It’s almost as if fate was conspiring to keep the two friends apart.
Gustavo and John-E both grew up in Lisbon without ever crossing each other’s path. They were however united in their will to walk to the beat of a different drum – their own – and to make the world move to the sound of it.
As teenagers they were torn apart, their paths leading them half a world away, before ever getting the chance to meet. John-E moved to the Far East and, while he was convincing club promoters in Macau that he could become a DJ at any time, Gustavo was exploring the depths of the early 90’s UK Acid House scene.
It was in Brighton that Gustavo and John-E, as young adults, exchanged their first words. They both had a strange fascination with the hypnotic groove that can only be established by a sea of people flooding a dancefloor. The two new-found friends spoke of music for hours. To celebrate this eventful meeting of minds they made a pact, a creative pact: they swore into a “musical alliance” with the same intensity they would have if they had been teenagers swearing a blood oath to protect a dark secret.
The newly established duo then decided they had to move to London. They would solidify their friendship through an apprenticeship in the noisy clubs of the capital and dance, celebrating the sounds of the gods of electronica: Jeff Mills, Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier. They separated once again, but the pact they made on that cold beach in Brighton would flourish when they reunited in Lisbon. They needed to see the world, to travel to different cities where they could experience a wealth of different colours, sights, timbres, grooves and sounds. Only when they had reaped the benefits of their adventures and amassed enough knowledge on the sonic movements of the world could they really be Stereo Addiction. 2001 came and nothing would ever keep the two friends apart again.
When they first started playing together Portugal was tired. Tired of trance and repetitive techno. Stereo Addiction delved into the lessons they learned in their years abroad and, through an amalgamation of their collected memories and experiences, forged an identity that would allow them to crossover into a variety of eclectic sonic adventures. They believed in a plurality that would allow them to rock the dancefloors in a wide range of venues – from the most hardcore underground clubs to the bigger, more established venues, all the while converting anyone within earshot of their addictive fusion of House, Techno and Electro.
The small clubs where they started quickly turned into enormous open spaces, where the crowd that would gather to see them would stretch far into the horizon. Their dreams were slowly but surely coming to fruition.
In 2005 they were nominated for the Best New DJ Act award by “Dance Club” magazine, that very same publication later chose their single “Evolved” as a “must have/must hear” record in 2007.
It was during a DJ set at the prominent Sudoeste Festival, in an evening of growing enthusiasm that Gustavo asked John-E “Do you think we’re going to be able to make people in the crowd hug?” They had just set a challenge for themselves and the die had been cast. It was a simple question, but anyone who witnessed that triumphant gig can attest to the true dynamic nature of the relationship between these two DJs and the infectious, undeniable groove that results from it.
If you saw them play at Creamfields 2007 in Lisbon or at the Rock in Rio Lisbon festival the next year you were privy to the commotion. They had become experts in the field of movement for the masses, destroying dancefloors with surgical precision. The duo now crossed paths with their idols whom they had long admired. They shared DJ booths with such dance music legends as Carl Cox, Sasha and John Digweed.
In the meantime they were flooded with invitations to play all around the world. The rumour that they were capable of miracles spread to the dancefloors of Japan and later melted the ice of Swiss clubs. London, the city that had played such an important role in shaping the duo’s identity, welcomed them back with open arms. In 2007 they participated in the Atlantic Waves Festival alongside Anderson Noise and Mixhell. They also played at the legendary Notting Hill Arts Club, Plastic People and The Egg as well as AKA, Cargo and the famous art gallery/bar Sketch.
It was then that they met another Portuguese DJ, Rui da Silva (of Underground Sound of Lisbon fame) who immediately took them under his wing. In 2008 his label Kismet released the Stereo Addiction remix of the Husley & Gunz track “Wet Yourself” and John-E´s “Melt-A-Seltzer”.
They also shot their first music video for their new single “Shades of Light” on the streets of London. The video itself is a humble tribute to vinyl thieves everywhere. It is misfits like these that believe that through music there is an infinite sharing of experiences. The track will be released on Kasey Taylor’s eVapour8 Recordings.
John-E continues to perfect his style; in cinematic fashion he strives to create an unexpected, thought provoking, surprising twist ending to his DJ sets. Gustavo, meanwhile, has a wealth of projects and new sonic avenues to explore – He was one of the organizers of the groundbreaking “Groovy Beach” tent at the Boom Festival 2008, which was home to a whole wealth of international techno talent.
If fate had designed a meeting for these two boys that would later be revealed to be musical soul mates, none of what is happening to them now would have such a perfect taste.