Dennis Cruz has established himself as one of house music’s most consistent producers in recent years, with the Madrid native regularly finding himself near the summit of various Resident Advisor and Beatport ‘end of the year’ charts over the past decade or so.
Having put out a number of releases over the past year, on Crosstown Rebels, Solid Grooves, and his own MÜSE label (which he runs alongside Eddy M), Cruz’s latest cut is Los Tamales, set to be released on 30 July on Crosstown Rebels (you can pre-order it here), ahead of an album to follow later this year.
909originals caught up with him.
Thanks Dennis for chatting to us. You’ve been quite prolific over the past year or so, with a number of releases on Crosstown Rebels, MÜSE, Solid Grooves. Would it be fair to say that lockdown was a creative period for you?
Yes, for sure. I spent a lot of time in the studio, I finished the Crosstown album and also some EPs that I have released over the last few months.
How would you describe the new single, Los Tamales?
I think it’s a mix between house and salsa. I contacted Yazaneth, the singer, and we decided to record all the live instruments in Colombia – vocal, piano, bass, percussions and brass. It’s the first time I have recorded all this instruments for a house track, so at the end it was a nice organic, fresh sound.
It’s your third release on Crosstown Rebels in the past year – what is the label like to work with?
I love Crosstown Rebels, I have always been a fan of it and of Damian [Lazarus, label owner]. I am really happy to release the album with them, it’s a dream.
Did you find it challenging to produce music for the dancefloor at a time that all the clubs were closed?
Yes it was quite difficult. I realised I lost the vision of making tracks for the club. When I came back from my recent gigs in Croatia, Bulgaria and Spain, I was full of new inspiration and ideas. I managed to make a couple of new tracks much more quickly, which work perfectly on the dancefloor.
You’re already 25 releases into the MÜSE label – has the gameplan changed at all from when you launched it back in 2019?
We are so surprised how much support we are getting with the recent releases! The gameplan is the same – to release music we will play in the club, focusing on a tech house and minimal deep tech sound.
How did the label come together – what was the conversation that you and Eddy M had that led to its creation?
We love each others music. We already had the groove, samples and funky style on our productions, so after playing together we decided to start the label and release that same style.
Both forthcoming single Los Tamales and the recently released Ahora Todo Va are distinctly Latin flavoured, like many of your productions over the years. How important is this Latin sound to your productions?
Yes I love Latin America, their music, culture and I have lot of friends from there. I love to mix house and Latin vibes on my tracks and also when I’m playing. It’s a big influence on my music.
The past year has seen DJs and other artists seek new ways of engaging with their fanbase, such as live streams. Do you think that this sort of engagement will continue even as things go back to normal?
Yes it was good to keep connecting with the fans, but in the end, I think it can get quite repetitive and it’s just not the same as interacting with a real crowd. So I think it will help and continue a bit, but won’t be the main thing.
Now that the worst of the pandemic is (hopefully) behind us, you have played a couple of DJ gigs – what has that experience been like, getting back behind the decks, in front of people again?
It’s amazing, the energy of the crowd now we party like it will be the last one. We all missed those feelings of dancing together now it can finally happen, I can’t wait to play all over and feel it again.
What was the first track you played?
Bad Behaviour [Dennis Cruz’s 2016 single – Ed].
Once things go back to normal, is there anything that you think will have changed about dance music and clubbing as a result of the pandemic?
Not specifically, but we have been in this a while now. so I’m sure things will change. Let’s see.
What’s next on the agenda this year, both for yourself and the MÜSE label?
I’m so excited about the album release! Los Tamales and Monkey Business are out now. Next is the third single, What U Doing with an amazing remix from Mousse T, then at the end of October, there will be a full album release.
With MÜSE , we are going to release our next EP from Leonardo Gonelli and Adne, and a funky single coming from Eddy M.
[Thanks Dennis for talking to us. His next single Los Tamales, will be released on 30 July on Crosstown Rebels, and you can pre-order it here]