Emerging Festival Ibiza was the most leftfield contribution to what’s already proving to be a musical shake-up year for the White Isle. A series of events, day and night, all promoted artists that had been handpicked by a panel of experts including Steve Lawler, Audiofly, Renato Ratier and Yousef. The focus was on raw music talent, rather than social following, previous gigs or general hype.
VIBE cornered a selection of the emerging stars for a quick behind-the-booth chat. >>>>>>>>
words: Ally Byers
1. Marino Canal‘I’m not held back by traditional methods or views’What was the turning point from bedroom DJ to here?
In 2012 - I was working in Berlin and I had a girlfriend and then one day everything went to shit! So I moved back to Spain and I made some music and I sent it to Danny Whittle who loved it and me signed onto his IBZ management agency. I’d been producing for 5 or 6 years previous to this, but this was the turning point. I guess everyone would love to make partying a lifestyle, but I’ve been lucky enough to do it.
Talk us through your music:
With production - there’s no set of rules to make a track. I might have a sample, or a snippet from a YouTube video that I ripped off, I might build a track from that. I might start with a vocal, or a loop. I don’t think I’ve ever started a track the same way. When I make a track I try not to be limited by anything. People say similar things about my tracks- use words like ‘organic’ but really I just go with how I feel.
With DJing, I use Traktor. It gives me the most freedom. I get the hypocrites, who come into the booth playing only vinyl and say to me ‘I wouldn’t play on a shitty laptop’ but I just feel it’s about what you play, not what you play on!
What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Probably deciding what you’re gonna send. You make a few tracks and then you think: does this represent me as an artist? That’s the hardest call to make.
What’s the next stage for you?
I have some European gigs coming up - but really, hopefully just making a decent living out of this!
2. Patrick Topping‘Local club DJ turned international rising star’You’ve come through the traditional route as a DJ, running your own nights in bars in Newcastle - as opposed to the straight bedroom-producer route. Do you think that’s affected how you view DJing and producing?
I’m not sure, but I’m glad I did. I’ve seen promoting from a promoters side, so I know what to expect and what’s expected of me.
You were signed to Hot Creations, after which things really began to take off. How did that come about?
I’d been producing for a few years, just working away on tunes, then I had a mate who forwarded a track I’d given him to the Hot Creations camp. I was pretty unhappy as I didn’t think my tunes were ready - I wanted to get a few more tracks done before I put them out there - also it was to the general demo address and they must get loads every day, so I guess they can’t always get through all of them. But apparently Jamie’s tour manager picked it up and, well it went from there!
Talk us through your production:
My setup’s very modest. Just an IMac and a few plugins. Process wise, what I’ve learned is I used to try and make a track sound a certain way, and you’d be working hard at that and it’d take fucking forever! Now I just go with whatever comes out and run with it.
You’ve had two number one’s on the Beatport tech-house chart. Do you feel an added pressure now?
Yeah, but it’s self imposed pressure. I’ve always wanted to better every track with every new track, so that’s no different really!
You played DC10 last summer- your second-ever booking through an agent! You have a residency there this summer - are you going to be approaching your sets there differently now you’re a resident?
Yeah I’ve been thinking that through. There’s a lot of different line-ups, so I guess I’m going to adapt it to who else is playing around me, but then I also wanna push my own sound, so I guess it’s going to be an ongoing balancing act.
3. Moreon & Baffa‘The Strategists’How did you guys start out?
We started in the ‘90s, we were the only people playing our sound in Venezuela, a kind of mellow techno. We lived in different cities but met each other at gigs, as we were playing the same kind of stuff. We moved to Barcelona together. We’d come from Latin America where electronic music was not as big, so that needed to happen to get our name out there.
You’re signed to Visionquest. How did that come about?
We had a personal connection at Visionquest, but first we wanted our sound to be right. So we waited and waited until we had a few tracks. We sent them over, and they liked it straight away! But then, this was 3 or 4 years of planning, because it takes serious time to make your own sound.
