Porto-based label Kokölò returns with its fourth release: Alfonsvs' 'Maybe Memories Are Our Only Relief' EP.
In his latest EP, Alfonsvs is inspired by that feeling of melancholy that comes from remembering happy memories, knowing that we can never feel the same again. With this in mind, Alfonsvs presents a trio of techno tracks specially designed for the dance floor and the ongoing festival season, and the emotions they generate.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
How did the idea for the release come about?
Hi! The EP “Maybe Memories Are Our Only Relief” was inspired by that sense of melancholia that comes up from thinking back to happy memories, knowing that we can never feel the same again… At least it won’t ever feel exactly the same, exactly as intense.
With this in mind, I thought of presenting a trio of techno tracks especially crafted for the dance floor and the ongoing festival season, and the emotions they bring up.
The tracks on this release have been made during the last months of quarantine. Later I added some details to them, such as field recordings from my latest trips through Asia on "Eternal Comeback", or melancholic acid tinges on "Trouble in Paradise”. It totally made sense to me to complement the structure of the tracks with my current reality.
What has been the musical criteria for these tracks?
When I was choosing the tracks for this EP I wanted all of them to have a clear guideline/story, even when played individually. I always look at tracks’ structure very carefully, as I always strive to convey a certain feeling/emotion with the music I release. Even though in some cases these tracks can feel quite melancholic, I was also thinking on their impact on the dance floor. We believe at Kokölò that the result was exactly what we wanted to release.
The title is very enigmatic, where does it come from?
"Maybe Memories Are Our Only Relief" is quite a long title for an EP, but it totally clicked at the time I was developing the concept for this release. During the quarantine, I found myself with a significant amount of time for introspection and music production. It can be quite challenging to find the time for inspiration in our busy lives, but the period of staying at home, accompanied by the prevailing silence and tranquility, allowed me to tap into a more nostalgic and reflective mindset. It felt as though I had taken a journey back to my childhood days, a time when we were free to explore, get lost. I reminisced about my middle school days, playing football with my friends.
This introspective period led me to consciously infuse these personal reflections into my music tracks. As the world began to undergo changes and adaptations during that time, my music evolved in parallel. In fact, I believe this EP perfectly encapsulates how the quarantine period enabled me to reconnect with my past, discover new facets of myself, and translate those profound discoveries into the language of music.
As it was an uncertain period for the whole World, everyone had more time than usual to spare. With too much free time sometimes one’s mind drifts… and I have a saying “It’s all about good times”. From time to time I like to circle back to it.
What would you like to convey with this work?
Hope, nostalgia and euphoria.
Your artistic persona is also very mysterious, is this on purpose? Would you unveil more at some point?
As Alfonsvs I would not characterize myself as mysterious. I am actually very approachable and outgoing. I try to help everyone who comes up to me, sometimes naively forgetting to put myself first. But as I’ve also been given a hand by many when I started, then I believe I should do the same with the next generation, providing a platform to everyone who catches my attention, and helping out however I can. Eventually synergies tend to circle back and positivity flows, so why not give back when one can?
Going back to the question, maybe Alfonsvs was not really the mysterious persona you were asking me about, but that’s another story.
How is it to run a label in 2023?
I have been involved in Kokölò since its inception in early 2022. It has been quite a ride, and I never thought that the music we are releasing could gather such great feedback and bring up so many emotions in people. Nowadays, running a label alone is not sustainable, and that is why me and Adriana Ruas almost immediately turned our heads into promoting our own events. With the events I feel we managed to reach a broader audience, besides growing the artists’ profiles. It is great to see Adriana getting an increasingly busier schedule, as well as me. Good times!
Can you tell us more about what your future projects are?
There will be some more Rave Child releases soon, which will unveil some more information about the artist’s identity and character. Besides that, Adriana and I are planning to keep up with Kokölò’s monthly residency at Pérola Negra club, in Porto, while also venturing into bigger sized parties outside the club. We feel there is a lot of potential in Portugal that is not being explored, especially in the north of the country.
Besides that I want, as the programmer of our events, to keep providing a platform for local talent to express themselves and hopefully contribute to the local scene of Porto. Music wise, we will continue to blur the lines separating House from Techno.