Tamarindo, Costa Rica will ring in the new year with another dose of underground dance music with Ocaso‘s arrival on January 2 to the coastal town. The five-day festival has grown over the years into a veritable institution within the Central American house and techno scene, with curious travelers from around the globe visiting each year. 2019’s billing is a strong mixture of veteran and new performers per usual, with notable headliners including Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Loco Dice, and Guy Gerber. Ahead of the festivities, Dancing Astronaut spoke to the artists to get to know them a bit better, and hear what excites them most about Ocaso.
Chicago is the birthplace of house music, and Gene Farris is an artist who helped raise the genre to thriving adulthood. He got his start in the warehouses of his Midwestern hometown, coming to prominence in the 90s for his keen taste in records and ability to work his crowds into sentimental euphoria. It didn’t take long for his abilities to become known outside Chicago, and by the millennium, Farris had become a globally renowned talent whose name has taken him everywhere from famous venues like the Royal Albert hall, to festivals like Movement, BPM, and beyond. His unrelenting passion for house music emanates out of him with each set, perpetuating demand for his live presence.
Farris knows his way around a record in more than just a DJing success. The artist boasts a discography that’s as expansive as his career, with multiple LPs under his belt, and prolific singles like “We Work It” and “Meditation” that show off his penchant for creating infectious house tunes. His work has found its way into the crates of Cajmere, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, and beyond. He’ll soon be bringing his knowledge and passion for house music to the shores of Tamarindo, where he’ll be charming the Ocaso crowds. Ahead of the his festival domination, however, we picked Farris’ brain for some bits on his early days, what he’s got planned for the show, and more.
Tell us about the moment/time period where you decided that a full-time music career was the only way to go.
The exact moment when that happened for me was when I was in college in North Carolina, and I heard my first record on the local House Music Show. I decided that I should I go and follow my dream, and if it didn’t work out I would go back to college. I’ve not returned to college yet.
What’s your favorite part about the Costa Rican dance scene, if you’ve played there before? If not, what are you most curious about regarding the crowds, club culture, etc?
I love the dance scene there when I played the Ocaso Festival last year, I got a amazing response from the crowd. I can’t wait to return.
Which of your records are you most proud of, and why?
I love them all in different ways to be honest, but I would say the one I’m most proud of is “Move Your Body” on my Cosmos album on Relief Records. This song for me was were I defined my sound, the entire album actually.
What’s in your crate right now that is knocking the dancefloor off its feet?
I have this new song I just finished with Tim Baresko coming out on DIRTYBIRD Next year called “Fly With Me” and it’s been ripping dance floors to pieces. I’m very excited about the music I have coming in 2019.
What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso festival?
The weather and the people!
Which artists do you recommend most from the lineup, aside from yourself?
Loco Dice, Jamie Jones I’ve done music with both of them and there amazing DJs also and great people.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that audiences might not know.