Roger Benat described his feeling while being behind the wheel and listening to “Simulaciones”, the album by the Barcelona-based producer Juan Cristobal Saavedra a.k.a. Equipo that was released by clang some months ago. He stated: “It is a perfect simulation of its source; it has lost all reference and taken on its own, separate reality. There is no longer a distinction between the extremes: dance and ambient, analogue and digital. It is pure manipulation, a perfect entanglement of what is active and passive, as Baudrillard would have said. Pure pleasure.” I keep driving, but I feel the landscape passing below our feet as if the car has seized to carry us and I am at the wheel of a simulator. I turn to my passenger and ask who made this music. “It’s mine”, he says, “it’s my latest CD”.
The passenger was Equipo himself. We had a chat with this interesting music man. Check out his release (and the upcoming collection of remixes, as well) while driving!
Chain D.L.K.: Hola chico! How are you?
Equipo: Hola! Well, I’ve been very busy actually, launching the second video of Simulaciones “Encarnación perdida”, directed by Txalo Toloza Fernández aka Miprimerdrop and working on “Simulaciones Revisited”, a remix album of my last LP Simulaciones [clang028].
Chain D.L.K.: Is the story I’ve read in the introduction about “Simulaciones” true? Could you tell us more about it and who was that notorious driver?
Equipo: It is absolutely true. Roger Bernat and I were driving back to the hotel after a show we gave in Belgium, when I started to play the tracks of Simulaciones on my cell-phone. Roger got so enthusiastic about the music that he entered into a connection between the music, the landscape and the driving. After a while, we ended up totally lost on the Belgian highways. We took so many twists and turns to try to find our way back, that we had the chance to listen to the whole album. It is better described in Roger’s own words on the Clang webpage .
Chain D.L.K.: Before getting into the depths of it, could you tell us something about your artistic background?
Equipo: I’ve been surrounded by music since I was a child. I grew up in a family where listening to and playing music was something natural. Later, after studying Sound Engineering and joining a few indie rock bands, I begun to explore making music by myself. In 2001, I left Santiago de Chile to live in Berlin, where I had the chance of going further into electronic music production and started to perform and DJ as Equipo. A few years later, I came to Barcelona where, after editing my first album, I continued to produce music for myself and for other musicians, as well as collaborating with performing and visual artists.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you live in Barcelona at the moment? If so, could you recommend any clubs or places to check out to the fans of your music?
Equipo: Well, I do live in Barcelona but I’m not really a clubber so probably my recommendations would be quite conservative. Once in a while, I go to Apollo or maybe to Moog, which are places with great sound and a carefully-chosen program. But, actually, I prefer to listen to music at festivals and, if possible, during the day or the evening.
Chain D.L.K.: Some people doubt there’s even a real Barcelona techno or electronic music style, as some reviewers think that many music makers in this field just reshuffle some stuff they get at legendary festivals like Sonar. Do you agree?
Equipo: I would recommend it to anybody -especially for reviewers- take a good holiday in Barcelona! This would surely be good for their health.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you explain the reason why you entitled your album “Simulaciones”?
Equipo: As well as I did with my last two albums for clang, “Adjetivos” and “Tacto e Indiscreción”, in this new album I’m exploring the subjectivity of perception and how it affects human behaviour. That’s why “Simulaciones” talks about the idea of pretending to be, the idea of simulating a reality; being or behaving in certain ways, depending on the context. Appearances, but without their negative associations.
Chain D.L.K.: After listening to your album, I could have an idea of what you mean by “particular perception of music”, in your bio, but could you describe this “characteristic” to our readers?
Equipo: Simulaciones has a pretty Techno character, compared to my previous work. But this it is just an emphasis, because this work carries with it all my musical background. Its rhythms hold Electro tones, the basses play around like in House and the synths transit the Ambient tune but in a more classical mood.
There are several styles coexisting in my music, but none of them stands out when we talk about an “Equipo” aesthetic. For me, being identified with a certain style is a way of establishing limits for yourself. When I make music – in this case, electronic music- I’m not focused on fulfilling a specific goal, but, instead, it is the pure pleasure of making music, expressing emotions, feelings, thoughts, reflections with no limits, trying to go further with my own musical language and aesthetics. I don’t care about the consequences of what I do, I’m far from being the kind of DJ with an eternal smile.
Chain D.L.K.: Some readers might need some references. I would have described some tracks as in-between Satamile and Lektroluv. Do you agree with this description?
Equipo: The truth is that, at the moment, I don’t really know any of the references you mentioned, but, afterchecking out Satamille artists, I found Lowfish, who was among my favourites about 10 years ago, when he was edited by Suction Records. For me, it’s not an easy thing to talk about influences or affinity with other artists because I listen to tons of music from the most diverse styles. In my albums you can find some IDM, Dub, Minimal, Ambient or Indietronica influences and maybe, now, a bit more of House and Techno.
Chain D.L.K.: There’s a certain sense of upcoming tragedy or even pre-apocalyptic feelings in many tunes. Is your style somehow influenced by different musical styles?
Equipo: Of course! I have a life and I feed myself constantly from its complex experience.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re already a source for many other labels. How did you get in touch with clang?
Equipo: I met Lars Graugaard, clang’s owner, in 2008 when we started making musical improvisations that, after a while, ended up in two albums under the alias Adduce, from the Chilean internet label Pueblo Nuevo. We performed together several times with our personal projects, as well as playing under the Adduce name and, naturally, in time, we became close friends. Later on, Lars founded clang in 2013 and invited me to join the label as Equipo.
Chain D.L.K.: As you are involved in any other artistic fields? What’s the main connection between music and other forms of art you enjoy?
Equipo: The connection with other forms of art is not something I could describe in general terms. It’s something that appears when I face each piece one to one. I have always been interested in a wide spectrum of art forms and what those other languages and ways of doing things can add to my own work, after I “dialogue” with them.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think that simulation is a distinctive aspect of our “civilization”?
Equipo: I think we are an image of ourselves modelled by the context. But I don’t see simulation only as a consequence of being immersed in a civilization, but also as an effect of existing in this dimension.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you performed “Simulaciones” live on stage?
Equipo: Yes, I played it at Mutek Spain 2015 which was also a good to opportunity to build an A/V show that captures the essence of the album.
Chain D.L.K.: I know that many sound-artists and musicians often dream sounds during the night. Have you ever dreamt of sounds you never managed to remake after you woke up?
Equipo: To be honest, if someone had asked me this question a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have understood what he really meant with this question. But the point is that, last week, I dreamt of an interesting music that, when I woke up, I was unable to remember in its entirety. In fact, I believe that that dream was strongly influenced by the fact of trying to find an answer to your question.
Chain D.L.K.: Any forthcoming releases (Or shall I rather call them traps for drivers 😉 )?
Equipo: Yes, on the 2nd of October 2 2015, we will be out with the remixes’ album of Simulaciones, named Simulaciones Revisited [clang028], a selected collection of tunes by friends living in different cities, and, by March/April 2016, I expect to release my next LP, specially crafted for drivers willing to be distracted.
Visit Equipo online at: clang.cl/equipo