Since first coming to our senses thanks to his work at the MEXA label, Mexican producer Alex Rubio has constantly impressed us with his forward-thinking sound. It’s an agenda that’s shared in the label he helped run for years, MEXA, and while the label will naturally always be close to his heart, his recent sound forays see him introduce us to a new label in the form of Cohesive. With the imprint’s first release coming at us from Rafael Cerato, it too looks set to leave its mark on the scene in its own inimitable way.
– How are you? How’s life been treating you recently?
I’m good thanks, a few life problems as usual but other than that I can’t complain.
– What does your 9-5 consist of these days? Does it differ every day?
It’s different every day in some areas but mostly I listen to new music, try and get some studio time, exercise and work on the label.
– So how often do you get to the studio these days? Are you still learning your craft in that regard?
I haven’t had much time in the studio since I’ve been working on MEXA and putting the new label together but I do have some tracks I’m about to finish. Hopefully they’ll see the light of day soon, and yes, I’m still learning a lot in the studio.
– How have you found the whole production aspect of things? Do you find it an uphill struggle? Or are you just as keen as ever to learn?
It’s a fun process but can get very tedious and challenging for me because I don’t know how to play any instrument correctly, but my motivation to keep learning pushes me to keep trying.
– What do you find is the most frustrating and challenging part of production?
The mixdown. Its fun but can take days to finish. Usually longer than the creation of the track.
– Was there one day when you realized you’d settled on your sound? Or does your sound change all the time?
My sound has always been techno based. It does change as I add different elements to it but maintains its roots.
– How do you keep it fresh then? What still inspires you to make music?
I honestly don’t know, inspiration is hard to come by sometimes, but most of the time I think it comes from other people and the experiences you live.
– You’re setting up a new label. Will it feature your own tracks only? Or other producers you admire too? What’s the overall vibe behind the label?
I’ll be definitely releasing some of the tracks I’m about to finish and also tracks by producers I look out to. I’m very excited about some of the music I’ve been signing.
– So will there be a lot of Mexican producers involved? Are there a lot of talented producers coming out of the country right now?
Yes, I have two new talents signed to the label both from Mexicali. I don’t want to say much but there are good things coming. The country has some excellent producers but they all want to make it and sign their good tracks with big labels, so coming across good tracks made by producers from Mexico is a bit hard sometimes.
– Do you get to go clubbing much in Mexico these days? What are your favourite places to play in and really let go?
Playa del Carmen is one of my favorite places in Mexico but the people in Monterrey really got it going on. Cheers to all of them.
– Are you more influenced by the scenes in Europe and North America then? How does it all compare?
I haven’t been to Europe so I can’t really answer this but I think I’m definitely more influenced by the Europe sound anyway.
– Do you find inspiration in other types of music too? Anyone in particular?
Yes, in almost all of them. Any track or genre can inspire you to create something new. There is always something you can take and recreate. Hip hop music really gets to me when listening, specially the music not lyrics.
– Is there ever a time when DJing feels like a real job for you? Does the traveling ever get you down in that regard?
I’ve always taken it seriously because I made it my real job. I do this 24/7 and I love it. Traveling does get very annoying and tiring but I can’t let it bring me down. It’s part of the job as it is to have fun too.
– So have you got a tour set up to promote the new label? Will you playing anywhere cool?
I’m still working on that actually, so watch out!
– Anything you want to get off your chest right now?
There are so many things I could say but I’d rather just let time do the talking.
– And what more can we look forward to from Alex Rubio?
Besides MEXA and COHESIVE, some new releases I’m currently working on which are sounding nice.
Interview by James Jopkins
Rafael Cerato’s Gladiator EP is out soon on Cohesive