Loving The Alien - 016 - Oscar Mulero

Uploaded by W0RKT34M on 14.03.2012

Greetings Earthlings.
My name is STEEL5000
and this is Loving The Alien.
In the last episode we talked about
coffee, yoga, ecology and much more
with Modeselektor.

Tonight, as you may have noticed,
I'll be speaking in Spanish -
because in front of me there is
one of the fundemental artists of Spanish techno.
The Authentic 'Pata Negra'
with you
his magesty.
Oscar Mulero.
Hello Oscar.
Welcome to Loving The Alien.
You are originally from Madrid, right?
That's right.
Could you tell us about your childhood in "El Foro"?
I think it was a rather normal childhood, like any other kid.
I was always playing in the street and not wanting to go to school...
You weren't a good student?
No, I was a good student.
In fact I would study for the exams with a few days ahead of time.
What I mean to say is that I was a capable student,
but I lazy, well not that lazy, but I didn't enjoy studying.
Is it true that back then you carried glories like,
Wind, Chicago or Tina Turner in your DJ bag?
No, that's not true.
It has more to do with the music that we listened in my house...
My Dad, apart from being the drummer in a band,
he also deejayed for a while.
So yeah, we listened to a lot of Wind and Fire,
Chicago, Yes and groups like that.
So in a way it was the first music I listened to.
Madrid in the 1980's is remembered as the years of "La Movida".
What do you remember about those days?
I was really young back then...
In 1980 I was 10 or 11,
so I didn't have a firsthand experience of "La Movida Madrile–a"
I remember seeing the people on the TV programs from that time,
but it was a distant reality for me...
I would have liked to have been part of it.
For me it was a time in Madrid with an explosion of creativity,
very stimulating for both music and cinema.
I would have loved to have been part of it...
How did you get into electronic music?
I began spinning afterpunk
and some goth music,
and electronic body music-
That's how I got into electronic music.
I started spinning things like Bauhaus
or the closest to electronic music was-
Clinic , Front Line Assembly
That was my first contact with electronic music.
It's curious, the majority of my friends who are into techno now
all come from the same music background,
Detroit and Chicago, etc...
Of course that music is part of my history too,
but my roots are from a different place-
more afterpunk, goth music, new wave and all of that
Were you goth?
No, I wasn't very goth,
but I liked to listen to the music of all those bands...
Joy Division, Bauhaus, etc...
I've alway been a fan of that music and it was on TV!
I've kept many memories from that. It's one of my influences.
In the year 1990, a club opens in Madrid that would become history..
Talk to us about New World.
Basically it began as a nightclub, well it had afternoon sessions as well.
When we started working there we began doing after-hours in the morning.
I remember in those days
I would deejay at other nightclubs in Madrid
and then in the morning I'd go to work there.
I believe we opened at 6 am and go until 11 am.
Yeah, it's pretty surprising,
well not that surprising for back then
because they were way more permissive with the club hoursÉ
I remember it was a timeÉ
really authentic.
The people came to listen to the type of music we were spinning
and they dressed the part.
Basically we were played a lot of Electronic Body Music and IDMÉ
some New Beat.
How would you define your style in those days?
I don't knowÉ back then I was a just a beginner DJ
so I was more concerned with the selection of music than anything else.
My technique developed over the years.
But in a way it was more passional, straight from the gut-
I didn't pay that much attention to the technical aspects, just followed the music.
I would go crazy listening to the music I span, I really lived the music.
In 1994 New World closes and then you have a brief residency in Over Drive.
Later that year you open your own session, El Omen.
Could one say that the Omen was a continuation of New World or was it a new concept?
In a way El Omen was a new concept,
especially me and for Ikker, my associate with the club.
For the first time ever we managed our own club.
We were in charge of everything.
So the musical direction of the club, for lack of a better term, was on us.
It was a lot more responsibility, but also very appealing to us.
The power to choose things like the advertising, what type of flyers,
what type of visuals for all the sessions, what type of music and what not.
We were running every session, every hours
so musically it was really interesting for us.
In regards to if it was a continuation of New World, I wouldn't say that.
I think they were different eras.
Especially musically, there was a gap of time in between
and the music was developing so fast back then.
