. Needless to say that many several guests made me realise how good my residents are.
Tiago: Sure they do, unfortunately. Been debating with myself that it’s normal trend to hire the producer instead of the DJ and acutally promote that, been thinking that this is a huge mistake.
Pedro what is the booking policy at Lux? If there is such a thing? What is your mission statement?
Pedro: Well that’s the kind of unanswerable question unless you sound pretentious and cliched. But if I have to sum it up it’s the pleasure of discovery? (there you go… how lame does that sound?).
Thing is: I think people look up at Lux not only for it’s quality or hype and program but because they link it to things they first heard here. Things they DISCOVERED with our resident or guest djs, or bands. We were always a bit ahead of things (booking names before they were big) of course that is different in 2003 or 2013, but is the same in a way we can only do things we believe are good and that people should pay attention to, not just the stuff people want.
Discovery is indeed a very important thing and think we’ve played a part there (musical discoveries) in more than a generation?
Tiago you run a monthly party there? Inviting friends and family?
Tiago: Yeah, i have a weekly residency at Lux and now and again i do this party where i bring my friends so that the vibe is right.
Pedro is it true James Murphy told you Tiago was one of his favourite DJs?
Pedro: you should ask him that. But yes… in that particular evening (Lux 10×10 in 2008) he played back to back with him all night. But many of our guests were aware of Tiago’s sonic watermark, from James Lavelle to the Dewalle brothers, they’ve always pointed out how good and unique he is
What have been some of your most memorable nights for you at Lux?
Pedro: Too many to mention in proper detail (thank god)
Tiago give us a few of your biggest tunes from Lux?
Tiago: Ok, these 3 got always a cheering reaction, ‘Funkatarium’ by Jump, Bohannon’s ‘Let’s start the Dance’, or Change’s ‘Glow of Love’. Lots more of course hit the spot too…
Tiago who would you say would be your biggest influences as a DJ?
Tiago: All the people i’ve played with.. in ways that everyone really gave me the energy to do my own thing.
Do you find some of the people that came at the start still come to this day?
Tiago: Unfortunately very few, i guess folks got older and settled a bit. Apart from those who still come, the crowd (has) been rotating and that’s not necessarily bad.
Tiago tell us about the Album you have coming soon on Groovement? This is a home-grown Portugese label is that right?
Tiago: Yes it is. North Portuguese label working worldwide through distributors Rub’a'Dub. Very happy that it’s finally happening. Album should be out next month or so. Been a while since i first finished those tracks so it’s nice to see them out. Very happy also with artwork amazingly done by my friend Andreas Jenne.
How did you end up putting out an album for this label?
Tiago: Been in touch with Rui for a while and he was asking for new music after we did that 1st rocket together. By then i had a bunch of unfinished tracks that i wanted done but didn’t necessarily think that (they) could go along together but somehow they did. I started giving thought to maybe putting them together for Rui and doing the album, and that’s what happened.
Rui was very enthusiastic with the idea and gave me the time to finish all in my own terms (music, artwork, etc) that was very nice and i’m very grateful for it.
Tell us about the album, what are we to expect?
Tiago: Some nice dance tracks, few with beat, others without. Comes out on both Vinyl and CD and a special limited pack with a wonderful t-shirt.
Thomas Bullock from Rub N Tug remixed the first single which was epic, are you both friends, are you a fan of his work?
Tiago: Oh yes, I’am a big fan! Such a character of style and talent.
What other releases / projects do you have coming.
Tiago: Working on a remix for ESP and a new project for Golf Channel.
Pedro tell us what Lux has in-store in 2013?
Pedro: The “Rush” nights (for new and upcoming talents only), and “curated by” nights (for different artists to curate their own Lux night)
And finally why should everyone make a trip to Portugal this year?
Pedro: Because there’s a strong possibility they will not regret it at all