At last i’m leaving London and “fly” to warmer places like Terrassa, a Spanish city with great history, only 28km away from Barcelona. A true mediterranean (see cheerful!) guy is waiting for my questions and he’s none other than Ivan Arnau. Strange enough how this open-hearted catalan for more than a decade keeps transforming himself in the studio to the electro “punisher” Dark Vektor, an artist whose role in the spanish electro scene is no less than pivotal. Let’s find out more!
Chain D.L.K.: To my great surprise I haven’t found an interview of your good self over the internet! I mean you, along with Alek Stark and Boris Divider, are definitely the key persons in the ever growing Spanish electro scene; it’s odd (to say the least) that you have never talked to anybody about your music. So, thank you very much for accepting my call to have this little chat about the great Dark Vektor!
Let me begin by asking you about your musical background: how did you start producing music and why electro and not one of the trends of that era?
Dark Vektor: Thanks goes to you Evan for this interview! Yes it’s true I had no interviews in the past, at least in English. There are some in Spanish only
I started producing music in early 90s. Together with a very good friend of mine, David Farell, we formed Sbles3plex. We were trying to learn how to produce the sounds we used to listen at the time. That’s why my first tracks were jungle style! But, as soon as I learned how to produce this kind of sound, I started to find it boring and finally I lost my interest in it. In 94-95, with the so-called “resurrection of electro”, my friends, who were all djs, started to spin it and that was it: I was hooked! It was then that I discovered my true musical style and my life in music!
As Sbles3plex we did a demo cd and we sent it to several labels. The guys at Djax Up Beats liked it so we signed with them a contract for 3 eps. That was in 2000; we started to release music then and we never stopped!
Chain D.L.K.: You have released many singles and eps, contributed tracks in compilations and remixed other people’s work. The fact that all this productivity is dispersed in many different labels, as well that you have never put together a personal album, make me believe that you are not so much interested in a personal career in music than to help in pushing the boundaries of electro further. Am I right?
Dark Vektor: Yes you ‘re right! I have lots of releases on different labels, because for me what is important is to expose my music to the people.
I am not really interested in a career in music. Moreover in the electro scene it’s very difficult to earn money and turn to an “electronic superstar”, that’s why my intention is to express myself, my soul, my feelings, the musical projects I have inside my head. I don’t want to be a music star, I just want to listen to electro very loud, to dance to the sounds, to enjoy!! I am a very simple guy
As far as it concerns a full length release, me and David are currently working on a album, a Sbles3plex album, which will be published probably sometime in the next year.
Chain D.L.K.: You play the role of the spanish electro scene ambassador, always into the 99% of the electro activity in your country, either this is music production, djing or promotion of relative events. How do you manage to do so many things? I know there’s a job and a family behind
Dark Vektor: haha, noooooooooooo!!
No! What i’m trying to do is to be myself, an electro enthusiast who shows support to all the people who produce, spin or simply love electro… The way I see things is that if I get more fans or/and another artist(s) become more popular, the whole scene is getting bigger! I don’t feel like an ambassador (lol) but it’s true that I’ve been connected to electro forums for a long time and I always try to meet people (artists and supporters) in my real life (lots of them have become very good friends of mine) and if I can do anything to help somebody, I do it!
Yes I have a job, I also have a little baby so my time is limited, but, as the second important thing for me is the music, when it comes to my spare time, I like to spend it by listening to electro!
Chain D.L.K.: Spanish electro scene is definitely the most enthusiastic one, at least in Europe. So many new electro producers, releases, parties. However it is an underground thing (like in the rest of the world). I keep asking the same question to all the artists I’m interviewing (with the risk of end up… boring-lol) so it’s your turn to answer: in your opinion is there any chance for the electro scene to be in the foreground of the club culture?
