Miami producer and DJ Lazaro Casanova has smoothly bridged a transition between the worlds of electro and house, from a background touring with MSTRKRFT and The Juan Maclean to his current label, petFood, and his Revolver parties. He sends us a groovy recent live mix and answers a few questions in advance of his upcoming set at SmartBar.
• This mix was recorded just this last weekend; can you tell us more about it and/or the tracks on it?
It was recorded at a monthly party I do here at the Electric Pickle in Miami with the MURK guys. This year marks 20 years of MURK so we really wanted to do something fun at home. The mix itself is my opening set and I just took out a chunk to post up on soundcloud. The track selection is just stuff that has really caught my ear. I believe there’s also a remix of mine in there I just did for my buddy Induce.
• Do you think there’s an audible difference between doing a set in sunny Miami and snowy Chicago? How much does environment play into how you play?
I like to read rooms whenever I play and my sets are more-so dependent on the atmosphere inside the club as opposed to outside. Obviously, a set on a rooftop by the beach will be a bit different but I can’t stress the importance of reading a crowd. Without that awareness it’s easy to get lost pushing your own agenda.
• Tell us about these new releases you have coming up in the next month. How did the collaborations come about?
I have a remix EP coming out feb 28 for this EP I did with vocalist Amy Douglas called antiviral Miami Vice (hear it on Soundcloud here) The original came out on Nurvous and now we’re having two remixes from MURK as well as mixes from Manik & Julien Sandre. I have a remix coming out for my buddy Dj Sabo hitting in March as well as a remix I did for Tommie Sunshine. Last but not least, I have a collaboration EP I did with Matt Tolfrey for Culprit which features Nikko Gibler on all 3 tracks too.
All the collaborations just kind of happened on it’s own which is great as nothing felt forced and just came about naturally. They’re all people I’ve known from before so it’s more-so just making some jams with friends.
• What else do you have planned for 2012?
Just continuing work on my label petFood. We have a big compilation hitting with all of our artists in the next month or so. We’re happy with the momentum of the label and want to keep things moving along nicely. I also have some original work I’ve done with Oscar G from MURK that we are calling Cuban Missile Crisis and should really shake things up a bit when they hit. And as usual I am working on my own stuff too and have a nice handful of tracks I’ll be finding some homes for.
• Is there anything you’re particularly excited about doing while you visit Chicago?
I still haven’t been to Hot Doug’s. I’m also pretty positive there’s good Polish food in Chicago. And as usual checking out Grapamaphone is always nice. I was able to pick up some stuff from MURK & Derrick Carter last time.
Lazaro appears at SmartBar on Friday, March 2; see www.smartbarchicago.com for details.
Lazaro Casanova official site