Ramon Tapia is an immensely talented Dutch–Chilean producer with his own imprint — Say What? Recordings — and 20 years of experience under his belt, who signed with the highly coveted Drumcode label for his debut EP release: ‘Future of Mankind.’ However Tapia is no stranger to Adam Beyer’s techno family, bestowing ‘Sonic Therapy’ and Drum Control’ to the A-Sides series in recent years, as well as dropping ‘Manipulate’ on Truesoul (regarded as Drumcode’s “little brother”). The producer was born and raised in Holland to a Dutch mother and Chilean father; his exposure to an eclectic mix of cultures spurring Tapia’s decision to become a musician like his dad.
Furthermore, ‘Future of Mankind’ is a massive release that fits perfectly into the iconic Drumcode sound. Atmospheric riffs, thunderous drums, energetic builds, and deeply textured percussive elements that are equally dark as they are uplifting, drive the dynamic four track EP. Tapia’s first three songs, ‘Future of Mankind,’ ‘Song of Sirens,’ and ‘Screwdriver,’ follow a similar growling mood, while ‘Hold On’ is a stark contrast that concludes the album on a lighter, more emotionally charged note. It is a well rounded EP that mirrors the progression of a compelling festival set; sweeping moments building into an explosive crescendo, which eventually fade out into a moment of tranquility.
RaverRafting had the opportunity to chat with Ramon Tapia on his upcoming release, raves in the 90’s, how his family played a big part in his music, and more. Shout out to Ramon Tapia and his team!
RR: Thanks for joining us Ramon! We’d love to know—what were Holland/Belgium raves like in the 90’s?
RT: What I remember are the dark and sweaty clubs. Each had their own vibe and identity. What I really recall is that there were no cell phones in the clubs. This I really miss sometimes as the main focus was about music, gathering, connection on the floor and dancing the night away. Belgium and Holland always had a big club culture, but in the 90’s this was exceptional. Legendary clubs like Café D’Anvers, Roxy (Amsterdam), CherryMoon were tastemakers and revolutionary at that time. I’m more than happy that I had the chance to have a taste and experience the vibe in that era.
RR: Speaking of throwbacks, do you have any favorite memories from your expansive 20 years in music?
RT: One thing that has always been in my mind was the first time I arrived in Colombia for a tour, I was waiting outside the airport for my pick up and had the feeling that people were constantly looking at me. When my driver arrived, I asked him; “Why are these people looking at me like that?“ He smiled and just pointed to a huge billboard with my face on it. #priceless
RR: That sounds surreal. So what kind of music did your father play and did it influence your music at all?
RT: He wasn’t really a touring musician, he just loved to play around with his friends. Havin fun, vibing on the musical flow and grooving on the rhythms. Now 40 years later he has found another passion! I think my musical influence hasn’t been given to me only by him, but a big part has been given by my sisters. They shaped me in many ways but they definitely had a huge impact on the musical side. They went clubbing and telling me the nightlife stories when coming home. And most important presenting me that ’new electronic music’ called House. The mixture of jamming and diversity in creating combined with the electronic music made me what I am today!
RR: Amazing! How did the collaboration with Drumcode begin and how did you end up signing to the label?
RT: I think the first time I spoke to Adam about a demo would be around 11 years ago. Since that moment we kept in contact regularly and after a few years I took the liberty to send some demo’s for his sub label Truesoul. They both signed and it seemed that he really liked Hexagon. I followed up with my second EP – Manipulate. I believe this would have been my intro towards the release. As you can imagine, I’m super happy that now finally I can set a mark on my bucket list: Drumcode EP?
RR: Of course, congrats! Truly a well-deserved bucket list achievement. What was your inspiration behind the ‘Future of Mankind’ EP?
RT: The EP is inspired by the situation we are in and what it will bring for ‘The Future of Mankind’. All tracks have their own emotion and energy in which I hope people can relate themselves. Personally, I believe we got a lesson to treasure more what we have, instead of taking it all for granted. In the last months of lockdown, a message like my last single on the EP could reflect to a situation which we all might have experienced. The vocal says; “All there needs to be said that we all have to Hold on”, keep faith and all will turn out right! 😉
RR: Wow, that’s a powerful message that we definitely all need right now. Thank you for sharing that with us and for giving us hope with the new EP! Lastly we’d like to know: Top three records everyone should own on vinyl?
RT: Puente Latino – Journey To The Core EP: One of my fav’s from Cari Lekebusch & Alexi Delano, still sounds super fresh like I heard it in the clubs 23 years ago! This is one of those records that I wish to have produced myself. I was always mesmerized by the production skills of Cari and still am … mega underrated artist that deserves so much more credit!
DIMA – Fuckeristic EP: Another oldie but goldie! It is released on a small whitelabel. I found this masterpiece when I worked in a (Vinyl) Record Shop in Antwerp. I had the luck that we had the liberty to go throughout the records before they were placed on the shelves. Years later I noticed that it was a pseudonym from Vitalic. Some serious masterpiece with only cool tracks on it that still will stand out in any set!
Thomas Bangalter – Trax On Da Rocks: Also known as the other half of Daft Punk, one of those records that is in my bag since the day of release … so raw, so fresh, discotec at its best – a real timeless piece of work, but ‘hey’ most of the records these guys did were always spot on!