INTERVIEW #026 / ALEJA SANCHEZ [PLANET RHYTHM]
Hola Aleja, we are very pleased to host you in our project as the first Columbian artist.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Right, my name is Aleja Sanchez, I was born in Bogota, Colombia, and I've been djing for nine years and producing Techno and Experimental music for six years.
How did you get this passion for electronics and what was is background in this musical genre?
I fell in love with electronic music at a very young. I remember my father collecting Salsa music, I liked it, but I felt something special when I heard this strange music with beats and industrial sounds. I think it was eight or ten years old. In my adolescence, I began to look for those sounds and I found them in some bands like Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and Deftones. When I graduated from school I started to investigate and I found an electronic scene in Bogota which I wanted to be part of, so thanks to the advice and teaching of some friends, I became a dj.
Your last EP on Chicago base label webuildmachines is entitled “order from chaos”. We like those kind of paradoxical titles and we can feel this opposition in the musical content, a very smooth mix of long pads and powerful kick and bass lines. Can you tell us a bit more about this release?
The creative process of making music for me is closely linked to the state of mind and situations I face in everyday life, so "Order from chaos" represents a stage I currently live, where there is chaos, where the music proves to be the light to guide the way to reach peace of mind, to the mental order.
By the way, is there any relation with the Interstellar Fugitives compilation “order and chaos” from UR?
No, the title is due to a personal mood.
Let’s talk about this Change EP on polish label Subraum records. Another harmonical balance between pads and rhythmic patterns. We can find a remix by one of the greatest legend of the techno movement, Damon Wild. What has motivated this choice of remixer?
I didn't know who was going to make the remixes on this Ep. I decided to leave everything to the label and it was an incredible surprise to know that Damon would do the remix. I’ve never expected it and it was really amazing. I can say that the remix of Damon is a motivation for me to keep working hard.
The release that we appreciate the most on your discography was put out on Buenos Aires based label Triamb music on august 2015. Being fanatics of broken beats techno, we found on this release all the ingredients of a great techno tune… How did you came with this greek mythology inspired track names?
I like Greek mythology, and I like to know the role of women in mythology. Athena (Warrior), Artemis (Huntress), Aphrodite (love), I wanted to make a piece of music that represented my understanding of these qualities. The result for me was really special because with this EP I started to feel that I found my sound.
On the deeper side of your releases, there is the one released on Planet Rhythm UK which is one the most considered labels in this Drony Techno movement. Can we say that this is a turning point in your career?
Planet Rhythm release also was a surprise for me. They listened several times to my tracks before giving an answer. For my career, this release is a starting point to show my work, I'm deeply grateful to the label for the opportunity and hope to continue working with them in the near future.
Back in the days, there was a clear separation between the more powerful and and aggressive (in a positive way!) sound and on the other hand the more brainy and deeper stuff. Those recent years saw this separation being more and more abstract. Do you share this statement?
I think this is related with our human dimension and the way we are. We have a strong and aggressive side, but we also have a deep and very sensitive side. I think music is a way to express these dimensions. A music piece can contain one of these sides, or why not both in one piece. Music is an expression of what we feel, and humans feel many things at once, maybe that's why I do not much believe in the separation of the aggressive and deeper.
You seem very active in the techno scene in Bogota. Can you give us an overview of what’s going on there?
Bogota is a city with many contrasts, I think it is having a good time when it comes to consumption of commercial electronic music, but I definitely think it's necessary to open more space and open the mind for the underground circuit and for the alternative proposals. Moreover, I think people need to understand that electronic music is much more than to go to party, it is necessary to teach people, and I think that is not the objective of the clubs here. Festivals like Bogotrax left their mark for this reason, sought to teach people there beyond, the real undertone, without thinking about fashion and consumerism, so I think we need to work on it. We still lack a lot to be done.
We read in your biography that you’re running a monthly radio show called Transgressions. What is this show about and how did you came with the idea?
Transgressions is a show that I run on Global Mixx Radio (NYC) in 2013. The initial idea was to broadcast Aleja Sanchez sessions of two hours each month. I thought it would be selfish not use the space to invite other national DJs who deserve to share their work. Transgressions has became a window for national and international talent in relation with techno and experimental music.
Talking about your dj sets, how would you define the music you’re playing?
I don't usually talk much about my dj sets. I think electronic music is magic because it makes you feel different sensations at once. I think my intension in a DJ set is to show how strong and how deep is this music.
2015 was a hell of a year in the Techno world. Which artists and labels had blown your mind this year?
This universe is very large, there are many people working there and really there are doing excellent work.
It is difficult to choose a few, but I really enjoy and admire the work of artists like Korridor, atom/output, Abdulla Rashim, Dorian Gray, Polar Inertia, Ricardo Garduno, Below Surface, Luigi Tozzi and Ntong. In Colombia, it is wonderful the work of WIRE and Astronomical Telegram. Moreover, talking about labels I really enjoy the sound of Ahrpe Records, Besure, Hypnus, Northern Electronics, Mord and Tono Limited.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Coming soonmy first works on vinyl through Nachtstrom Schallplatten and Illegal alien Records. I’m also planning tour Europe for the second half of next year. I hope it is possible.
What are the European clubs or party concepts that you would like to perform at?
I have not really thought much about it. willbe magical any place where I can act, I'm sure.
How did you built this mix for Paradox project?
I include some of my unpublished works and some promos of Reloading Records, Illegal Alien, Nachtstrom Schallplatten, Besure, and some classics I wanted to do a mix of music that I really like to listen and to dance to dismiss 2015.
Thanks a lot Aleja and hope to see you soon somewhere…
Thanks for the invitation, I hope to see you somewhere soon. a big hug from Colombia for all. thanks for dancing