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Interview: Sam Paleta

We discovered a great DJ on Mixcloud a while ago, playing the finest deep house records. We kept following him and listened to some of his remixes. Each one with great expectations. The wizard, Sam Paleta, has a magic touch and definitely an exquisite skill in selecting very nice tracks for his mixes. We’d like to say that when you live in Poland or around and are in need of a deep house dj, he is your man.

We took the time to serve him some questions because he really deserves some credits and the attention!

Tell us, where are you from?
I come from Poland and I live in Katowice, a fairly small city but forms the center of a large urbanized and industrialized region of about 3,5mio inhabitants. Enough to the get lost and be anonymous.

How does the music scene look like where you are from? What kind of music do people listen to? Is there a club scene?
If you ever visit Katowice, be sure to visit the INQbator Klub. It’s a Club that was created of an old shelter in the year 2000 and is being seen as one of the epic centers of the Polish electronic music scene. It’s an independent underground club that promote everything that’s interesting and not universal.

You are into deep house, not to say passionate as we listen to your mixes? Why deep house?
House music was love at “first hearing”. All my mixes are house related and it’s the only music in which I am interested. It’s my passion. In the beginning of my career I used to play disco & funky house. The period after I became interested in electro but moved on to deep house and that’s what I am playing up until today.

You’re asking why deep house? What I deeply appreciate is a “soul” feeling, pulsating rhythm, expanded bass and the warm hue. It’s hard for me to generalize, because as you know it’s the most played subgenre of club music – it includes about one fourth of all house music that is published till this day. It’s an advantage in a way, because the DJ has a great selection to choose from.

Any other genres you like or use in your sets?
I really want to keep my mixes within the boundaries of a specific genre, although I like to add something extra & special to a mix. I try to be a perfectionist, minding all the details. In my opinion if something is designed for everything it’s designed for nothing. A DJ that plays house on Thursday, r’n’b on Friday, and on Saturday Dupstep must be quite poor. In order to do something properly you need to carry it in your heart. It’s actually the same with life, don’t you think? I don’t agree with the statement that music is divided only to good and bad – that’s what often undetermined people say, who don’t know yet what they are looking for or average artists.

There are a lot of genres and sub-genres; Although they can be connected by common features, a DJ has to go deeper into one style, so he keeps the soul and spirit. When a DJ is on this fundamental level, he/she needs to find something characteristic, what helps distinguish him/her from others. In order to be different, I’m up to date with recent music and I listen to different kinds of music. That gives me pleasure: from soul, oldschool hip-hop, disco, through every house sub-genre, also techno and electro. This is what finally makes my mixes sound like they are, and by the way it develops me musically. From every selected above art of music I’m trying to extract unique elements that are specific, that are drawing my attention, and make me feel that ‘something’ inside.

Maybe in the near future, I’ll start mixing nu-disco sets. But it will be only a small taste in my deep house character.

Who are your biggest influencers? Any favorite dj/producer or maybe record label?
The biggest influence on how I play live, have all the people for who I play, I mean the people on the dancefloor – clubbers! They are the ones to decide how my currently played mix will develop. I don’t play for all the “gray mass” or just to gain as big popularity as possible. I treat each single listener of my as a unique person and I pay attention on the feedback that’s coming from the dancefloor. Of course I have my own conception in terms of which I’m directed to, but it’s not a track list that was previously prepared at home, because it’s senseless. I’m trying to be elastic and spontaneous, although I’m not exaggerating, in order to safe my cohesion and harmonics. I’m also not modeling myself on another DJ or on previously set charts. I have my own taste and hierarchy of values supported by years of experience and also I trust myself. When I select my music I like to choose only the “pearls”, and to be honest among all those songs, the more unpopular the song is the more I’m happy about it. My favorite artist Is the next one who makes my heart beat faster.

