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Eleven years since John Beltran released his first project on Carl Craig?s Retroactive Records he remains committed to his craft as a composer and producer exploring the realms electronic and dance music.
Hooking up with Ubiquity Records (by Beltrans own admission it?s his favorite label!) he has visions of a larger sound with broader appeal. This debut album for the label, set for release at the end of the summer, will be as club-oriented as his work has ever been while incorporating live instrumentation to give the project a warm organic feel. Predominantly house tempo tracks with Brazilian undertones accompanied by a few down tempo nuggets the Beltran/Ubiquity album will be ?listenable? and DJ friendly. His first Ubiquity 12? ?Felicidad Nova? has been compared to the music of Masters At Work and is already turning heads stateside and abroad with the likes of Patrick Forge (De Lata), Ross Allen (Blue), and Rainer Truby (Compost) charting heavily.
Next-up for release is a single called ?Bota Foga? (named after a district and football team in Rio), which is certain to build on the reputation of the first 12? ? heavy batucada beats meet with a swinging two step/house hybrid beat, acoustic guitars and an irrestibable vocal hook. We hope it?s an anthem for Summer 2002?Ubiquity is delighted to sign one of the USA?s most talented producers, a guy who despite earning praise for his early works, has only just found his true sound.
To date, Beltran has released five full length albums, mostly in Europe, earning critical acclaim from press, DJs and stores around the globe. His first full-length album release was with R+S records, Belgium in 1995. Entitled ?Earth and Nightfall? it was a unique blend of new age and world music, classical, and a whole heap of Detroit Techno, which is where he lived before a recent move to Florida to .
His second album ?Ten Day?s of Blue? was released in 1996 on Peace Frog records solidified took his profile up a notch with the track ?Collage of Dreams? licensed for use in the movie Human Traffic. The third Beltran album ?The Cry?, also with Peace Frog, is not one that Beltran particularly likes anymore. However the record industry was paying attention with DJ/producer Patrick Forge rating it his second all time favorite album and Muzik placing it in the top 10 albums of 1997. Also that year was the release of ?Moving Through Here? on R&S which saw a musical break for Beltran. ?I needed a change,? he explained. ?It seemed that all of my songs sounded like recycled Detroit tracks, and that was bringing a brother down!? Inspired to try out new forms Beltran tinkered with drum and bass, bossa nova, salsa, trip hop, and jazz. His quest for something different made him a huge fan of labels like Compost and Ubiquity.
With one last grasp at the past Beltran squeezed out the ?Indio? album for friend and influence Derrick May and his Transmat label. Beltran wished he had made the album for Mays label earlier in the mid-nineties when he was more entrenched in the techno scene. ?People seemed to dig it, but it was the end of a period for me,? he says.
Pushing the idea of quality over quantity for the next 4 years Beltran managed only two new tracks, both released on LTJ Bukems ?Earth 4? compilation. One was a house track called ?Seven miles high? with a rolling bassline and latin percussion. But it was ?Aztec Girl? that shed light on a new depth in Beltrans work. This live funky Brazilian, and jazzy samba track was tagged ?a Latin epic? by Urb magazine and DJ Gilles Peterson demanded that LTJ Bukem give him the test pressing that he was playing, and that he wasn?t leaving till he did (this is apparently a true story and not something we cooked-up at Ubiquity HQ!)
Developing his sound Beltran will release an album for Exceptional records in the UK entitled ?Americano?, due early this summer prior to the Ubiquity album. It?s a chilled-out sun-kissed jazz affair ?a wonderful prelude to love, sunsets, and late night clubbing,? describes Beltran. Watch for the first single called ?Caboclo? and other collaborations with Detroit musician/producer John Arnold.