So even in regards to the music itself I'd say that it wasn't an evolution, it was a new era.
Have you ever flirted with House music?
No, not much.
Some Acid House and Techno House in the 90s, but strictly House, no.
The closest thing I've ever spun to House music is
Frankie Knuckles, I guess.
Though for me he's rather Techno, but anywayÉ
So no straight up House, but some music close too House is a very possible yes.
Is there any genre of music that repulses you?
No, there's no music that actually repulses me or that I hate.
Yeah, there are styles of music and bands that I don't like as much
and aren't fun for me, but I couldn't say that the music repulses me.
Well, now, maybe when I was younger I would have said yes,
but now I am more permissive.
Do you know how to play an instrument?
No, I can't really say that I can truly play an instrument.
I did play the bass in a Rock band for 4 or 5 years, no, 6 years.
I don't really remember exactly how many years... but it was more for fun.
I was self taught, I can't really say I play an instrument 100%.
What was the name of your band?
It was called Machine Head at first
and then it changed to Mother Under
We began playing Afterpunk, mostly covers.
In the end we made our own songs, but it was more Power Metal and Death Metal.
It was a discharge and an adrenalyn rush.
Oscar, who is Groof?
Groof, wow-
For me he was one of the best producers in Spain back in those days when I startingÉ
He helped me a lot.
From that era the people I most admire from Madrid are
Leondro G‡mez
HD Substance
or Groof.
And on a national level people like Alex Mart’n.
Groof inpartular because my first EP that I did in my studio
was with him and his label Brainwaves.
I learned a lot from him
We spent a lot of time together in the studio. He helped so much.
Apart from that he also released some music on my label,
I remember he did something on Warm Up a while back
and now he's going to release some new stuff on my label.
I am really happy to be able to return the favor.
That's lovely.
As a owner of two labels, it is style profitable to make vinyls?
No, not at all. At least with the type of music I release on my labels.
In fact to continue releasing music on vinyls is-
It's a bit romantic.
We were talking about it earlier todayÉ
On one hand, there are people who buy our music on vinyl
so we should give them that option,
but on the other, there's no doubt that digital is very established on a professional level.
And it's hard to make back the money you put in to making the vinyl.
Before the hot releases on the label would sell 2,000 or 3,000 copies,
now they sell 200 or 300. It's a major difference.
Today releasing music on vinyl, a physical format, is a type of promotion
that helps get you more gigs and keeps you in the market,
but yeah, we continue to release vinyls.
For me it the most beautiful format available.
And for those who collect its incomparable, especially to binary code in a computer.
Is it true that you created Pole to fight problem of distribution?
Yes, that is true.
Can you explain that?
There were problems with the distribution company that Warm Up worked with back then-
It was about one year, I don't remember exactly-
The distribution company was going bankrupt
and they even lost the masters so we couldn't put out any new releases for a period of time.
So then I came up with the idea of having a second label
with a different distribution company so if something went wrong with the distribution of Warm Up
then I had Pole, as an other platform to be able to keep releasing music.
But now the approach is different.
Now Pole is focused on certain style of music,
a specific kind of techno and Warm Up for other things
So in the end it was a good move.
When did you decided to start using a laptop for spinning music?
I think it was aboutÉ two years ago?
Two years agoÉtwo and a half.
It took me a while to think it over.
Now I've been doing it for two years,
but I was thinking about it probably for another two years.
At first I thought to slowly incorporate it into my set,
but at the end I'm the kind of people that is very radical when it comes to decisions like this.
The truth is that it took some time to get use to it
because after playing records for so long it was instinctive,
I could almost play music with my eyes closed.
All of a sudden I changed my tools and one needs time to adapt.
Did you have to go to psychologist?
A psychologist?!
Did you suffer an emotional trauma?
Absolutely. It might sound like a joke, but it really effected me on an emotional level,
no doubt about it and stresses you of course.
If all of the sudden you have to face 10,000 or 15,000 people
in a festival with a tool that is totally new for you is not a joke.
How do you feel with the change?
Just now I feel more or less comfortable and capable of keeping the same dynamic
in my sets like when I was using the turntables.
