Ahead of his show in Belgrade’s very own clubbing temple Drugstore club, Spanish techno “inquisitor”, multi-talent electronic artist and label boss Oscar Mulero talks about his recent work, Biolive project, Spanish techno and his own vision of the electronic music scene. Mulero is playing in Drugstore on November 28. alongside with prominent local techno artists Filip Xavi and Mirko Lazarevic. Spiced up with a special visual show by Kisobran VJ team, this is going to be one uncompromising night of intense, textured sound, unstoppable dance and pure techno exorcism.
This event is organized by a brand new group of promoters behind Power Source Music. Tickets available on Eventim spots in pre-sale for 890 rsd, at the door for 1000 rsd. Join the FB event, enjoy the interview and mentally prepare for the party!
Hello Oscar! This is your first time in Belgrade. Are you familiar with Belgrade/Serbian electronic music scene?
Hi! I don’t know that much, actually, I might know for some producers, but I don’t really know how is the scene over there.
But now you’re gonna find out! And the crowd at Drugstore club where you’ll be playing, is a very good crowd and I’m sure they’re gonna love your music. Surgeon is playing there two weeks before, so he’ll prepare them for you.
Oh, that’s perfect! That’s good news! And yes, it’s always exciting to go to some place for the first time, cause you kind of wonder how it’s gonna be and if people will like the music, things like that.
You were involved in shaping the Spanish techno scene from its very beginning, way back when Sonar festival was very small. How far has it developed from then til now?
I think it has developed a lot. All the people involved in the scene have been developing their thing working as music producers at clubs. And as you said, first Sonar started with only 500 people, and now it’s huge and well-known everywhere. I’d say it’s the most prolific scene we ever had. Many DJs and producers from Spain are being asked to do club residencies, or play different festivals around the world, so I think it’s the most prolific era – everything has grown so much. So, we are one of the latest countries to do our electronic music production.
Yes, but you managed to catch up and Spanish techno scene is very strong right now.
Yes, now it’s a very solid scene. The most important thing for this is about the production, the music we’ve been doing in the latest years – that’s something that really puts you on the map of the international scene. Of course, it’s important when you perform or play surrounded by people dancing and enjoying the night and trying to make them a good memory from that night. But the reason why I’m promoted at festivals and bookings is because people like my major records. I think it’s how it works more or less.
How do you see the genesis of techno since its beginnings and where do you see it in 15 years, in which musical direction?
For me, dance music is a very cyclic thing. We had this big minimal thing about five years ago, but that was something that was done already by people like Mike Ink, Chain Reaction and Basic Channel in the 90’s. For the kids now, this minimal thing can be new, but all the people who were buying records back in the ’95. and ’96. – they already listened to that. Obviously, with more primitive sound but same kind of composition. Pitch has few elements and slow tempo is a big thing… I don’t know how exactly techno is going to sound in 15 years, but for sure we get some different things from recycling. Maybe older styles like IDM, world music or music for listening can be altered more or can be changed in something completely new. But in techno or house music – there are specific elements that make techno sounds like techno music because we make it to be consumed in clubs. Everyone is saying „Oh, techno is really big now“. But techno was big in the ’90s also. All this Birmingham sound, all these things… now it’s like more minimal, but it was getting harder and faster, and now we’re back in minimal again. So… I don’t think it’s going to be completely new.
Tell us a few words about your new exciting project, the audiovisual show Biolive!
Biolive is a the nascent experimental techno project I’m doing with visual artist Fium. We had a festival debut at Mira festival in Barcelona, but we started last year and had three shows by far. We were taking part in the visual show program with all the great artists like Byetone, Luke Vibert… It’s completely out of the dance scene – we perform in theaters, warehouses and places like that. It’s not only about the music, it’s more like – music and visual go by hands. We are trying to focus in this way.
What are your expectations and plans regarding Biolive and are you turning to this kind of production in the future?
By now, Biolive is a smaller side project, but I already released some of this music. Some of the tracks we played are on Detroit Underground label. This year there is a whole set of new tracks of Biolive so the idea is to release them too and not just play live. This is something that I really like and how I mean to keep myself motivated into recording music. Also by doing this is how I try to base myself not like techno DJ, but more like an electronic musician. That’s what I aim for, for some years. I’m also going to release an album next year about this dualistic thing between the physical and the mental in music. It with include not only dance music but also IDM and other stuff and some of the tracks we are playing now with Biolive will be on it.
Speaking of new stuff, you released a Pattern Series EPs, and there are three more to come soon, right?
Yes, the next Pattern Series EP is coming very soon, and the idea behind the whole series is to show a texture in music and also to publish it with a very special artwork.
Where do you find inspiration for your recent music production?
I obviously have a big musical influence from the music that i listened to when I was a kid: pop, new wave, dance, electronic body music… But also everything that happens around me, in my city, in my country, in some way it really affects me. This things affect me when I sit in my studio to make music, and then for example it makes me play black keyboards instead of white for some reason. Everything happening around me and all of my troubling… all this things are really inspiring for me.
Please name a few of your favorite techno DJs and producer at the moment that we should put eyes on?
There is so many people on the scene that I really like right now! I am so happy because six years ago techno has become kind of boring, but now there are so many good names and good things. We have a very young talented producer on Pole Group, a 25-year-old Kwartz. There is another talented guy I really love Shxcxchcxsh, as well as Ctrls from Denmark… So many good music coming from everywhere.
Is there any place in the world that you would love to play at, but still didn’t have a chance?
I would really like to play Mutek festival with Biolive. I was just playing at Mexico few weeks ago and I was very sad that I was gonna miss it.
Can we expect a surprise appearance of your alter ego dr Smoke at Drugstore on November 28th?
Haha, I don’t think so. These days there are too many things happening – Biolive, my techno carriere, releasing music for Pole Group, and many other projects that I’m focused on.
What are your expectations for the party, now that you know Surgeon played just before you?
That can make things much easier for me, because Surgeon has been one of my biggest influences and I played his music for many times. So I hope that people will understand my music and really enjoy what I do!
One last question – name your latest “guilty pleasure” music.
Hahahaha! I listen to different kind of music beside techno, and I am not sure if it’s cheesy enough but really love the ‘80s band called Japan.
Thank you Oscar, and we can’t wait to hit the dance floor at Drugstore!
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.