In his second article for Medellín Living, contributor Nick Bowman introduces us to Juan Deraout, DJ, producer and Founder of Intelligent Division.
1. Juan, tell us a little bit about you and your history in the music industry.
I have been in the music industry for around fourteen years and about ten years in techno. The first four years I was experimenting and finding the style I like.
Since the beginning, I’ve been DJ’ing and promoting music because it’s the only way to get well-known and get gigs.
2. What first got your interest in techno?
When I was a teenager I used to listen to a lot of punk, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk. Techno was the electronic music most similar to the industrial sounds I have in my background, so that’s why I first got interested in techno.
3. How did you start as a DJ?
When I first heard electronic music, I saw the DJ and felt like the DJ is the guy who doesn’t play instruments but he can play music and make people have fun. So I became interested in doing what this guy was doing.
I met a friend of my sister’s, Maurice, who was a DJ and he invited me to a DJ booth for one night, and I fell in love with it. I met Theo around fourteen years ago, and his aunt had a club.
We went to the club every Friday and Saturday at six in the evening to take the rubbish out, and they let us play with the equipment for an hour. We were trying to learn everything and Maurice was teaching us as well.
4. Intelligent Division is a name synonymous with putting on high quality techno events in Colombia. When did it start? Who are its members? What are the aims of the collective?
My friend Theo and me went to a festival on the beach about eight years ago. We played there with people from Bogotá, Cali and other places around the world.
We realized that everybody there had a brand, a crew or a label to work for, a name to push. So I came back from the festival with a lot of inspiration because I met a lot of DJs there and had this idea to form a group.
I thought of the name Intelligent Division because at the time in the city there was a lot of electronic music but no real direction. There was no group pushing techno.
So we were the like the Intelligent Division of the city, trying to push something that wasn’t so popular like the commercial house, trance and tribal house music at that time.
I got my friends together at the time; Theo, Camilo Serna, Giggs and a good friend who is a graphic designer and we became a crew. I’m pretty sure we were the first people to put on 100 percent techno parties in the city.
At the moment we have five DJs: Richie, Theo, Juli Monslave, Camilo Serna and myself and Rabbid who is the VJ.
The next step is to start our own label. When people hear about Medellín techno in other countries, they think straight away about Intelligent Division.
So the next step is to make Medellín techno and have a proper Medellín techno style to show to other DJs and to the world. It’s going to be called ID Records.
6. What have been some of your favorite events put on by Intelligent Division over the years?
That’s a really hard question because we’ve brought big names like Marcel Dettmann and Chris Liebing.
We’ve had a lot of very good nights, but I think the festival we did last year, Festival Sol Luna was the biggest thing we have done. A festival, you can’t imagine! You can be professional doing club nights, but a festival is totally different.
Also, the first CLR night we did four years ago with Chris Liebing and Monoloc because this was the first official CLR party in South America. They trusted in us, and that means a lot to me.
7. Tell us about the recent event with Cell Injection.
The show was like a dream for me because Drumcell and Audio Injection are very good friends, and they have been playing in Colombia for at least five years and at least once a year. People love Drumcell and Audio Injection here.
I went to the Movement Festival in Detroit this year, and I heard those guys playing the Cell Injection show. I was like; we need to do this in Medellín because this is amazing.
It’s a huge show, and those guys are becoming bigger every day. So in two or three years time this is not going to be easy having Drumcell and Audio Injection playing at the same night, so that was the idea.
We had the party at ID Club (Capital Club) on Las Palmas. It was a great night, around four hundred people having a great time. The music was super strong; it’s not easy techno, it’s PROPER techno. The party was super good. Everybody was having fun and dancing all night.
The DJs who played before played a lot of good stuff too. We went to the after hours; we had a lot of fun!
8. You recently travelled to the USA and played at techno’s home city, Detroit. How was it?
It was amazing; a dream come true. If you like techno, if you love techno and if you are DJ who plays techno, Detroit is a dream. You have to play Detroit. I played at a very famous club in the Detroit Underground techno scene, The Works.
I played in the middle of two huge names in the scene. I played after Hyperactive, and I played before Angel Alanis. I got scared when I saw the line up because it’s not easy to go to the USA and play between two of the biggest techno names for the USA.
But everything was super good, and I had an amazing time, it was a big experience for me.
9. What are your personal objectives as a DJ and Producer for the next few years?
The next step for my career is more production. We’re going to release the label at the end of this year. I’ve been working for Native Instruments for one year.
I’m part of the Native Instruments artist selection in South America, so I have many events with Native Instruments coming soon in other countries in South America.
Keep travelling a lot and promoting techno because that’s the main point of my life.
10. The next event is on Friday October 10th with one of the world’s biggest names in techno; Speedy J. Where is the event taking place?
He’s the biggest name in techno, man. Speedy J is the father of all this. The event is going to take place at ID Club (Capital Club) km 5 Las Palmas.
It’s a special night because it’s an Electric Deluxe official night, and it’s the first time Speedy J is playing for Intelligent Division in Colombia.
It’s going to be a very special night for the city because it is a medium-sized club for six hundred or five hundred people. As soon as we have sold five hundred tickets we will stop selling.
We will have five hundred people dancing with the best techno artist in the world, with an amazing sound system and with amazing visuals by the VJ, Rabbid. It will be a special night for Speedy J too.
This is going to be more intimate and more personal. It’s going to be a deep experience.
Playing alongside Speedy J will be Deraout and Richie.
- ID Store – Intelligent Division Store
- Tickets can be bought at all Animal X gyms. There are gyms in Poblado, Laureles, Envigado, Bello and Centro.
- To buy online, click here.
- Facebook event page
- Telephone and Whatsapp: 580-2033 – 315-296-6325
For your weekly techno fix, visit Mansion Club where Intelligent Division has its residency and where a whole array of quality techno and house events go down every Friday and Saturday.
Intelligent Division members – Deraout, Juli Monslave, Richie, Theo and Camilo Serna.
I will be playing at Mansion Club (Carrera 36 #10-37, Poblado) this Saturday September 13th alongside Puresque from Berlin.
Puresque regularly play at the legendary Tresor in Berlin and also release music on its label.