Track by trackRobbie guides us through the tracks he's selected for this issue's covermount CD…
1. Robbie Rivera The Hum Melody
"'The Hum Melody' was released back in 2002 and was very big for me. I remember Pete Tong playing it live on Radio 1 from the Love Parade. This is a new mix I did with a tech-house and hypnotic vibe. I have been starting my sets with this track because of the first breakdown. Check it out!"
2. Elias R Akuarium
"My label manager Willie Morales picked up this track from a new DJ/producer from Orlando. We're starting to release new music from fresh new talent that can produce the Juicy sound. Elias did it. We love big drums and big breakdowns!"
3. The Rivera Project Reverb
"This is a brand new fresh track I did a few weeks ago. I got inspired by a set I did at Space Miami in the Sunday morning after-hours party. "I wanted to do a track where it's not that banging but builds up slowly so the clubbers can quickly get a drink and run right back to the dancefloor. The track has a unique synth melody that some people think sounds like 'Insomnia' from Faithless."
4. 68 Beats Replay The Night (Gabriel & Dresden Mix)
"This track was released last year and was supported by Pete Tong, Tiësto, PvD, Deep Dish, Mark Knight and many more. I produced the original mix with my partner in London, Ned Bigham, and Gabriel & Dresden did an amazing remix."
5. DMS12 Another Sensation
"Brand new music from Juicy artist DMS12. This one is for the hypnotic house fans that love slow build-ups. I am planning to do a remix as well and blow it up for Ibiza 2008."
6. Rooster & Peralta Let's All Party
"These are my boys. They are funny as hell and have a great sense of humour. They blew up on Juicy with their hit song 'Shake It'. They released this on their own digital label Funkatronik, and I rapidly picked it up for Juicy. Expect a big remix package for this for summer 2008."
7. Willie Morales Boom
"Here is another fresh tune that we will be promoting for Ibiza 2008. Willie Morales is the Juicy man in Miami. He runs the label, listens to demos, uploads music to sites and produces music as well. This is a house banger track but with a groovy electro bassline that builds to this sick breakdown, Juicy style!"
8. DJ Dove I'm Free
"I've known DJ Dove for many years now and finally I am releasing one of his tunes. Roger Sanchez has been rocking the original mix for a while. This is my remix for the dark heads."
9. Willie Morales Bang Goes The Drum (Tony Puccio Mix)
"This track was released last year but new Juicy Music producer Tony Puccio made a tribal house monster that Miami DJs love!"
10. Brian Cross This Summer
"This is a peak-time tune for me. Brian Cross is also a Juicy Music artist and is resident at Amnesia in Ibiza. I tour with him all the time. This track rocks!"
11. Robbie Rivera feat C&C Music Factory DJs - Aye Aye Aye (Ortega & Gold Mix)
"The vocals were produced by Robert Clivilles from C&C Music Factory and we then produced the whole thing and released it last year. The vocal is such a hook, and it has been licensed all over the world so it should pop up again this year. Chriss Ortega and Thomas Gold did a great job remixing this."
12. Juan Diaz & Jorge Montia Soundcheck
"I've known Juan for a few years. We've DJed together many times at Catwalk in Barcelona. He is resident of Pacha Ibiza as well. He did this track and said to himself, 'This is for Robbie!' It was true - very Juicy!"
The Puerto Rican DJ is also visibly keyed up about the arrival of his twin brother, Richie Rivera, who'll be holidaying in Miami during the Winter Music Conference.
When Robbie started DJing at the tender age of 13 all his sets were played back-to-back with Richie. In local circles the Rivera twins were famed for "rocking it" with their ramshackle set-up of one turntable, a battery operated mixer and a cassette deck. "We were fired up," remembers Robbie. "We would play stuff from New Order, Erasure and Bronski Beat and just get really into it, man."
Little did they know back then that Robbie would go on to create No.1 club hits like 'Bang', 'Funk-A-Tron' and 'Sex', as well as underground gems like the hypnotic, slow-building 'Feel This', start internationally renowned record label Juicy Music (which over a decade later is one of Beatport's Top 20 best-selling labels) and become a world-class DJ.
"Yeah, Richie just gave up on the music and became an accountant," says Robbie with a grin. "He's my accountant now but, you know, he still loves to party."
So, if you're on Nikki Beach at this year's Juicy extravaganza you might just spot Richie and Robbie 'avin it at the front. And while he might insist on calling himself "old school", Robbie Rivera is still more than cutting it in the freshness stakes. Just sample his new mix of Ida Corr vs Fedde Le Grand's 'Let Me Think About It' for proof. With his massive WMC Juicy session looming large, Robbie reveals all to DJmag...
What kind of music are you playing out now?
"There's a lot of new progressive, electro and minimal tracks coming out that are a mixture of the three together that I'm really enjoying. I love artists like Deadmau5. Anything that Axwell does is in my bag too. And I play a lot of stuff from my label, of course. I like to play for the ladies. I like to play the vocal tracks as well, but I like it to be tough."
Do you ever play mash-ups?
"Yeah, in the last six months I've been doing a lot of my own remixes of tracks to play in my sets."
"Last week I remixed Daft Punk's 'Around The World'. When I play it it's good 'cos no-one's got it. I also did a bootleg mix of Depeche Mode's 'Strange Love'. Basically, what I do is take the main chorus of the songs and then just add my tribal beats and electro rhythms to it.
