Antonio Caballero has found himself thrust into a creative life of music making. It was a copy of Santana’s Abraxas that lit the spark, inspiring Antonio to pursue a musical calling. As that album’s diverse mix of cultural influences spoke to Antonio’s Latin American heritage, now deeply embedded in the USA, a combination of genres and styles would later define his own amalgamation of sound. An introduction to the vibrant rave scene in Chicago and several inspirational sets by various house legends coincided with a roommate’s purchase of a Roland synthesizer, and Antonio realized that electronic dance music was the path to follow to reach his musical mission. A style he cheekily refers to as “Posh Latin Moods” and “Congruent Techno” was developed, triggering dance floor reactions through intricate percussion, building melodies, and a decidedly dark ambiance.
After much recorded trial-and-error, Antonio finally felt confident enough to send his initial tracks to a handful of labels that he respected and would hope to be aligned with. To his surprise the label that first took interest was DJ legend Francois K’s renowned Wave Music. The result was the The Snowtr_ck EP released under Antonio’s artist pseudonym Syphon. Issued on 12″ vinyl in 2002 this EP of dark tech-house energy marked a promising start for Antonio Caballero, giving him the push he needed to further refine his sound and form his own label, Panama Red Records. As Antonio’s musical dreams developed so did an ambition to launch his own label, and Panama Red has become the major outlet for his prolific output. He’s had a string of well-received singles on the label including “Divina”, “The Pajaro Loko”, and “Next Up” that have established him as a potent force in the US house music scene.
In 2010, Antonio launched the sublabel Parity because, as he puts it, “I started listening to old vinyl and tunes on the Internet. I ran into Digital=Divine tunes on the Internet. I listened. The tunes took a hold of me. [It] took me back to that ominous place that I discovered while writing “Trapped”. Between listening to Digital=Divine’s music and listening to my old techno and ambient records I decided that I would like to pursue launching a music label that would capture some of these feelings. Somewhere in between Chicago, Detroit, and ambiance. Sounds to ponder, too.”
Since then the label has featured tracks from Gustavo Lamas, Random A, and El Pierro that capture the elements of Chicago, Detroit, and ambiance so crucial to the Parity sound. It has also given Antonio the chance to move away from the uplifting, soulful house sounds of his Panama Red label and explore dark, moody textural spaces as Syphon.
“The “unbound” feeling the music leaves coupled with the warm feeling of “art acceptance” is what I lost when I put art on hold. I yearned for it. Now it consumes me.” Things are only just getting started for Antonio Caballero and the future looks very bright for him, his music, and his label.