Ramon Tapia alias El Carlitto, son of a Chilenean musician who had to run from his home country as he stood up against the regime, and a Dutch woman who was brave enough to fall in love, is a funny character, a very ambitious one: No one would have guessed he, the young jeweler working behind the counter of an Antwerp record shop, would one day release records on labels as renowned as Great Stuff, Craft Music, Corachi!, Pocket, Yellow Trail and Equator, just to name a few. But he does! And he does not stop there! With remixes for Butch & Amir and Özgür Can under his belt, things are looking more than good for the energetic player.
With a happy past in gabba and Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones roots, Ramon has a firm understanding of diversity and a very broad taste in music, readily amplified by his open mind and soul. His Latin background and his Dutch upbringing perfectly explain his cultural curiosity and his deep rooted sense for groove and rhythm. Shimmering through in his intrinsic productions is his love for structural buildups and breakdowns and harmonies which underlay the driving beats.
Mission: “To make people move by taking them on a trip in my musical head without even going into my head,” laughs Ramon, who started getting into making music to “have more feeling for the music. I started with some guy I knew from the shop then I learned step by step to create my own sound. After a while I got the impression that the people I worked with never did the things that I had flying around in my head, so I started to do my own stuff. It gives me a huge satisfaction when I see people smile when they hear my music.”
“A lot of music has had a huge influence on my productions: I like everything from oldskool rap, Ice T/NWA, Snoop, Boards of Canada, totally freaked out stuff, everything that makes sound and moves me. I will buy and play electro, house, minimal, whatever you wanna call it, I like everything. I also love the old Latino stuff, the folk of Latin America.”
It shows: Ramon’s music indeed makes people smile - and bounce. It’s filled with the joyous exuberance of the high octane party spirit that initially inspired Ramon to get involved when he was young. It was actually down to his two elder sisters whose musical taste had a huge influence on the youngster. Returning home from the most renowned clubs of the Nineties their gleaming eyes told tales of exuberance and liberation, making Ramon aware of the power of the electronic beats.
Completely fascinated by the sounds of Front 242, Frank De Wulf, Kraftwerk, A Split Second, Tyree Cooper and Kevin "Reese" Saunderson, it was only after his move to Belgium’s techno power capital Antwerp that Ramon started to buy vinyl and become involved in DJing. Working in a record shop while studying to be a gold smith, he realized that music was his life, subconsciously tracing his father’s foot steps.
His dad, the only other musician in the family and whose music was provocative enough to enrage the repressive military government of his home country Chile, is possibly one of the main reasons why Ramon does not get disheartened on his way to the top. “I just want to do my own thing and play.”