House Music legend, Stereo club Montreal founder, DJ, producer, remixer & sound-system designer Angel Moraes died suddenly yesterday surrounded by family.
Having been on the scene for over 25 years, smashing dance floors with his unique house jams, the legendary Angel Moraes was also knowned for creating awesome bespoke sound systems and especially modeled the one from club Stereo in Montreal.
” I’ll never forget the first time I heard Welcome To the Factory by Angel Moraes. A simple hi hat lures you in. Layered white noise adds to the tension….washing through a relentless build. The throbbing bass line. The modulation. The sound design. The vocals. The breakdown. The journey. 14 minutes of epicness! A track like I’d never heard before…a tracks that still stands like a colossus on any dance floor.
Angel clearly understood sound. Sonics. Frequencies that demanded your attention. He built sound systems. Bespoke legendary sound systems. Stereo in Montreal enjoys its incredible reputation amongst DJs and clubbers alike due to Angel’s installation.
Angel’s label Hot n Spycy reflected his knowledge. House music that crossed genres. From Junior Vasquez to Sacha…..Murk to David Morales….all supported. I signed his production I Like It at my previous label AM:PM. I got to know him back then and recently spoke to him about working with him on his incredible catalogue. He was an amazing soul and, even as one of House musics unsung heroes, will leave an incredible legacy. “
– Simon Dunmore, Defected Records CEO & Founder
His death has been confirmed today by the club he founded, build, designed & sound-designed with Brian Wilson more than 20 years ago.
Remembering Angel Moraes
Brooklyn-born Angel Moraes came of age in the golden era of NYC’s legendary disco and house scene, after being a a regular for the late night underground groove at Jellybean’s New-York Funhouse parties in 1982, he was then introduced to the magic of the Paradise Garage by a friend.
But the Paradise wasn’t just another club for him, he discovered there a legendary sound-system built by local legend Larry Levan, and it became his home then:
” It was everything, like living in a dream. When you have danced in a place that amazing – you start to set pretty high standards.” The Garage sparked a fire in Angel that he carries ’till today. “
– Angel Moraes
From Larry Levan to Angel Moraes: Sound-system designers genius
However, something was missing for the DJ & Producer in NYC; A place to call home. In 1996, Moraes fly to Montreal, Canada, decided to bring his vision to life : To build a custom analogue sound system that would rival all others clubs.
In 1998 after two years of painstaking planning, the Stereo Montreal afterhours club was born. It was a dream realized. Soon after opening, the custom designed installation became a Mecca for international dance-floor aficionados and talents alike, all seeking to take part in what has been described as a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience.
” Stereo’s sound system was inspired by my nights at the Paradise Garage and the truth is when the Garage closed I hadn’t heard that type of sound till the original Sound Factory and Sound Factory bar opened.
Then when they closed and nobody had that monster sound anywhere, so I decided I wanted to hear it again and built my own ! Most people thought I was crazy, but it worked and Stereo is still there 20 years later, so I guess I wasn’t that crazy.
I ain’t no genius and people are quick to judge, but everything is crazy until you do it. Then all of a sudden it’s genius, people lack vision or balls or both sometimes, so I don’t mind being the guinea pig every once in a while. “
– Angel Moraes
An avant-garde and visionary producer and remixer
Back in 1993, Angel Moraes sacrificed the security of his day job, traded in his beloved sports car and founded Hot n’ Spycy Recordings with partner Jeffrey Rodman (who co-owned Sound Factory Bar and managed Twilo).
Angel set out on a mission to introduce a whole new sound, and introduce it he did. From his very first productions “Release Yourself“, “The Cure“, “I Like It“, “Heaven Knows“, the Moraes sound started making noise, lots of noise.
With drum patterns, dirty bass lines, industrial sounds, and stirring vocals, the likes no one had ever heard before, Angel Moraes was quickly creating and pioneering an industrial sound that is widely used in productions today, establishing Angel as a highly respected and sought after Producer/Remixer.
However nothing could prepare him for the success of his future anthem. Released in 1996, “Welcome To The Factory“, the seminal, now classic underground anthem absolutely exploded.
Dedicated to the original legendary Sound Factory manned by the one and only Junior Vasquez, this track defined an era & inspired legions of people, especially fellow DJ/producers to take a different approach in the way tracks are produced. Many of those producers are highly respected artists in the dance scene today.
Very early in his career Angel Moraes was invited to work on projects for The Pet Shop Boys, KD Lang, Jamie Myerson, Jocelyn Brown, Loleatta Holloway, and most recently Suzanne Palmer, Roy Davis Jr., and Dana Divine.
A true purist to the end
Asked in 2019 about his vision of the current music scene in relation to its history, he stated :
” While it’s great to be aided by the computer to realize a musical vision, I think its blasphemy to use it to create your “musical vision” and call it yours because it’s not yours. I watch people copy and paste pieces of other music to create tracks in 30 mins. The problem with that is:
1. its not your music.
2. you’re not creating at all, you are copying and pasting.
3. because of the ease of it you don’t gain any discipline, therefore, you don’t respect it.
I am thankful for the computer, I really am, but I think it has hurt us in more ways than it has helped us. Perhaps its because of the timeline that I have been alive but I firmly believe that need is the mother of invention/creation.
If we have some kind of device that does 80-90% of the work for us, how are we gonna stimulate creativity?
Less we forget music is an art form not a science project. “
– Angel Moraes
Angel Moraes will be memorialized in two ceremonies: one in New York, and the other in Montreal. No official details for either service have been announced yet.