Serious dance music fans know the "Balance" label CD series provides some of the most stunning sonic journeys that progressive house and techno has to offer. Recent masterpieces include creative sets by Joris Voorn and Will Saul, but the latest release by Agoria, a French DJ also known as Sebastien Devaud, might top them all. Catch Agoria during WMC at Sunday's 24-hour Sunday School for Degenerates party at the Ice Palace, along with Danny Howells, Lee Burridge and many more.
What does the name Agoria mean to you?
It came from a long time ago when we were organizing parties in the early '90s, and the name of the parties was Agoria. It's Greek, meaning a place where people meet to express their feelings about society and the government and stuff. And then one day my friend put the name Agoria on the flyers for that night, and I said "Who is this DJ?" And my friend told me he's a good DJ, a newcomer from the town, and I said OK. And then an hour before the slot for Agoria, my friend said, "It's you - you have to go to your home and take your records, because you're going to play in one hour." And that was a little surprise to introduce me, because I was otherwise too shy to play.
How did you first get into dance music?
The first record I bought was from Inner City from Detroit - at that time it was a mainstream hit in my country, on all the major radios, and I was really young, but I was really appalled and astonished by it. And I remember my father didn't want me to buy this record because it wasn't music, and this electronic thing we don't accept, and I was so young I couldn't buy it.
So all weekend I cleaned all the cars around the neighborhood to make the two dollars I needed to buy this record. That was my very first experience with dance music.
How would you describe your sound?
I'm quite eclectic, I think - you can hear that in the Balance mix CD. I can play all kinds of music, from techno to indie to electronica. It really depends on the party and the audience, and as a DJ I'm always trying to spin different kinds of music because I think nowadays we hear so much music everywhere and I think a good DJ should be open-minded. I was always surrounded by music because my parents were really into music and classical stuff. My mom was an opera singer and my dad's really addicted to records, too. I had the chance to be really open to all kinds of stuff really young. So I have no barriers - you never know what to expect from my sets.
Have you performed at WMC before?
No, it will be my first time in Miami, so I really don't know what to expect. And I know a lot of people are really excited by that week all the time, so I think it must be something good.