As one half of the DJ/producer duo Wow & Flute, Ustrell has released on labels like Spinnin' and Nervous Records. He now continues with "Runaway", his first solo EP under his name, with another soulful release on Sevenscale Records' 3-4-1 Cuts subdivision. With Real and Chill EP he goes further.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him, and this has been the result.
How would you present your work to someone who doesn't know you? "Ustrell" is the final result of several years of experience as a music producer and DJ. It would be like the summary of the first musical project "Wow & Flute" which was born together with a friend of mine in Barcelona, and a second project "Riki Ustrell" created between Barcelona and Switzerland. From these two projects, I have kept what I really like to produce and play and the result is clearly seen in the first and second EP of "Ustrell". In each EP I include three versions. An "Original Mix", which is the softest production with a beach mood ideal for the warm-up. A second house mix, more focused on the dancefloor and a third tech mix, for late-night DJ sets. And your last project? Where was it born? And where do you want to lead? My latest project "Real and Chill" released at the end of October, was born in Switzerland, where I’ve lived for almost 9 years. This EP covers the three parts of a club DJ set. From the opening, through the peak time all the way to closing. Getting a DJ to end up playing all three mixes of the EP in one session would be amazing. What message would you like to convey to the public?
I would like people to understand through my EPs what they can expect from my DJ sets. Depending on the venue, bar or club I can go for a more laid-back type of session as the "original mix" style of my productions or something more dancefloor or even a more tech-sounding one. Always keeping my essence of fresh sound, catchy and groovy.
How was your last project born?
Real and Chill is the result of a mix between the summer airs of Barcelona and Switzerland. Beaches, mountains, sea, lakes, cities, towns. All of the feelings associated with the time spent there together with my wife are reflected in the three songs on the EP. What do you want to convey in this work? What is the concept behind it? As the name suggests, "Real and Chill" is the current moment in which I find myself. Together with my wife, we are expecting a baby and luckily we enjoy a "Real and Chill" life. With this in mind, I decided to make three versions of the EP to reflect this kind of mood in different mixes. The “Original Mix”, is the most real and the one that identifies me as a person and as a music producer. The "It Is Mix”, is dedicated to our future daughter and finally the "About You Mix" is for my wife. As for your studio, what is it currently composed of?
My studio pretty much consists of a Macbook M1 with Logic Pro X, the Adam A-7 monitors and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones. The plugins I use the most are from Roland Cloud, especially the TR-808 and 909. ShaperBox from Cableguys is a must and I’m also a big fan of Logic's native Drum Machine Designer. What is the one instrument you would never get rid of, no matter what? Bass. It is the instrument that gives harmony to the whole musical production. It is the sound that all the people wait for to start dancing. At the beginning of my productions, once I have the foundation ready, I know if it works when I mute and unmute the bass. Depending on how the bass comes in, I go ahead with the production or not. What was the last record store you visited?
And what did you salvage from there?Although I have about 2,000 vinyl at home, to be honest, I haven't visited any record store since Covid-19 and luckily or unfortunately the music I buy is digital. I do occasionally go to the music section of some department stores to just browse but I rarely find something that catches my attention. Do you have hope for the future of music?
How would you like the future of the music industry to be?It is clear that music will always exist, so the future is assured. What has changed is the way in which we appreciate it. Increasingly, I have the feeling that it is a simple product closely related to social networks. It seems that an artist is good if he/she has a lot of followers and this is exactly where a new business model comes in. Moreover, the new technologies that allow anyone to DJ cause this part to also lose a little bit of the true essence of a disc jockey. If we add NFTs, record labels buying lands in "The Sandbox" and the advances in AI to make music, who knows where we will end up! The important thing is to continue making music in one way or another and to have clear principles. Can you reveal some future projects to us?
At the moment I have two unsigned projects. One is a production I have done with a friend of mine. House-music style with classic touches. The other one is a track that contains a fusion of deep house, afro rhythms and a soul vocal. What makes you happy? Having time. I believe that having time available for whatever you want allows you to be happy. Having time for your family, for your hobbies, for sports, for travelling, and even having time to be bored is fun and relaxing. Time should be infinite. What bothers you? Rudeness, selfishness, consumerism, lying, falsehood and superiority.