"It's not like you're going to go to one of my sessions and hear mash-ups the whole night but I do like to throw one or two in the middle."
What's the clubscene like in Miami at the moment?
"It's really good. We have Space every Saturday right. We have people like Dubfire playing and I play there all the time. Everyone plays there - Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, lots of international DJs. What's good about the scene is that every weekend there's an international DJ playing - it's like Ibiza. "Now they have a little club in South Beach called Deck 23 and it's a very tiny club, for 400 people, and they're going to start bringing international talent to play there. "It used to be that if you went to South Beach most of the clubs were hip-hop and Top 40 music, except at Mansion on Saturdays, so you had to go downtown to hear dance music. The Beach is trying to come back and bring back electronic artists so that's really great."
We hear you just bought a house in Ibiza recently?
"Yes, I bought it in December. I love Ibiza. The minute I land there and I get off the plane I just want to party. It's so relaxing. Nobody gives a shit. You wear whatever you want. We'll be living there from May until October every year, and this year I'm doing Juicy at Amnesia again all summer."
Do you still cane it?
"No. Well, erm, sometimes but not that much. In Ibiza I do go out clubbing a lot. Last time I did drugs was more than 10 years ago. Although now me and Monica are going to be living in Ibiza things might change!"
What's your favourite club in Ibiza?
"I love Pacha for house music and Amnesia for techno and more electronic stuff. Those are the only two clubs I go to in Ibiza. I've never been to Space or DC10."
You've never been to Space!?
"No. I was going to go last summer. The realtor who sold me my house is best friends with Pete Tong and we were going to go together but in the end we stayed in."
When did you first have the urge to make music?
"When I was 15 a friend of mine gave me an old Roland drum machine so I started making beats. Then I went to this music store where they sell instruments and told the guy, 'I want a machine where I can take the vocals out of records' and he just laughed his ass off at me. He told me, 'You need to get the masters from the record companies'. "So I figured that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to make music. When I was 18, after high school, that's what I decided to do."
Is that when you moved to America?
"Yeah. I wanted to study music production and in Puerto Rico there was nothing like that. There was a school in Fort Lauderdale called The Art Institute and I did a music and business degree there. I learned how to use Pro Tools, Digital Audio and Workstation. It was the beginning for me."
Which DJs were you first into?
"I remember back when I was in my early-20s I was interested in David Morales, Louie Vega and Armand Van Helden. I saw Armand play once in Miami really early on at a WMC conference party and was blown away. With David Morales, I followed his music career 'cos he was just huge. Back in the day the remixes those guys were doing were amazing."
What's coming next on Juicy?
"I'm releasing the new C&C Music Factory track 'Move Your Body'. They're coming back, you know. It's three guys now - Ricky Crespo, Robert Clivilles and me."
So you've joined C&C Music Factory?
"Not really. We're all just working as a team together. Robert Clivilles wants to release house music again. You remember back in the day he started releasing music for the underground then it got commercialised so he's decided to do that again and use me and my record label to do it."
What's the new C&C track like?
"It's hip-house. It's got rapping kind of vocals and hooks, it's very commercial but then with tribal, Latin beats that he's always liked. If you had to compare it to anything right now it's very similar to Bob Sinclar's stuff."
Haven't you just finished your second production album?
"Yeah, it's called 'Star Quality'. I tried to make an album of big room club tracks but all with vocals because there are just too many instrumental tracks out there at the moment."
So production-wise have you moved away from your really trippy sounding tracks?
"No. I still do my trippy sounds 'cos I have to. I love that stuff. I just did a remix for Marco V called 'Exhale'. This thing is out-there. I just love doing really weird music but always banging."
How has the digital revolution affected you?
"It's been great for me. I've always had trouble shopping music to labels. I always get the run around. Or they don't like it. Or it's too risky. For example, 'Funk-A-Tron' got turned down by eight labels. Subliminal released it in the end. Subliminal and Erick [Morillo] helped me out a lot in the beginning. "And the digital revolution? Well, you know what, releasing vinyl music is such a pain 'cos you've got to manufacture it and master it and press it. It takes three or four weeks to get that ready, plus promotion, and that's a big delay to release music. Digitally it's great 'cos I do a track today and I can release it next week if I want to. It will sell the same with or without promotion."
What is most lucrative aspect of your career at the moment?
"DJing, definitely. I would say that 90% of my career right now is DJing. Monday to Thursday I'm running my label, listening to demos, working on remixes and then at the weekend I'm out there DJing."
What was your thinking behind your covermount CD for this issue of DJmag?
"I wanted to show everybody the underground sound of Juicy. There are not that many vocals. All the track are very raw and underground. It's all new music that's coming out through the label for the conference."
and how important do you think the conference is to dance music?
"It's not like back in the day. Back then I used to go there to shop a track and sell it for $50,000 dollars. That doesn't happen any more. Now it's all about the clubs and fans."
apart from your Juicy party in Miami, what are you most excited about at the moment?
"'Back To Zero', the first single coming from my new album. I did it last summer and played it at a festival in Poland called Sunrise. There were probably 9000 people in the crowd and they went mad. Someone filmed my set and put it on Youtube and 36,000 people have already seen it. "I've heard that people have been downloading the audio file from Youtube. I hate it when that happens 'cos then I put it on Beatport and people already have it. But in a way it's cool to know that people like it."
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.