"The most important thing I believe is to be consistent with the sound we are aiming for"
Iñigo Vontier 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.
Hi Iñigo! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
- Hey papi, I’m home in Guadalajara, Mexico. Its a fine day, I am enjoying my newborn daughter and spending family time.
Give us some historical background. Did you grow up within a musical family? What music do you recall playing around the house?
- I am not part of a musical family, however, both my parents are involved in the art world, my father is an Architect and my mother a designer. I grew up with lot of art in my house and listening my parents records with music like Alan Parsons Project or Jefferson Airplane. I recall playing with a little Casio Keyboard for a while but not much, I was pretty much just involved in soccer.
What was your introduction to the electronic music world and was it a natural progression from fan to DJ to producer?
- I think my first encounter was Daft Punk. After that I got some Fabric Live CDs from a friend and I was listening to Aphex Twin. In that time I got interested in electronic music and I was going to psy trance raves, this was a big movement in Guadalajara. In 2006 I move to Madrid for a year and there I discovered artists like Justice, Tiga, Legowelt, James Holden and Vitalic and this was the moment that I decided I wanted to be part of this.
I see that you also play with many instruments. With which do you feel more comfortable?
- WelI I don’t consider myself a musician, I have many instruments in my studio and I kind of know how to get the sound I like from a guitar, and other stuff, but thats about it. I am of course more confortable with synths, I love to twitch knobs and just go with the flow.
How would you define your own sound in 3 words? Is it even possible?
- Analogue, Raw and Trippy.
You are an artist who creates music across different genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
- Is because I create music that I like and that I feel connected to in a particular moment. I never try to do ‘genres’. Some tracks can have live drums while others a 909 beat, and some can have guitars on it and others pure synths. The main thing the tracks have in common is that all of them are made with the same gear and by me, and I think there is a particular way in which I approach the music that is very me.
How would you say your sound has evolved over time?
- A lot. At the beginning I was clueless, so my productions where disastrous, I didn’t even have a sense of harmony and the result was pretty chaotic. After a while I learned how to produce in a decent way and from there I have been working pretty much every day in my studio for the last 10 years, so now I have a more solid sound. But even now I don’t like much my past productions, so i’m moving to another sound and what I am working right now is very different from what I have done so far.
You’re an artist who doesn’t suffer when it comes to productivity. Recent remixes of Omri Smadar and Vini Pistori are hot right now and a collab with Thomass Jackson is on the horizon. What’s the trick to being so consistent?
- I like that these remixes are doing good, I love to do remixes. I did one for Yuksek recently and I really love the result. You know, every now and then I hate my own productions and I feel they are not good enough, but well, as I told you before I spend a lot of time in my studio, and usually I just let the vibe flow.
Thomass is also your partner in Calypso Records. What’s the story behind the label, and collaboration, and was it always part of your grand plan to be a label boss?
- We are good friends and we feel, think and see the industry in a very similar way. That is very important for running the label. Even though we have been friends for a long time, we have never really collaborated much, other than “Marijuana” from my album “El Hijo del Maiz”, and this new EP that is coming is the result of an afternoon jam in his studio. After creating the initial ideas we then worked on the tracks at a distance.
Calypso is 14 releases deep now. What key lessons have you learned over this time?
- The most important thing I believe is to be consistent with the sound we are aiming for.
You are a resident of Guadalajara, Mexico. What can you tell us about the Mexican scene? On the artist and party front it seems to be thriving.
- My City has a very good and thriving scene with lots of new names like Mufti, Sequencers, Buena Tarde, Niño Arbol, Die Jungle or Cabizbajo. It is great to see how things are going in a good direction but of course Covid makes a pause now, and it will be very interesting to see how things evolve for the future. It is a perfect environment to make the local scene grow better and let the artists express when sometimes it was difficult against all the internationals.
The Covid pandemic has obviously hit the scene incredibly hard this year. How have you coped personally, and how hard has it effected things in Mexico?
- It will be kind of redundant to talk about this as we are all very affected by it. I am personally focusing in keeping production coming, and preparing for the releases of this year as I have the Colab with Thomass in Calypso plus some individual releases in Disco Halal, Correspondent and Optimo. Many clubs will close after this of course and in Mexico the government is not helping. Also many of the artists are struggling, but eventually things will back, and from my point of view is always good to make a reset.
I think there is a bunch of things that can be improved in the local scenes and also im very exited to play in small parties that are more intimate and more spiritual and not to much ‘clubbing'.
Have you been able to concentrate on making new music during this period?
- Yes of course, maybe the first 2 weeks I didn’t go to the studio, but after that I have been pretty consistent, and i’m working on a lot of new material.
What are you missing most about the music industry during lockdown?
- I miss a lot playing in parties and touring. I love to connect with people and I do love to dj.
Has there been any music, artist or album on repeat for you during this time?
- Not as an artist or album really, but I have some curated playlists which I listen to often. The main genre I have been listening to at this time though has been Ambient.
Would you like to share a favourite set of yours at the moment? Tell us more about it, when and how was it recorded?
- The last mix I did was this for TAU the Adana Twins label, I do like that a lot, there is some
unreleased tracks of mine for this year and its the latest you can find in the internet haha.
What makes you happy?
- Being able to enjoy life doing the things I like the most. I like to help out people (in real life), and of course my family, and nature.
What can we expect from Iñigo Vontier and Calypso Records over the coming months?
- For me is the collab EP with Thomass Jackson on Calypso, plus my EPs in Disco Halal, Correspondent and Optimo and some remixes. Calypso has a full agenda till mid 2021 we have some releases from our boys from Lithuania Plot Pilot with a CPI remix, Max Jones from Mexico with a remix by Dengue Dengue Dengue, Linja from Moscow with a remix by Pigmilao, and a lot of other stuff for the coming year.