Priorat

"I think listening a lot of different music styles makes me being super open-minded"

Priorat creates music that transcends genres. We had the opportunity to speak with him, along with Marc Piñol and Velmondo. We talked to them about their projects, their latest collaborative EP, and above all, about music.


Hi Priorat! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?


Hi guys! Nice to meet you! I’m in my flat in Barcelona right now and it’s Saturday, so after doing sport this morning and going to the market for the monthly purchase I’m checking out some mails and stuff and answering this of course hahah. Two days ago we entered 3rd phase in Barcelona so I can meet all my family and friends after 3 months so I won’t be a lot in Barcelona this summer except for working.


What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?

Apart from electronic music, I started playing percussion at the age of 14 but I have good influences because my mother used to be a vocalist. In terms of electronic music, I started listening to it when I was very young. My mother was a good influence but we did not have the same musical tastes so I was very curious about other music and I discovered some groups and artists. However we did not have the same tastes, she collected a lot of vinyls and CDs of a lot of diferent genres and she always said to me “take this, it’s so strange like your tastes” hahah. In this way I discovered groups and artists like Safri Duo, Afrika Bambaataa, Bob Sinclar, etc. But I was just discovering my tastes to be able to listen to them. The first time I realised I wanted something more was in a futsal 24h tournement where I was playing. There was a DJ playing some techno stuff and I fell in love immediately. I started digging a lot and watching a lot of tutorials and other stuff of Virtual DJ, Traktor, etc. and only one month after I bought my first controller. Then, my mother used to work with a mechanic that was also DJ and she introduced me to him (I was 15 years old). After seeing him playing live only 4 months after seeing that DJ in the tournement I bought my first turntables and dj mixer. From that moment until now I’ve never stopped.


When did the idea of starting a project begin to take shape? Has it always been something you’ve wanted to do? 


In fact, I’ve started a lot of projects, but my first project started when I started producing and started to get some gigs. Very little projects but thanks to them I’ve grown and mature a lot and I’ve been able every time to know when a project has a future or I have to let him go. By the way, I’m not a big enterpreneur, I’m more in an artist/engineer point of view and I don’t use to think a lot about the projects as business at all, I have to force myself to spend time in that because I know it’s also very important nowadays but I’m not a business man or I don’t have that kind of thoughts.


Which artists have your interest these days?


My main influence is John Talabot. Honestly, for me he is the best DJ & Producer in the world right now. I’ve seen him a lot of times and he has a very strong personality in his sets but being able to make everyone dance and adapt himself in whatever situation. I’m also inspired in a lot of other music of course. More underground music, more popular music, whatever. If it’s good and special, I listen to it. I rediscovered a british rock band recently that I used to listen a lot when I was young that’s called Stereophonics and also some of my favourite artists that I enjoy listening during the day are Manel, Floating Points, Nils Frahm, Tame Impala, The XX, etc.


How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?


I think listening a lot of different music styles makes me being super open-minded. I try a lot of things I know from different genres when I’m producing and I think I give them unity because the way I produce. I have some pedals and synths that I use a lot and I think they have unity because of that.


What can you tell us about your track Sonàmbul (Vondreib)? What was your musical criteria? What inspired you?

It maybe seems stupid hahah but it was a night that I went out with some of my friends that came to Barcelona for work and then we met. We started looking for the music programming of the clubs that night and we did not like any of them, so we finished going home. However, when I arrived home, I had something inside me (maybe the music I would’ve enjoyed to listen that night) and I started the project with the laptop at 1 am in the bed. I did not have any musical criteria, I just let the feelings to flow.

How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work? Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?


When the confinement started, I was super inspirated because I had a lot of thoughts to express so I took half of my studio to home and made a lot of ideas. Then, I have a part time job and they “forced” us to go to the office on the 14th April already. After that, my inspiration went down quickly. I only was going out of home to work in a part time job that’s not really what I like so I went out of ideas. I did not have anything to express. By the way. I had a lot of work of mixing and mastering stuff so at least I had a lot to do.


In fact during the confinement I have released also on my favourite label nowadays Hivern Discs, John Talabot’s label in two compilations Hivernation vol.2 and Hivernation vol.4 they made for it and also we finished the release of Transonàmbul and the remix on Pablo Bolivar’s Seven Villas Music went out, so I’m really happy.


