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I was born in Cuba so Afro Cuban music was my first style #musicmoney chats to Francisco J Ricardo about influences from Havana to New York and electronic dance music

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Havana, Madrid, and New York City.

Describe your sound:

UK progressive house with many other influences, from Middle Eastern rhythms to film music.

Tell us about your latest projects:

What inspires you as an artist?

Composing, recording, and producing original music that hopefully will resonate with forward-looking DJs, producers, and fans. Every genre of electronic dance music has been in flux for over twenty years, but few people comment on the difference between music that is minimalist and music that becomes monotonous and circular and relies too much on just rhythm to carry the composition. Some large stylistic spaces haven't yet been filled, largely inviting the introduction of more lyrical instrumental directions. I also embed a fair amount of harmonic complexity in some tunes, but this might only be perceptible to listeners with compositional training. Debussy and Stravinsky were very harmonically complex, yet listeners don't perceive tonality changes in "La Mer" or The Firebird Suite. Some EDM harmony is very basic - but after several decades of this pattern, listeners are ready for texture. One of my tunes, "Come Up and See Me Sometime"  has the texture of a bass line that is longer and more complex than that of a typical house tune, and as a result serves as a better foundation for the changes and by the end of the track, you might notice that it has morphed along the way.

Tell the people something that they need to know:

I've been involved in a variety of media - authoring and editing books on new media art in a book series that I founded at Bloomsbury Press, to making documentary films on artists of interest, to YouTube videos and a podcast about cultural consciousness.  I was born in Cuba, so Afro-Cuban music was my first style. Later in Spain, it was Flamenco, then in NY, it was jazz. My first instrument was an Arabic dumbek which allowed me to explore Middle Eastern tempos and rhythms. I studied jazz guitar with John Scofield, and had my own groups in NYC. My friends all attended Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, so it was inevitable that I would discover the real roots of EDM, which is the minimalist music of Steve Reich. Listen to his "Quartet" or "Music for 18 Musicians" and all they need is a drum bottom from an 808 or other synthesizer and they would work on any dance floor. I also think that John Digweed is the Bill Evans of EDM - he never makes a mistake, and his inspiring genius is the reason I am in this genre.

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