Get Familiar: Rege Satanas
Interview by Passion Dzenga
For this year's Spring Summer collection, we asked one of our favourite DJs to interpret the collection. Introducing REGE SATANAS' brand new mixtape for Patta SS23, featuring a curated selection of music from South-East Asia sourced from his personal vinyl collection. Expect to hear a diverse array of sounds, ranging from traditional folk to contemporary electronic, all infused with the unique cultural influences of the region. With a keen ear for discovering hidden gems, REGE SATANAS takes listeners on a journey through the rich musical landscape of South-East Asia. This mixtape is not to be missed for newcomers to music from the Asian diaspora and vinyl enthusiasts alike. We sat down with REGE SATANAS to get familiar with where his musical journey has taken him so far.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in DJing and record collecting?
For as long as I can remember, I was always fascinated with everything about music and film. Once I was old enough to get the turntable to work, I would listen to the records from my parent's collection. It was around the mid-1980s and I was about 10 years old at this point. They had like a 3-meter shelf in the house, full of mainly 1960s and 1970s rock, blues and pop music. This would be broken up with some film soundtracks and a few electronic records. They already had a broad musical range so our home was full of diverse influences to soak up.
I grew up a bit, and around age 12, I started to buy and collect records for myself, so I got into flea markets. It was the end of the 1980s and people were getting rid of their vinyl because CDs were going to be the next big thing - boy were they wrong. So I basically bought it all up. Everything that was remotely interesting to me. There were a lot of soundtracks and weird stuff that looked interesting.
When it came to contemporary music that I was into, a lot of this came into my life because of skateboarding. So Rap and Metal, I found myself in the library renting CDs and tape trading with friends. It was also around this time when I started working and hanging out in our local youth centre "De Pul" in Uden and started playing music there. So all-in, I have been collecting and playing music for 30 years now.
How would you describe your musical taste and style as a DJ?
That's a tough question to answer, I've worked in record stores for some 20 years and learned to appreciate my styles and genres but if I had to describe it I would say I like music that's storytelling or mood-setting. I know this is a vague answer but what I do with my mixes or sets is go for a certain atmosphere that covers a theme or idea. When selecting tracks I see myself as if I was making a painting, composing, rearranging and setting things in order to get to an end result that is a new creation.
Can you walk us through your process of selecting and curating music for your weekly Echobox Radio show?
When an idea pops up in my head I immediately have thoughts about what might cover it musically. This idea can be a new record or a film. Also an event in life such as birth, death, weather, animals, you name it! I get inspired by many things because I'm a collector of many muses, music, movies, books, military items, and weird/occult material. I have structured my collections almost like my brain, if I need something I can pick it in a split second.
So for a radio show or a mixtape I can easily find coherent music within my collection of some 9000 items. Once I have a pile of choices, it comes down to selecting enough material for an hour in such a way that the tracks make sense regarding the theme and the end product feels like a cohesive thing.
How did you approach creating the mixtape for Patta's SS23 collection and what inspired your selection of South-East Asian music?
When asked to do so Patta sended me the inspiration mood board with many pictures, me being strongly visually inspired. I was finding myself on a street market in Bangkok when I closed my eyes. As I explained before it's fairly easy to go into my collection and dig up what I need for a mixtape. So I went into the vaults. Choosing tracks I decided to stick to a certain area of this planet so the end result would feel like a composition that makes sense.
Can you share with us some of your favorite hidden gems from your personal vinyl collection?
Hidden gems are hard to appoint for me simply because there are so many, but if i have to name or mention some material that would never leave the collection then Ennio Morricone, Tangerine Dream and Goblin would be among it. If you're curious about what I like you can see it on Instagram, where I usually post music and movie related stuff.
How has your experience been working with Patta on this project and how do you see it fitting into your overall musical journey?
I have considered Patta and its founders since day one. Knowing them before Patta was there and knowing where they come from and what they have reached by now I'm super proud of my peeps and feel honoured by the invitation to do this mixtape.
How do you see the musical landscape of South-East Asia evolving and what new artists or genres are you excited about?
As far as I can call myself an authority on Asian music, which I'm not, I have no idea about this. What I do like to see is that older music gets complicated and remastered for future listeners to enjoy. As I am a collector of physical items I'm not really aware of what's happening on the digital platforms. I assume that there is a vast selection of new musicians you can enjoy.
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and record collectors?
First of all, collect and listen to music that makes you feel good and has meaning to you, that can be in a profound way or on a superficial level. I know that playing for a crowd might bring different expectations to the game but I always tried to play what I wanted and more or less enforce my choice on the listener.
You can DJ on many levels ranging from "crowdpleaser" to "educational dictator", to each their own of course but I tend to be more the latter one.
Can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect from your future projects?
My future projects are totally in the dark. I do a weekly radio show and when somebody feels that my choice of music fits somewhere they can always ask me if I'm interested to join them in their projects.
How do you hope this mixtape will introduce listeners to the rich musical landscape of South-East Asia, and what impact will it have on the wider music community?
First of all I would like to say it has been an adventure for me as well as my mixes always are. I hope to make listeners enthusiastic about music that you most likely don't encounter every day and for this occasion it's the beautiful music of South-East Asia. It will hopefully inspire or trigger people to go deeper into the music itself. I always add tracklists to what I play so the curious listener has a starting point for every rabbit hole I present.