What’s the hardest part of building a track or producing?
Defining a sound. If you DJ, if you’re surrounded by music, it’s easy to get into a bit of techno, a bit of house, it’s hard to really have your own sound.
Is there a release strategy in place your side?
There’s a planning aspect to it, but we’re not the guys sitting in the big chairs making that decision. We often think a track would be good for spring, or good for summer, but often it’s a case of, if it’s ready - we’ll send it.
What are your plans for the future?
We really want to build a South American following - we’re travelling through there to build contacts and a following. The first track on Visionquest is coming out as a vinyl-only special edition in July too.
4. Detlef'The name changer'
When I started out it was very hard to break into the local scene. There were a few DJs, a few promoters and that was it. I released a track on a well known label in 2008 under a different name and that went really well, the track got nominated for grammy awards and so on and then I changed my name. I did something different, then that went well, so I changed my name again. Then I became Detlef - which is the name I’ll keep forever.
Why the name changing?
It’s a psychological thing. Every time I achieved something major I wanted to try and do something new, something better, something different, sometimes just something more...musical and I felt I had to change my name to do that.
What’s the hardest part of making a track?
The part in the middle, when a lot of the composition’s done, but you’re not finished. Because you listen to it over and over and it’s hard to tell whether it’s good or not anymore. It’s about passing that stage, and finishing it because you almost always have something good. But that middle part is awful - I’ve lost many tracks that might have even been good because I got caught in the middle!
Do you purposely try to create one sound?
No, no. That’s why I kept changing my name, to get away from that. It’s about finding a groove, but a groove can come from absolutely anywhere!
5. Anek'The Danish Duo'How did you two start out?
We went to school together, we went to Ibiza on holiday we bought some vinyl, got some local DJs to teach us to beatmatch and pretty soon we were playing locally in Copenhagen. Over time, importing vinyl from Ibiza and playing out as a kind of novelty duo, we suddenly realised we could make a go of this. After a few years in Denmark we had gigs every weekend, we had a radio show, and it was when we started playing abroad we realised this was happening.
How did production come together?
It came really slowly, off the back of DJing. We compliment each other well - we’re not a duo where one’s technical, one’s not - we just ping ideas back and forth all the time and since we started off on the same page, we seemed to have grown into music the same way. We have the same music brain! It works well because sometimes when you’re on your own for hours and hours you almost become deaf - so it’s good to always have a second set of ears.
How does DJing in a duo work for you?
Ah! To keep things fresh we never show each other what we’re going to play - we prepare both our sets differently. That makes it fun as we learn to adapt to each other. If we knew all the tracks we were playing, it wouldn’t move in different directions, whereas this way we can use the energy of the crowd we can do different things.
What philosophy do you guys stick to?
Ours is strange: never ask for a gig. Just play what you like to play and if people want to book you off that, there isn’t a pressure to perform in a certain way or to change your sound - you can go with your natural flow as you were doing already.
6. The Mekanism‘The Flying-opinions Frenchman’How did you start out?
When I was 15, but I was playing in a VIP club in Paris and it was shit. but the good thing about playing shit clubs is when it’s late and everyone’s drunk, you can kinda play what you like!
What was the turning point?
About two years ago I released my first EP on Needwant. Since then I travelled around the world and I knew that at that point this was my chance. I like Emerging because this is the first time you can be a nobody in Ibiza and still make it
Talk us through your production:
My first EP I did it in my girlfriend's bedroom, which was hard as bedrooms are shit environments to concentrate in. After that I travelled a lot, which was also hard because if you’re touring the vibe is always changing, London feels different to Mexico, you know. I sat for four months in my studio, and just did what I loved. It’s caught on - three EPs in three months. And I’d done hardly anything for the last two years. I learned it’s not about what I play, it’s how I feel.
What would you be If you weren’t a DJ?
What?! I don’t understand. If I wasn’t a DJ I’d be nothing. I’d be taking money from the state! I’ve never known anything else.