When you start using this tool there are lots of possibilities
but I had to be careful because I was going to fast
maybe faster than what you can digest on the dancefloor
To achieve the same dynamic in the transitions between records
was the most difficult for me.
Do you think it affected your style?
No, not at all.
I believe that the DJ above all is a music selector.
It always been like this.
In the past people was playing music with tapes, then very primitive turntables
and after that the Technics and now digital.
At the end what really matters is to transmit something through your musicÉ
The music you play. It doesn't matter what tool you choose.
Tell us about your most Detroit side: Trolley Route.
As a DJ I always liked to make different types of sessions
and the same occurs when producing making different styles of music.
It's something that gives me a lot and makes me somehow more open to new styles.
It gives me a broader perspective my musicÉfor deejaying and producing.
So for me, making this type of melodic techno,
the most musical style in techno, the Detroit sound, started just for fun.
As well as an escape from always working in the same style of music.
It kind of happened accidently, I had a bunch of tracks
so I sent them to Mark Broom because he is a very big fan of this style.
And he was like: "Man, this sounds pretty good.
How about you make some more tracks and send them to me, I'll give 'em a listen
and then maybe we can put out an album on Pure Plastic"
And that was pretty much how it went.
And what about the name? Where does it come from?
Trolley Routes are those things in- Gatwick, I believe.
They're the lanes for people with carts...
so since we are always dragging big bags
I thought well Trolley Route.
Why not? We're always walking with a trolley behind us.
How was the experience of working with the young talent Victor Santana?
Good, the truth is that the style of the label is very interesting.
I think the maxi is doing really well. A lot of people are spinning it.
and as I told you before for me
to be able to release different styles of music
its really fulfilling and it's a lot of fun.
It was a very positive experience for sure.
I hope he does well with his label.
Who is Doctor Smoke?
Doctor SmokeÉ
Well it's me doing a different kind of sessions
and exploring other musical styles.
It's like with Trolley Route when producingÉ
I always liked to take other names to be able to play other musicÉ
It could be electro, IDM or even Drum n' Bass
like the parties we use to make here in Madrid, it could be a lot of things.
Do you feel you have more freedom than as Oscar Mulero?
in a way it enables me to be more flexible
and play what I want to play, 100%.
I mean, when I do my techno sets I alway play the music I want
and I don't really care about trends, but I have to be aware that I have a dance floor in front of me.
especially when its 10,000 or 15,000 people in a big festival.
So playing my sessions as Dr. Smoke in smaller clubs
gives me the freedom of playing music
that in a techno club at 5 AM is very difficult for me to play.
It's really fun for me.
With the celebration of your career's 20th anniversary
comes your first album as Oscar Mulero: Grey Fades To Green.
Could you please talk about the creative process?
OK, well the creative process took me some time,
more than what I thought it would .
I was working for about a year more or less,
just on the first part of the album.
The tracks that are on the Grey disc.
And it took me about another 6 months to do the second part.
It took me longer that I expected...
First off, because all the gigs on the weekend take up a lot of time
and secondly, I was in the process of moving from Madrid to the North of Spain
and I had to reinstall my studio, which took me some time as well.
The creative process was long, plus the process of selecting the tracks took it's time too.
I had something like 30 or 32 tracks and only 14 made it to the vinyl.
I've noticed that the titles of the tracks tell a some kind of story.
Can you talk about this?
The titles of the tracks have a lot to do with the title of the record.
The idea for the album was to do something more conceptual.
I wanted to work around a concept, an idea, something that the album could grow from.
And yes, the titles have a lot to do with this,
especially in the second part, the more melodic part-
It's not that focused on the club, but more on my emotions and things like that
so the titles pretty much follow this concept.
What can we espect from Oscar Mulero the next 20 years?
Wow, that's a lot of years for me to know,
but in the near future as long as I keep having fun with this
I'll continue with my gigs on the weekends and releasing my music and of other artist too.
But right now and for the near future this is what I can say.
20 years is a lot of time.
Well that about wraps it up.
Thank you so much Oscar for being on Loving The Alien.
Thank you! Goodbye everyone!
Coming up on Loving The Alien.
My name is STEEL5000
and this was Loving The Alien.