On the other hand, it depends on my mood what kind of mix I will record in my home studio and… let’s be honest – on all the situations You encounter in You daily life. Sometimes I take my console in front of my balcony and I record at sunrise to get the right mood. There is also a mix recorded at sunset. I’m trying that my housettlers mix series will be diverse and that every episode is characterized with different convergent emotions. I’m aware that the mixes that I represent on-line, are mostly listened at home or at work, that’s why I’m trying to avoid the clubbing sounds. In some cases it happens that I create a “before party” mix that can change Your frequency while listening to it from a house party to a clubbing mood. Although mostly I’m directed towards lounge/chillout in the deephouse convention, so that the listener could forget about the surrounding world and all the problems while listening to the mix. Check it for Your-self, for sure I’m not boring!

When are you satisfied with a mix?
I’m satisfied when someone who is listening to my mix gets into a good mood and feels happier. I’m satisfied when during a live play a guy kisses a girl for the first time and remembers forever the song that was chosen by me. And You could also consider the fact that the guy might have kissed the girl due to emotions that were caused by the music it-self?? Think about it, when and where did You kiss a girl for the first time… because maybe the fact that You are together with her in a relationship may be because of one DJ (hahaha). But coming back to the serious tone, the biggest satisfaction is caused by the fact that the listeners, clubbers, come back to the dancefloor. So when the mix is so good, that people come back – that is what satisfies me!

DJ Mag Next Generation – Sam Paleta by Sam Paleta on Mixcloud

Do you play often? If so, when and where was your last perfomance?
This Year I’m trying to focus on the production of music. From time to time in order not to lose the feeling I’m recording a mix in my home-studio and I share the mix on my mixcloud profile. However the priority for this year is to create my own song. For sure after release I’ll come back to regular performance.

When can we expect a new track?
In 2014 You will hear of Sam Paleta as a producer! Follow me! 😉

What’s your ultimate dream? Play in which club/location or with whom?
I really value the atmosphere of small clubs. A big show in front of thousand fans or a big festival are not that much exciting for me. The most important is to get into interaction with clubbers. I value the emotional transfer, You can say that I’d like to perform a music therapy. If my set is setting into a different, unique mood, the listeners are making a bond with me and this is for me a dream come true. If I’m able to transfer people into a world, which I create behind the decks, then this is it! Most important is the contact with people. That’s why I’m against the digital DJs, who are covering the whole dancefloor with a laptop, they are not able to maintain a visual contact with clubbers and that’s why they can’t see their reactions. Generally it can be done by a computer, it can even pick the right queue for them according to the tones and tempo, so that means the clubbers are listening to a program.. I think, that both the clubbers and the DJ should feel the music. For me as a DJ it is better to use gramophones and vinyls. In the era of digital releases I eventually accept CDJs, but without the SYNC option ect…. I’m also against using the microphone by a DJ. The only addition that I could accept is a vocal or instrumental live-act (violin, trumpet, saxophone). These are so to say my rules, and the realization is my ultimate dream, because I value the person on the other side of console. I never treat the dancefloor as a random crowd, thanks to which I earn for life.

I also never care about supporting a “dancefloor star”, because I don’t recognize myself with rankings. Promoting the TOP10 or TOP100 songs of DJs is for me selling an illusion. Underground will always be better than mainstream. Of course there are very good commercial productions, but in today’s times It is very easy to lose Yourself in the shallow, although catchy melodies. A good DJ should divide the seed from the chaff and present valuable music. I think that what also gives value In All this is serving to the listeners songs that aren’t given to them by the mainstream media. It should be an additional taste that makes it worth to come to a party. I value clubbers that are demanding, that are taking into account all I’m saying here and not treating a DJ like a jukebox, and the party is not treated as a concert of wishes. If a man wants to listen to TOP10 he can stay at home and turn on MTV. If A man’s primary aim is to get drunk, it’s better for him to go to a pub rather that to a club. A DJ’s performance should be an art, an artistic form, and listening to him should be the main aim of a party. Because a DJ is an artist, who spends a lot of time on the selection and improvement of the technique and skills and later his work is presented to the people, for who he is doing all this work.. If there is a situation that I must play with someone I really look at the engagement of the person – those DJs who during their performance are giving a part of them to the crowd, and are no celebrities. A DJ is also a clubber – I’m one of You, not somebody better!

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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