Image: Roger Sanchez Credit: Jermaine Santiago
When Chicago house music arrived in the UK in the mid 1980s the pop charts heralded its arrival. Just a few years later, in combination with the drug ecstasy, the music caused a revolutionary youth movement of unparalleled hedonism.
But that wasn’t the last revolution to take place within the music. From the early 90s the British themselves would mould and stretch the American music’s potential, creating a myriad of unique and adventurous subgenres, from the possibilities of progressive house, to the deep mining of the two step beat in garage, to drum n’ bass, dubstep and many more. The Americans though had one very special card left to play in the abilities of a their DJs.
When DJs such as Roger Sanchez and Derrick Carter started appearing at UK nightclubs in the mid 1990s audiences were astounded. In the days before WAV files, CD mixers, Serato and the like, the boundaries of just what a DJ could do with two (or three) turntables and vinyl in the dance music medium were pushed further than anyone thought possible by these DJs.
Employing hip hop techniques, playing two copies of the same record to create loops and overlapping certain sections of two tracks over long mixes to effectively create new music spontaneously, Britain had never experienced such trickery in a disco. The crowds were wowed and homegrown DJs simply couldn’t compete. For a few years such Americans ruled the roost.
Sanchez’s international emergence as a DJ occurred, as with many, simultaneously with his arrival as a producer. Recording as Roger Sanchez, the S Man or in collaborative efforts such as the S Men, his remix services have also been called upon by pop music royalty such as Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Daft Punk, Madonna, The Police and Maroon 5.
He has topped several polls for best DJ over many years, held a residency in Ibiza for over a decade and a half, and is a Grammy award winner. His biggest chart success came in 2001 with the single ‘Another Chance’ but many more of his productions have been played on house music dancefloors over the years, not least those on his own Stealth and UNDR THE RADR imprints. In recent years he has collaborated with several new school producers such as Man Without A Clue, Huxley and Tough Love.