Winter Music Conference

Award Tour

Not that long ago, Argentine DJ Hernan Cattaneo refused to acknowledge his world-class status and claimed, "I don't think I'm Mr. Big DJ yet."

Well, things have changed. Cattaneo's deep house-and-progressive marathons have earned him a reputation among clubbers around the planet, and he's a regular feature at hot Tokyo discos such as Yellow and Womb. Last year thousands of DJ magazine readers voted him into sixth place on its influential top-100 list, making Cattaneo the first South American DJ to appear on the chart. Nevertheless, he says modestly: "I never felt comfortable with the idea of being a big shot. I think that after a run of six years, there are more people paying attention to what I'm doing. Honestly, I'm always trying to do my best."

Cattaneo's rise began in 1997 when Paul Oakenfold discovered him playing at Pacha in Buenos Aires. Oakie subsequently invited him to do some warm-up sets; Cattaneo didn't expect to be touring nonstop for three years with his new friend, nor did he imagine his mixes would be issued on Oakenfold's Perfecto Records. Both things happened a long time ago.

Since then Cattaneo's fame has grown so much that he plays three different cities a week in a yearly tour that includes four U.S. jaunts, three visits to Asia, and two to Australia, plus all the European clubbing that comes with living in London from April to November. He also loves Miami's WMC.

"It's an institution," he says. "In the beginning it had the best DJs in the world, and now it has every DJ in the world!"

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Javier Andrade

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