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Rafa Barrios was born in Sevilla, Spain, in 1986. Fourteen years later he realized his passion, music. He became a lover of the underground sound of the Iberian Peninsula. Rafa Barrios said,
“I think that my music goes beyond a simple track, I work on my tracks as if I were dancing on the dancefloor, thinking what can make many people dance. It’s what empowers me to keep working daily on a dream to reach, and every time I think more that working hard, is how you can get your deserved rewards.”
Here is a man whose dream is to find the music that makes people dance. He is a true music lover’s DJ, putting himself on the dance floor with the crowd, feeling the vibe and conveying it through the music, thus creating a shared experience. He believes if one works hard, one receives his just reward.
His style of music was closely akin to the incomparable Iberican Sound of Chus & Ceballos. When he became aware of Stereo Productions, signing with that iconic label became an important goal. In his mind, Rafa would be a part of the outfit and ignite dance floors by incorporating that sound into his tracks. What he did not realize at that time, is that he was becoming a member of the Stereo family.
Like any healthy family, Rafa was encouraged and mentored in the Stereo Sound. The love of and respect for the essence of the music are the driving forces that transcend everything else. Rafa’s work ethic, love of the music, and desire to satisfy his crowds, made him a perfect fit.
Rafa has a remarkable career, releasing tracks on such labels as:
- Stereo Productions
- Intec Digital
- KD Music
- Liebe Detail
- Toolroom Records
- Agile Recordings
As well as his own label, Dood Records.
One of our recent favorites is the recently released, “Horizont,” out on Stereo Productions. Doused in the groove is one statement that can be made the second you take a listen to this one. A rather playful sub-bass maintaining itself on a mid to low frequency is what embodies this well received offering. On the breakdown, a crafty progression that some may deem as a melodic arpeggio instantly takes a grip on you and keeps you right on your toes! Horizont doesn’t lose its Iberican tech house appeal for one second, and Rafa Barrios maintains the banner flying high for this sound.
After listening, please share your thoughts with us and include anyone who may enjoy being part of the conversation.
Chus & Ceballos were always well aware of the underground house music scene in Spain and Portugal. This sound of the Iberian Peninsula, which includes not only Spain and Portugal but also Andorra and the British Crown colony of Gibraltar, became the foundation of their hallmark, Iberican Sound.
“It’s a very groovy sound, very rhythmic and percussive, that is always looking at the dancefloor. It has an electronic touch, but with soul, sometimes a bit housey, sometimes harder, but never cold. It’s hot, ‘Caliente’! This is the ‘Stereo Sound’, our sound”
Chus & Ceballos gave this quote to Resident Advisor in 2005. The Madrid duo of Jose Lopez Esteban (DJ Chus) and J. Pablo Ceballos formed over ten years ago with the distinct purpose of bringing their “Stereo Sound” to the worldwide masses. Since no man is an island, (but some are peninsulas), they knew however they could not accomplish this alone.
They formed an artist collective of world class talented dj-producers who also shared the duo’s vision for their iconic Iberican Sound and formed Stereo Productions Group. It has become the finest Spanish electronic music label in Spain, and arguably produce the hottest sound on the planet. It includes the sub-labels: Stereo, Stereo Cool, Iberican Encodings, Almibar, and Solar Music.
The Stereo Productions roster include Oscar L, Oscar de Rivera, Rafa Barrios, Patrick M, and Pakito Baeza. Not only has Chus & Ceballos collaborated with their fellow Spaniards, they have worked with other like-minded artists from all over the globe.
One of our favorite tracks is the deep house, “Abisinia,” featuring GIGI, from their debut album, Nomadas, out on Stereo Productions. The ancient female atmospheric vocals of GIGI take hold of you from the beginning and bring you deep inside the production minds of Chus & Ceballos. The sub heavy, mid to low pumping bassline adds that perfect Iberican groove that only Chus & Ceballos can render. The mesmerizing synths pulsating to the four on the floor flow ensnare the senses and entangle the mind, trapping the dance music enthusiasts in the middle of the dance floor.
After viewing the official video, please share your thoughts with us and include anyone who may enjoy being part of the conversation.
ABISINIA feat. GIGI
(EJIGAYEHU SHIBABAW, LEONARDO GONNELLI, CHUS L. ESTEBAN, J. PABLO CEBALLOS)