The first time that Junior Sanchez remembers meeting Todd Terry in person, they went to see the Jerky Boys movie in the theater (in 1995). Of course, it wasn't just Todd, but, as Sanchez recalls, "it was Armand (van Helden), Todd (Terry), (Little) Louie (Vega) and (famed house vocalist) India, too." Though the times may have changed, the rhythm and camaraderie remains the same for Sanchez and Terry's just released collaboration for "Drop It 2 Da Floor," the 13th release from Sanchez's Brobot Records imprint. Maximal tech house is served up here, thick and strong basslines drive a pulsating rhythm for a track that isn't so much well produced by any standard, but a timeless track that feels as if it can seamlessly fit in a set in any era.
"The first time I heard a Todd Terry record was (1988's Manu Dibonga "Soul Makossa"-sampling "A Day In The Life" by Terry's alter ego) Black Riot, and I was in grade school. Then I discovered everything else, including (The Jungle Brothers' influential Terry-arranged 1988 hip-house single) "'I'll House You.'" Twenty five years later, Sanchez recalls the process behind recording "Drop It 2 Da Floor," saying "Todd always comes over and were always diving into the past and playing current stuff, because we're both still active DJs. [Working on the collaboration] we pushed each other to simplify the track, and also got gritty with the samples, as if we were using the same machines we were using back in the day."
Known for always erring in the direction of a bigger and bolder sound than other techno-to-house trending producers, he addressed his ideas regarding sound and production, too, especially for his current single. "I've always made records that are dynamic. I don't crush stuff or compress my sounds. I want to leave enough room for the person mastering the track, as mastering can be an art form. A lot of the kids don't know or understand the importance of equalization and compression, because they're just getting onto their computers and making tracks. I support them and being creative [as many of them are] is cool, but making great tracks comes with practice." Continuing regarding his level of happiness with the production and if he played the track out significantly prior to release, Sanchez opined, "I've never [played a track out and edited it after hearing it during a set]. Todd and I always put out a track driven by how we feel and dig it. We just make records."
Also on the table these days for Sanchez is taking the helm at Size Records, Steve Angello's imprint that is preparing for a more significant push into the expanding dance market. "What people don't know about Steve is that Steve is a house head," Sanchez says with a smile in his voice. "He comes from [a background of] listening to Todd Terry records, Kenny Dope (Gonzalez), my old label Cube Recordings, Felix da Housecat records, too. What Steve made with progressive house grew out of that. We met through Laidback Luke over dinner [in Amsterdam], and we've grown very close since then." Regarding what we can expect from the future of the retooling label, Size's president says, "it's a team effort. We're thinking about the future of Size. We don't want to [evolve too fast] because we want [Size's] fanbase [to] still understand [the label's vision]. I just want to [regardless of genre] release great records again."
Speaking about the future of dance music and culture, Junior Sanchez speaks like a man who has, for the purposes of addressing the last three decades of dance, seen it all. "Dance music has grown exponentially. Every scene has a genre that explodes and for this generation, it's 'EDM.' [As EDM expands] it's opening the doors to discover sub genres. Things evolve and change, and dance grows and mutates." However, for as much as there's a plethora of sounds available to be made, when asked about the commingling of sounds given producers' access to genres, styles and production equipment, the veteran legend had an intriguing response. "I feel like things are more segregated now. Cajmere and Lil Louie Vega never [limited themselves]. Armand (van Helden) could release both 'Witchdoctor' & 'Flowers.' Diversity is something I admire in producers I respect. Trevor Horn, I respect him. He could work with The Buggles, Yes, and Art of Noise. These days, it feels like producers don't want to be diverse. [Back in the late-'90s,] we all did whatever we felt. It's absolutely absurd to think that people don't change."