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Nicola Cruz's mountain music

Nicola Cruz's mountain music

Ecuadorian DJ and producer Nicola Cruz brings the sound of the Andes to the electronic dance music scene. Literally.

Besides using traditional Andean instruments, such as zampoña and quena flutes, Cruz, 28, records the sounds of running rivers, whistling birds and other things he hears in the mountains, and incorporates them in his music. Cruz says he sees the mountains take form when people dance to his music in bars and clubs.

"I like to have this pre-image in my head to play music. I picture something, a lake, and then I try to translate that to music," Cruz says from his home in Quito. "It's interesting to see how it works the other way around, when...