Brooklyn Digging with John Barera

When describing John Barera, look no further than RA’s label as ‘New York techno scene’s hardest-working DJs.’ For a decade and a half, this artist puts in the time behind the decks of Brooklyn’s most consistent dance floors. With an ear for A&R and a solid studio resume, Barera is truly a purveyor of dance. Advocate for record shops and all the local labels out there put in the time, his sets are a masterclass in crate taste.  As the face behind more than one grassroots label known for consistent quality, John is more than just a hard worker, his ear is much of the talent.

An admitted convert of the European scene, Barera’s early 20’s were spent immersed in Dutch dance. His gained passion for relentless house with an edge of electro is evident today in timeless sets made for the floor. As many are well aware, the infectious culture of Western Europe’s super clubs are a unique experience in underground refinement. While living near the epicenter of all things hard, it’s no surprise that Barera crafted a unique taste while a resident of Rotterdam. Mix that will the bit of Berlin-esque electro likely rooting from the BNR movement, John’s current sound of gritty dance is a unique blend of the times. 

“When I encountered techno and proper European techno clubs, good record shops like Clone (Rotterdam), it all changed for me then.”

During his time on the other side of the water, John learned the trade of crate digging among iconic shops with stacks of local labels. He quickly gained an affinity for seeking out the unknown and introducing new sounds into the repertoire. With a production debut as duo B-Track in 2011, John launched his first label Supply Records with the release. The label quickly became a canvas for original productions and solid A&R work by the Brooklyn-based artist. Familiar streets of the city that never sleeps set the framework for what was to come. As a vinyl distributor, Barera quickly became a local legend of the wax trade.  

“It’s about ‘is this track going to be something I am going to really play out’ and happily so, does this music fit with what I am trying to do.”

After teaming up with local artist Will Martin in 2014, the duo’s similar background in labels led to ongoing collaboration. Tapped by Panorama Bar resident Steffi for an album debut on Dolly, Barera’s sounds quickly made the rounds in Berlin’s elite circles. Later releases on Chicago’s Argot and Mike Simonetti’s 2MR solidified this collab as a cornerstone of both artist’s production identity. 

Fast forward to today and Barera remains as a consistent fixture at the top of New York’s late-night techno scene. John’s latest creation started as a monthly night in BK’s coveted Bossa Nova Civic Club. Partnering Volxov early in her meteoric rise, their sounds fit just right and Jack Dept was born. Curated night eventually let to a label and 10 digital releases later vinyl came naturally. 

  John’s background on the ground floor of techno sees him constantly supporting a diverse crate filled with exciting artists and labels. The story behind each record varies, but the excitement of playing a killer track stays the same. We wanted to see these stories in action, so we followed John to local favorite Human Head. Finding familiar names as well as completely new ones, John’s mastery of selection is an inspiration for all DJs. Focused on picked records that have a natural place in his set, Barera’s not afraid to take risks for the dancers. As expected, his picks didn’t fail to impress. Digitally dig through these, five solid records that you can depend on. 

  1. VPR09 – Flora FM – Flora FM EP – Vanity Press
  2. BFDM014 – Simo Cell – Pogdance EP – Brothers From Different Mothers
  3. MT-005 – DJ Duke/Tribal Liberation – The Afri-Kha E.P. – Power Music (Trax)
  4. BU-M 005 – Jenifa Mayanja ‎– Fragments EP – Bu-Mako Recordings
  5. FE001 – LadyMonix ‎– Bc I Want To – Frizner Electric