"To be honest, if clubs are still closed in the near future, my sound will be influenced by that. I suppose in that case I will evolve into some vibes I love which are a bit out of club mood. Something deeper, slower, lysergic and a little bit experimental"
Alvaro Cabana creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hey Alvaro, where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
Hi! First, thanks for the invitation. I'm at my place in Madrid right now.Meditation as soon as I wake up, and now answering this interview. How are you living the current situation because of COVID? Has your work been greatly affected? Do you think there is hope? Well, about the gigs as a DJ, it has been a disastrous year of course. Regarding my productions and the record label, its where I’ve been much more active. We have many new releases coming out. I have more time to invest in the studio and to manage all the label requirements. I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist. Do you think we can go back to the "normal" events and festivals? Sure! This is not going to last a lifetime. And, if after all, it's not like before, new attractive ideas will emerge to adapt to the situation. You're an artist, but also a label owner. How have things changed during the pandemic on the Rotten City label side? As I mentioned, I have been investing the time to focus more on both the production and the label, although during the first period in which the pandemic began I did take a break. Since the beginning of 2021 we are releasing one reference per month. Too bad some releases couldn't be played in clubs right now, but you can find some EPs with a balance between 'listening' and 'dance' moods. Regarding the sales, it can be said that from March 2020 to now it has been a year like any other. Tell us a little about your new Ritmo Espiral EP on Pets? What were you inspired by? What did you want to convey? In this EP I wanted to give my vision of the dance floor, with three tracks clearly focused on it, without concessions (sadly we can't dance in those kinds of places at the moment). For this I was inspired by artists that I love when I play at the clubs in 'peak time' such as Rebolledo, Red Axes, or Bawrut, in genres like New Beat (the vocal sample of 'Ritmo Espiral' is taken from a Belgian track from 88), the most raw and acid part of Chicago House, the darkest side of Disco music or a certain 'mystic' guitars influence by the sound of bands as Out Hud in the track 'Barrio Solar', which I produced with Geerra during a visit to Santiago de Chile.
Has your sound evolved a lot since your first works? And where is your sound heading right now? I have many influences, from industrial music to disco or ambient. Where it is going? ... To be honest, if clubs are still closed in the near future, my sound will be influenced by that. I suppose in that case I will evolve into some vibes I love which are a bit out of club mood. Something deeper, slower, lysergic and a little bit experimental. Your music seems to be linked to places, landscapes and moments. What else plays a fundamental role in your music creation process? The truth is that I like to be inspired by a lot of things that I discover and connect with. Ancient traditions, Art, personal experiences, and of course, different musical genres far from the dance floor. What is your current production setup and what instruments are essential for you? It's a pretty normal home studio without any secrets. Ableton 11 Software and some analogic gear such as 'Korg MS20' a 303 clone and a 'Model D'. I also use plugins like 'Omnisphere' and when I work alongside Azaria in his studio we use ‘ eaktor’ a lot. And for the final mix I like to work with different producers/engineers with a studios. What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect from Alvaro Cabana and Rotten City in 2021? As a producer I have on the way an original track with Silicodisco on Curse's label, OMBRA International, an EP on Roam with Paulor and Club Tularosa remixes, and a few original tracks and remixes with the new project alongside Azaria and Lebollet called Trio Misterio. On the other hand, we already have closed all releases of 2021 with the label. We will release works of artists such as Sean Johnston, Elfenberg, Marko East, Psycho Weazel or Marching Machines to name a few..So stay tuned for the wicked tracks that are coming!