A lot is often said about music culture, where it came from, its impact on artists today and where it is going in the future. Culture is critical to any identity and in dance music; understanding it is vital to preserving the genres rich and powerful history. Junior Sanchez and Demuir are two DJs at the forefront of putting out great house music and preserving the underground for what it has always been – fun and a place for anyone. They have teamed up on a new music label, events and lifestyle brand KULTUR that embraces the roots and spirit of house music into a movement for everyone.
They are looking to break down cliquey barriers and bring everyone under one roof on the dancefloor. As Demuir notes, “rebellion in this age of music is unity.”
KULTUR’s label activity is set to include established artists like Kerri Chandler, DJ Sneak and Cassy, alongside Josh Butler, Kristy Harper and Carlo Lio. Launching with their first KULTUR release, Demuir & Junior Sanchez team up on Da KULTUR EP, set for release on April 3.
KULTUR also announce the launch of their event series, with a pre-launch party scheduled for March 19 during Miami Music Week. A house music party hosted at Coyo Taco with DJ Sneak billed to play.
Following this event, the pair plan to fully launch with a double header weekend in collaboration with A Club Called Rhonda on the 22nd and 23rd of May, in Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively.
We had a brief chat with Demuir and Junior Sanchez about the brand and why they decided this was the time to launch it.
Why did you guys start KULTUR?
Demuir - We started KULTUR just shortly after recognizing the success of our Unity party at ADE last year. This was followed by a series of in-depth conversations regarding the electronic music industry (particularly the underground scene) and how we felt about it as artists and as owners of our own respective labels.
Junior Sanchez- It was very organic. We both had very strong beliefs on how the scene was evolving and knowing what we know historically; we wanted to make sure that the narrative stays intact for future generations. After our ADE event we knew what we had to do.
KULTUR is obviously an illusion to dance music culture. What do you think is missing from it today and how will KULTUR fill a void?
D - It's a direct spotlight on the culture - no illusion. We feel, strongly, that the scene is missing some of the vibes that were ever present in parties that were cast as the outsiders who partied underneath one roof. When house and the sub genres it inspired started, participants did not have the everlasting debates of what a real DJ was and spoke highly of having great music that had a presence of soul. We also didn't have this ever-pressing need to be on a certain label with certain people and looks to define what it meant to be great in your craft. It was just good music that was celebrated by those outsiders and the artists who supplied them with the sounds that spoke to them directly.
Today's underground scene has specific parties with specific sounds, which is good for those audiences that want that, but we want to be an environment that applauds all proper underground music that is absent of commercialism with an abundance of music that has soul.
JR - To add to what D was saying, I think in America what's missing is the knowledge of where house & techno music came from, so we like to help spread that information so the kids know that it was always theirs and that house music comes from our cities in the US. Techno was birthed in Detroit, because once the kids know it was theirs, that’s when pride & a correlation to ownership is brought into light and movements begin.
What will be the label release policy and what type of tracks are you looking for?
D & JR - We plan to limit the label to one to two releases per month and are looking to sign music that is reflective of artists who are heavily invested in their craft. We gravitate to underground quality; it can be house, jacking, techno, or tech-house. What’s important is that the music is focused with an understanding of the roots that created this music.
This is in stark contrast to some music today, which is sample pack loop heavy and follows a cookie cutter approach with no real true substance. We have grown tired of tracks with basic monotonous breakdowns to spur a reaction rather than a focus on substance within a track or song creation. It just needs to be done with some sort of intention and or meaning. We are looking for authenticity with no fear of change or evolution.
How will KULTUR be a brand outside of just music?
D & JR - Our brand is also supported with events, lifestyle projects and specially crafted educational and verbal engagements that we will host around different cities around the world that truly captures the soul and core essence of underground electronic music. This will include people from diverse backgrounds and others that identify as "not fitting in" and partying underneath one roof without sacrificing the integrity of the music and its core value within our culture.
We also recognize artists (both big and small) contribute immensely to our scene in which we will be keen to include them in events that are in their hometowns.
Ultimately, we want people to enjoy the music, parties, and educational events we showcase, and show love to our artists while being able to see themselves identified in everything we do.