David Penn is one of Spain’s best and best-known DJ/producers, and an international name in his own right. He’s had worldwide house hits, including the massive ‘The Night Train’ under the name Kadoc in the mid-90s; scooped a string of awards for his DJing, production and Urbana label; and is part of the New Iberican League with DJ Chus and Abel Ramos.
He’s worked with a veritable who’s who of house music, recorded for a string of top house labels such as Defected, Stealth, Black Vinyl and Purple, and is now releasing his long-awaited ‘Sound Of Urbana’ mix compilation that showcases the best of his own Madrid-based label.
David started out in music at the age of nine. Learning classical piano as a schoolboy, he’d soon gravitate onto jazz, bossa nova and Latin rhythms, and absorb the music that his drummer father would play around the house – Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson.
He played in bands a little bit, but when he started to meet DJs and go to clubs he became seduced by electronic music – particularly house and garage from the United States. For David it was a revelation that one person could make music by himself in electronic music production.
He was soon making dance tracks, and started up his own Zen label to principally release his own productions. Becoming a producer first, with the advantage of his early music training, has really helped David in his career, he believes. “It’s easier for me to make a track with harmonies in the studio,” he says. “I always try to use some musicality when I have to make remixes or do an original song. Not just kick and bassline – I need the music.”