Rodriguez Jr. interview


Your album is very diverse musically. How important is that for you as an artist?

Dance music has always been a fusion of a lot of music genres, so we should keep on being forward thinking, mixing flavors coming from a very large spectrum of influences. That’s part of the fun – particularly with an album – and I don’t want my music to be pigeonholed in a particular genre forever, like house, tech-house or whatever.

The album feels soulful yet is electronic. What makes sound emotional for you?

Digital technology offers us a lot of creative freedom in the studio, but it can also sound cold and clinical if it’s not used in a proper way. I mean all this amazing software is so powerful when it’s about cleaning and calibrating sounds, that you can quickly over-use it and remove all the life from the music.
To avoid this problem, I mix both digital and analog technologies and I still use a lot of vintage synthesizers, guitar pedals or effects modules. These babes are quite temperamental sometimes, but they definitely bring the warmth and organic vibe I need.
In addition to that, melody and harmony also help to make sounds emotional, because they are directly connected to our own emotions. I know that’s a very classic way of thinking, but that’s the core of most of my productions and I love spending time in front of my keyboard searching for these little gimmicks.

What are you listening to at home?

When I am back home after a long tiring weekend, I relax while listening to WBGO – that’s quite a big jazz music radio station in New York. I also pick oldies from my vinyl collection: Serge Gainsbourg, Can, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Erik Satie, Air, Boards Of Canada … Or I basically browse the new tracks I buy on iTunes, Beatport or What People Play when I am on the road. It’s not only about electronic music.
Right now, as we speak, I am listening to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‘Mikrophonie I’ and my cat is freaking out!

What is your favourite piece of studio equipment and why?

On the back of the MacPro running Logic, which is the brain of my studio, I massively use my Roland Jupiter 6. It’s a beautiful analog synth from the early 80s and it has some really nice features and a very distinctive sound: two oscillators, a creamy multi-mode filter, two envelopes, a super fat sounding unison mode, plus MIDI inputs and presets memories so it can be easily integrated in a modern setup without any problem. You can hear it on almost all of my tracks, next to the 101 and the ATC1 – two other pieces of gears I like a lot.

How would you describe yourself as a DJ – what for you makes a good DJ?

It’s important to be open-minded, to properly feel the vibe, and to stay connected to the people. Actually, most of my gigs are live sets so I mainly play my own music – that’s kind of narcissistic but it works! My set-up is built around Ableton Live and controllers that allow me to improvise and dramatically change the structures of the tracks depending of the feedback I receive from the crowd.

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