Q + A : AIKEN
Alongside his qualitative contribution to the series, we sat down with the much intriguing Aiken to know more about his musical roots, his upcoming projects, and his esteemed imprint Timeline…
Alae RAMDANI | 23th June 2017
Hi Alfonso, we are glad to host you on Paradox. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi! My name is Alfonso and I’m the guy behind Aiken project. With this project I express myself as a DJ/producer.
What have you been up to lately?
I’ve been working on new music, some gigs here and there and of course the usual Dj duties, selecting and discovering new music.
In a previous interview I’ve learned that music is not your main source of income. Is this still true right now? By the way, would like to talk about your regular job?
Yes it is, I don’t get enough gigs to make a living of music so I still have a full time job. Talking about my work, why not? Some years ago I finished an engineering degree and at the moment I work for a big company involved in the renewable energy field.
Your first release was out in 2010 and since then the least we can say is that you are running a successful career with releases on the most respected labels around. Besides your artistic skills, what do you see as the key-element of this success?
To be honest I don’t know... but probably a mixture of hard work and passion for music.
“I miss a bit of soul in techno nowadays”
As a dj you must come across loads of promos. What do you think about the current production in the techno circuits? Is there enough sense of creativity or innovation according to you?
There is really interesting stuff but to be honest at the moment I can hear a lot of repetitive formulas and a lot of boring stuff but I guess this is normal according to the huge number of labels, artists, producers out there. Most of the fresh sound records I discover are not proper techno at all…I miss a bit of soul in techno nowadays. Regarding innovation, in my opinion not too many people can consider themselves an innovator, most of the ideas or sounds have been already made in the past. You can try to give your personal touch or try to recycle existing sounds but in the end influences are there.
You’ve founded your own imprint Timeline that includes 3 solid releases from your own material so far. What have motivated this project?
I had this idea in mind since some years ago, finally I found the perfect moment so I went for it. I wanted to have the full control of the releases, the music, the timing, the artwork…everything being managed by me. At the same time for me it was like ok, let’s see what you can offer to the people and I have to say that I’m happy with the result. Definitely there will be more releases to come.
What was the most difficult part of the label genesis?
Running a label is a challenge itself, you need time and every decision you make will be there forever but I can say that picking tracks for the releases is the most difficult part.
By the way, why did you choose this name for the label. Is there any reference to the Timeline project from Underground resistance?
It’s all about the concept of time, nothing else…it fascinates me. I’m a huge UR fan but no references here.
How would you describe the artistic line of Timeline and what makes it different from your outputs on other labels?
Timeline can be described as the platform where I am able to express myself without any kind of limit. I also give a big importance to the artwork where my art guy Kike Besada has totally freedom to show his art.
Is there any upcoming release on Timeline in 2017?
Timeline 004 in the making but not confirmed date yet
Many techno artists say they’re not very comfortable when it comes to the technical aspects of producing. How far do you think mastering this subject is important for a producer in the nowadays techno industry?
Of course technical aspects are important but for me the most important thing is the emotion, the feeling, how people react to music. I’m not interested in a perfect compression, a perfect mixing or a perfect compression if I’m not feeling the music. This is what I meant in your question about the current techno circuit, perfect sound but no emotion…
You’ve played many gigs in France so far, in which venue did you have your most pleasant experience here?
Actually I can’t choose only one but last year in Paris I played at Nuits Fauves. The Possesion crew organized a Non Series night and I really enjoyed warming up for my friends creating the mood for the rest of night.
2 years ago you’ve been asked about the techno scene in Spain and by that time you were not satisfied about its shape. Has the situation evolved a bit positively for now?
Spanish scene is good if you talk about djs or producers but I miss some things like radio stations, websites or good magazines I can see in other countries. One more thing I miss is proper sound systems in the clubs, I have lived all my life in Madrid and the city still has this problem.
One of my favorite tracks of yours is “Trust Ourselves” out on Semantica in 2011. Can you tell us if there were any specific event or moment have inspired that track and with what setup did create it?
Indeed it was a specific moment, a year with big changes. The setup..? you could cry if I write it here haha!
How did you came out with this mix for Paradox?
The mix is an extract of my set at a small club called Tamberley in Valladolid(Spain).
What kind of non electronic music do you listen to usually?
I’m a music lover so just to name few…jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, alternative rock, post-punk..etc etc
What new artists/labels would you recommend to check out at the moment?
Not new artists at all but more or less new music....Peverelist new album on Livity Sound, new Psyk EP on Semantica, Year Zero (9T9T remix) by Post Scriptum, Staffan Linzatti album on Field or labels as Float Records, Brokntoys, Contort Yourself, Oblique, Granulart, Stale (label runned by Kastil)… and more and more.
What’s coming up next for you?
In the next months Im releasing a track called “987” on the Propaganda 002 (label of the famous club in Moscow) after that my second EP on Non Series called “Genetics” and a couple of remixes without release date yet.
Thanks a lot Alfonso, we hope to see you very soon somewhere, keep the tension on!
Love and respect