Q + A : ARTIK
Alongside his remarkable contribution to the series, we sat down with Artik to find out more about his Tresor and live act debut, his collaboration with Monolith records and his upcoming projects.
Alae RAMDANI | 05th January 2017
Hi Guillermo, we are glad to host you on Paradox! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Before starting I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to spread my word.
My name is Guillermo and I am originally from the Canary Islands (Spain). Right now I am based in Berlin, where I have been living for the past three years.
For how long have you been involved in the electronics and Techno arena, and how did you get in touch with it?
The first time that I have experienced electronic music was kind of 8 years ago, in my hometown. Techno there is not so much popular in the music culture, but I had my cousins Jaime and Pablo living in Madrid and they were the ones who introduced me to the game. I always have listened to different kinds of music, not just techno. I think if you love music you have to reach different paths in order to become much more objective... in the variety resides enrichment.
To be close-minded and limit yourself to just one music style is like living in an Island and never go out from it.
You’re now based in Berlin. Had you already artistic connections in the city before moving there?
Not really, when I moved here I started from 0. I came to Berlin after finishing my studies in Madrid as a music electronic composer in the SAE institute. I was always working in my homestudio learning and improving my composition techniques.
I guess being a sound engineer makes it easier to produce music… Yet is it making the production process less intuitive?
Well, in the technical part I would say yes, but about composition and artistic-creative part it doesn’t give you that much, for that I think the most important thing is to reach a lot of music and of course to have an objective and critical listening with a strong mentality behind your ideas. Anyway, for me the technical part is really important and it’s a thing that always get my attention. I have always been interested in mixing and technical equipment, therefore I am more and more focusing on the mix of my tracks and improving it... maybe in the future I would like to work as a sound engineer mixing for other artists .
2016 seemed to be pretty prolific for you as an artist: many interesting gigs including Tresor and Suicide Circus, some remarquable releases on Monolith and other nice labels… If you had to pick up one artistic highlight in 2016 what would it be?
2016 has been an incredible year and really better than I have expected, yet I still have a long path of work to cross. As you mentioned, Tresor was an awesome experience, I will never forget that one, but if I have to pick-up a highlight of 2016, it would be without a doubt my first live act at Urban Spree with the Libernull crew. After that one I realized what it needs to develop a live act just with hardware, and of course, I had a wonderful night.
Let’s talk about your connection with the Monolith records crew. How did the collaboration started?
It was the beginning of everything for me! I’ve started making music when I arrived to Madrid and when I had some definitive projects and was following really close Monolith label, I decided to send them some tracks (to Sirio and Alessio). They really enjoyed them and they gave me the opportunity to release my first digital EP. I want to thank them for believing in my work from the start... Since that time we are like a family.
“To limit yourself to just one music style is like living in an Island and never go out from it.”
What artistic or conceptual elements have attracted you to team up with this label?
I just really like the way they are developing the label concept, its evolution, musical- and technical- wise.
How do you feel your sound has evolved during your career?
I have experienced a really strong evolution in my sound since I started making music. I began with a more melodic way of expression and I moved on to a more visceral and industrial sounding. I think it the darkest part of me has been growing inside. Now I am working as well and moving towards a 4x4 beat and raw techno stuff.
How was your Tresor debut by the way? You had the closing slot (ie 7 am-end), right? I’m curious to know what kind of sounds you’ve played for this specific time…
Incredible experience… first one was a New Faces night, after that one I have played in the foggy bunker twice, one for an Echoes night on Friday, and the other one on a Saturday Tresor Klubnacht. Closing the vault was really important for me, it was 6 hours non-stop, intense from the beginning and in which I tried to maintain the rhythm and tension as well as respecting always the musical taste in the anthological Berliner club. I played a wide range of genres including breaks, industrial sounds, 4x4 techno… I think that in 6 hours you have to move into different ways, to be dynamic on your music manifesto... I don’t enjoy a linear set for 6 hours without any change on the musical concept.
Your productions are heavily influenced by other alternative genres. From my own point of view, I can feel the techno scene being slowly more and more open to those alternative genres including broken beats, industrial and IDM. Do you share that statement?
Of course, I think there is a place for everything. The important thing for me is to know what do the artist want to express and if you feel it like him it will be a connection between both. You can’t say you don’t like some artist just because you felt that he was going to develop his set in another direction... the mission of the artist is to bring new paths and feelings…
Coming to the production side, are you more like an “efficient “ creative person or more like a “perfectionist” working weeks and months on the same track?
The point for me resides in the balance... maybe the artistic part requires less time in my experience, I always work on a strong concept and idea, I develop it in a few days and if it is not getting in to the mood I just start with another one. Once the concept and music developing is in the way I want to express, I dedicate to the technical, mixing and composition part more time.
Are there any specific fields that inspires your music, or your track names?
Science fiction, the universe… I read a lot of science fiction books, it is one of my passions and my favourite theme in literature, most of my tracks and work is influenced directly from those books.
You’ve thrown your first live act for Liber Null at Urban Spree in late july. What was your live act setup and how was the experience like?
As I said before, it was my 2016 highlight. The days before the event were really intense and stressing, even if I’ve enjoyed them a lot. I think that time is when an artist have to respond and to demonstrate his value, to overcome that pressure, you have to be on the control. And as a lot of you may know…when you are in the scene doing your live act, it’s always different from your comfort zone and It may sound different, etc… It needs time and effort to get over that. As mentioned before, I had a really great time and I would love to repeat it without a doubt.
How did you came out with this mix for Paradox?
As always I have let myself go and didn’t put me any limit, putting all my efforts to express the things I like most and trying to be dynamic, you will hear some electro, idm, techno, industrial… No pressure and enjoying it a lot.
What kind of non electronic music do you listen to usually?
I love acoustic music, I think it contributes to an enrichment of the music culture for everyone. For example jazz, latin music like Buena Vista Social Club, it’s something that is inside me since I was young.
What new artists/labels would you recommend to check out at the moment?
There are too many that I would not know which to mention… COUM Records, MONOLITH Records, KHEMIA…
Can you give us a glimpse about your future projects and what we can expect from you in 2017?
I am working right now on different projects. By now I have 2 vinyl EP’s coming out in the first half of the year, another one in the Monolith Records digital format series as well as a live act … stay tuned!
Thanks a lot Guillermo, we hope to see you very soon somewhere, keep the gritty vibe on!
Love and respect