Dark Vektor: Well I think it is very difficult for electro be a massive club music, mainly because it isn’t based on 4/4 beats (of course there are 4/4 electro tracks). I mean people in the “commercial” clubs find it more easy to dance to the “pum pum pum pum” beat than to a breakbeat, let alone that the majority of girls don’t like this kind of music. So, if there are no girls in the club, there aren’t any boys as well (or, at least, there’s only a small number of them), therefore the drinking is low. It’s a matter of business , fewer people in the club, fewer drinks sold, small money for the owners!!
You ‘re right, now in Spain there’s a scene with lots of producers and djs who help each other. There’s a forum called ‘Contacto Sintetico’, a site at which we discuss all things electro (and more), laugh, even help people if possible, a kind of our own virtual pub There are also parties such as BAS, 8Z8 or ELECTRO SICKNESS that help us to meet each other, drink some beers and dance to electro! To attend these parties people come from all parts of Spain, usually in a little club just to listen to this music very loud; and this fact makes us feel like a global electro crew!!
Dark Vektor: I am co-founder and a part of Contacto Sintetico but the truth is that Thomas Noel (Awco) is the mastermind. Thanks to him we grew up very much! It is very hard to be a host of a video/radio show every week… And he does it every week, he does special shows, there’s also a chat room and we are chatting during the whole show! CS is about all the new electro releases, classics, dj sets, mixes, interviews etc. I think that a Spanish electro radio show was a need for us to meet all the electro freaks in our country. There are lots of very good radio shows all over the world but this is the only one in our language (you know the english of the Spanish people is not very good, don’t you?-lol)
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s go back to your personal work. Let us know about your influences in making music. Also please make a list of your current equipment.
Dark Vektor: I have a lot of influences, I like the music in general, all kinds of music and all the good tracks but electro makes me feel like no other music: I cry, I fly, I feel good, I feel bad with electro!
I’m not coming from the old school electro scene. I was not a b-boy in the 80s, but all of my life I’ve been listening to electronic music. I guess that’s because when I was 8 years old I got as a present a Jean-Michel Jarre tape from a hippy guy who came to my town. That day I discovered electronic music!
In my studio there are many machines. I have lots of hardware and lots of software and I’m trying to combine them to find out the best sounds for me! But… I don’t want to reveal to you my list of the machines-lol!!
I just want to say that machines or software don’t really make any difference, what’s important is the result: music!!
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next in the life of Dark Vektor? And what in the life of Ivan Arnau?!
Dark Vektor: Well, let’s see… Next in Dark Vektor’s life is producing as much I can. I have some music to be released (let’s hope) very soon and some remixes, also the Sbles3plex album, a Seek 2012 with Downrocks new release, some collaborations as well. I had to say “no” to many new collaborations with friend musicians because there was not enough time to do them properly and this fact makes me feel bad. There’s a new reality in my personal life that changed me a lot and the fact that I have now a baby who absorbs the most of my time. I can’t stay anymore for… 12 hours in the studio working, like I used to do years ago!
Now I just want to be happy and live the moment!
Dark Vektor: You are welcome Evan, you know you have my respect. I appreciate your work as a producer and a label owner and now as a journalist, and I think that these interviews are very important for the electro scene! I wish you keep on doing them!!
as Dark Vektor:
(2006) Net Adikted (Drivecom)
(2006) My Left Side (Dona-Li Records)
(2008) Inteligencia Colectiva (Fundamental Bass Intelligence)
(2009) Wires (Titan´s Halo Records)
(2010) Basscelona, City of Bass (Fdb Recordings)
(2010) Zetan Bio Robots (We trust)
(2010) Esqueix (Subsonic Device)
(2001) Remember The Future (Djax Up Beats)
(2002) Stop Tv Control (Djax Up Beats)
(2003) Pornobotics (Djax Up Beats)
(2005) The Grid (Fundamental Bass Intelligence)
(2005) Give Me (Destune Records)
as Seek 2012:
(2011) Hunab Ku (Beathazard Records)
(2011) CS No Hay Tregua mix_Contacto Sintetico Workshop Vol.1 (CS)
For a complete discography of Dark Vektor please visit http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dark+Vektor
Visit Dark Vektor on the web at:
[Interview: Evangelos Zacharopoulos]