Hi Nacho and welcome to Different Grooves
Hi friends, it’s a pleasure for me to respond to your questions, and show my music to all your followers.
Starting from the early beginning, how did your music career start and what are some of the key moments so far?
I’ve been really lucky to have been in contact with music since I was young, thanks to my mother’s family. My grandfather was a great Spanish guitar player and music teacher, and at home there was always a piano or a guitar to play and experiment with. When I started to listen to electronic music, what fascinated me most was the idea of creating, rather than mixing. I started to compose music at 1995, using Trackers (multi-track digital sound tracker / music sequencer released by Jeffrey Lim as Freeware), until I finally got to buy my first Groove Box. For my first performances I only used an MC303.
The period when I was part of the duo Bread and Butter, together with Joaquín Gemio, helped me to grow as an artist. We learnt a lot together, both about producing and about live performance. We worked with different styles, but we got to be known especially in the Spanish Breaks scene. One of our most important concerts was in 2004, at Live Dance Festival, where we played for 8,000 people, and shared the stage with Orbital, amongst others. We continued to work together until the Bread and Butter project was dissolved in 2009.
After that, I refocused on my solo career, but you can also feel influences from that previous collaboration on my new productions, particularly through the different styles we worked with (Electro, Breaks, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Techno, House, Progressive). My career now is focused on my solo productions and remixes, the work on my Univack Records label, and my live performances.
Tell us about your new album ‘We Live To Die’: the ideas behind the album, how you built and arrange it, and which is your favourite track and why?
After a few years of releasing EPs and remixes, I wanted to create a reference point with more content, with different original songs that would show a wider range of sounds and rhythms with which I like to work. I tried to get a more mature and fresh sound, but without sacrificing my own style. Within these new tracks I have chosen to experiment with different grooves and rhythmic resources, often using less sound layers, and caring more about the details and the structures, along with my premise of seeking a harmonious balance between percussion and melody.
I always try not to be influenced by the artists or music that are popular at any given moment. I think this mindset is the best way for making that journey to find your own sound – a sound that marks your path as a creative artist – but I think it is almost impossible not to feel the influence of the music that you like to listen to, in some ways. When I compose music I try to make music that makes everyone dance, not only with the body but also with the mind, and if it is possible, try to create some timeless tunes.
The album title is a call to life, a call to the desire to live without fear, feeling proud of the gift that the Universe made us. And appealing to what I think is our main goal in life, which is none other than to create beauty in our way through this world.
It’s too difficult for me to pick some favourite tracks from my album. Each one has a great relevance for me. If I have to, I would dare to choose ‘Timanfaya’, ‘Meliflua’, ‘Yerevan’, ‘Brain Mousse’ and ‘Sell Your Faith’… These tracks were a great challenge for me, and always give great feelings when a play them in my live sets.
You play live rather than DJ, why is this? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What does your live set-up consist of? What is your favourite bit of gear?
Unlike other electronic artists, at the beginning, what fascinated me was the idea of composing the music that DJs used in their sets, rather than being a DJ myself. I’ve never mixed, truly – I’ve always composed and performed my music live, with the very same machines I use at home.
I believe that performing live is the best way of expressing myself artistically in front of an audience, and I would love to see more live shows at electronic events and festivals – or, at least to see more DJs performing their own music. I try to make sure my live show has an artistic component, but it also effective on the dance floor like a traditional DJ set is. I love performing – it’s one of the biggest rewards I get for spending so many long hours in the studio. Seeing with your own eyes what people feel with your music is really beautiful. With my live show, I want people to dance and enjoy, with the feeling of listening to something “different”.
My current set-up is very basic – at least much more than it was years ago, when everything was hardware. I’ve tried to minimize the problems of using a very big rider, and make the most advantage of the potential and easiness of modern technology. For my live performances I use a MacBook Pro, Akai APC40, Ableton Push, and audio FocusRite.
Integral Bread in the next 6 months: reveal to us your future plans?
Right now, I am preparing for some gigs in Spain, Austria, and Belgium in the next months, and I’m in the process of creating new tracks, as well as the original soundtrack for a video game. Among the works that are about to be launched, is a very nice EP in collaboration with Elio Kr, with three original tracks and one remix (to be released on my label UNIVACK Records later this year). Also, there is a remix I did for a Manu Riga, a track that will be release soon on the Bonzai label. Also we are programing a remixes release of the tracks from my recent album, with some great names from the actual deep progressive and tech scene.
Thank you & it was a pleasure to spend quality time with you
Thanks for this opportunity & for your support