In terms of social, I did not see anyone but my flatmate from 13th March to 20th of May, but we took profit on that with him and we did a lot of sport at home and we cooked a lot, that is one of my hobbies and of course we drunk wine, most of all Priorat wine hahah.


So what music are you currently obsessed by? Have you picked up any records recently that you have been playing in every set or have been listening to every day?


I love very trancey and psychedelic sounds to get inspired myself. The Hivernation volumes have been amazing and I what I told you before, I rediscovered Stereophonics and listening in loop Dakota hahah, it was a very important track in my childhood. I have bought a lot of records on Bandcamp and vinyls of labels as Cocktail d’Amore, Optimo Music, etc.


What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?


If you don’t know them yet I recommend you listening to Dewemer - Jeer that’s been killing it for some months now and I don’t get tired of it and a more recent track of Velmondo called Infinity.


Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?


I’m working in a lot of stuffs under the name of Priorat and also some stuffs under Line In Dorian, with the name that I release an LP some months ago. With my partner in crime Arnau Obiols and Jonny Spencer the singer/producer behing Chicken Lips we are beginning a new project called Colouration. Also I am working with the Vondreib team and starting a new project with a very good team that’s called .apart!


Marc Piñol 


Hi Marc, ! How are you? How have you endured confinement with your work?


Being honest, I couldn’t find the strength to work as hard as I would have liked. On the positive side, I’ve started seeing ways of getting inspired while researching what triggers me best. At this moment I’m working well in short spurts, trying to be very practical and not being too hard on me. It also helped a lot avoiding any bits of non-sensical negativity. Everything’s fucked up enough, so no thanks. All in all it’s been a good learn.


What do you admire most about the work of priorat?


He’s restless, polite, talented and above all that I like him as a human being.


How did the meeting come about? when did you decide to work together


I met him sometime ago on Nitsa’s backstage through Arnau Obiols, one of its young new residents. We started talking about our different working processes and I remember loving that he offered his insights naturally. Coming from an older generation who often sucks at sharing knowledge and constructive criticism, it was refreshing and inspiring. He also was kind enough with me when I kept forgetting who he was, or when I didn’t answer any private messages; I’m quite absent-minded and I tend to overlook this things too easily. Once we stepped over that hill in my mind everything was no sweat.


What can you comment on your work? What was your criteria?''


I was able to work way more rapidly after changing my process, so I see this as a nice step towards being more comfortable with my own work and, more importantly, my way of delivering and letting go that work. I tend to get too personal with my music because I don't believe it's good enough, which stops me of enjoying my studio time. Now I feel more like "ok, let's see what we get". And if nothing happens I will rest equally good. I really needed that perspective, Even if my music ends up being shit. Regarding my criteria, I always try to make music as hypnotic as possible, even if not always succeeding. I'll keep trying for a while, though.


Velmondo 


Hi Velmondo ! How are you? How have you endured confinement with your work?


I'm fine, thanks, finally back to Barcelona DJing a little bit and working at C/C Radio, a brand new exciting project where I'm involved. When the pandemic started I was in Thailand and my girlfriend couldn't come back to Spain as she is Swiss so we decided to stay in Zurich once could get back to Europe, so I spent three months in Switzerland where I set up a studio with some gear I borrowed and a cheap interface I bought and tried to make as much music as possible.


What do you admire most about the work of Priorat?


He's a very talented engineer with good taste and he's very young so I have no doubt he'll have a bright future as a producer. I like the way he took care of the beats in particular in this EP.


How did the meeting come about? when did you decide to work together


We had some common friends. Last year he asked me to make a remix for another release and after that we decided to meet up and try to make some stuff together. We have done several sessions in my studio and his studio and we have some music coming up soon besides 'Dance Within', a track that was released a few days ago on Hivern Discs.


What can you comment on your work? What was your criteria?''


I tried to make a complete new version only using 3 stems of the original track. I even changed the key of the track in fact. Somehow it still has the essence but I reckon it's a radical new approach. I used many new VST's I never used before so it was a challenging process.


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