In transformation

Interview with Oscar Mulero

In transformation

28-11-2014 | 14.23

Oscar Mulero is notorious for being the serious, non-conformist, tattoo-covered, hard techno devotee - always pictured with a stern expression that mirrors the intensity of his performances. We got the chance to interview him over Skype ahead of his performance here on Saturday. As I answered the call and stepped into his world… into his studio in Spain: I realised that there is a lot more to Oscar than meets the eye.  Oscar has a natural desire for progression, open-mindedness and diversity. And after such an illustrious career, it was apparent that he is constantly in transformation, constantly looking for ways to take himself forwards. 

Hey Oscar, how’s it going?
"Yeah really good thanks, I’m currently in my studio working on a couple of remixes that I’ll be bringing out soon."

How do you decide how to balance your time between producing and Djing?
"Well it’s mostly determined by when I’m DJing and performing live, I’m often just producing whilst I’m travelling of course. Even if I can only put a few building blocks in place whilst I’m on the road, I can put the finishing touches and determine the structure back in the studio."

"The travelling is itself hugely inspiring you know. I’m often inspired by the places I travel to and visit and experience. That’s definitely something that keeps me motivated to keep producing and coming up with new ideas."

Are there other things in particular that contribute to that motivation?
"Well I’ve always been a collector of records. I used to inspire myself when I first started with a lot of post-punk music, like the Cure: music from a variety of genres. It’s not only the underground scene that influences my music. Saying that, I also listened to a lot of the early Aphex Twin albums, and other IDM stuff like that. Then it’s where I live and the things that are occurring around me that continue to give me ideas and inspiration naturally."

Do you ever feel like your motivation to work in the scene is slowing up? How do you keep yourself going and traveling and producing?
"Well I’m presently working on a new project called Biolive; I’ve been in the industry now for twenty years so having new projects is important to keep things fresh. It’s a collaboration with visual artist group Fium, who I’ve known since the 90s: an Audio Visual project which tends towards the more progressive experimental electronic music being put out today."

We had the raster-noton label here recently actually, is it down that route?
"Yeah absolutely. I listened to lot of stuff from their label. I saw Alva Noto perform live at some point and I was really impressed… it’s the kind of music that has inspired and shaped this project for sure. Progressive experimental electronic music – that’s the direction that Biolive is heading."

So do you often get an opportunity to go out and just listen to music live for a few hours? 
"A lot of the time you are playing at a festival or a gig somewhere, and you just notice that an act is playing around you and you give it some time while you can squeeze it in. That’s how I got to see the likes of Aphex Twin and LFO…"

"But again it’s not only this music that I listen to. I go to a lot of rock concerts too, I find live performances in general really inspiring. I think because I listen to music from a variety of genres it gives me more ways of approaching music myself. I certainly feel it gives me some kind of open mindedness."

This is your third time at Trouw I believe, what do you make of the club?
"Well I’ve always really enjoyed playing music with Sandrien, she’s a really, really nice girl and has a great approach to her music. When I think about what impresses me about the venue itself, I think of the vibe. There’s an atmosphere there which is certainly rare and unique. The way with which it has been transformed from a printing factory into a club particularly impresses me. I genuinely feel lucky to be able to perform a 4 hour set there this weekend: I’m glad to be back."

"I’m also really sorry to those that were hoping to see me at the Spherical Coordinates gig this year when I couldn’t make it; hopefully I can make it up to them this weekend!"

Looking forward, how do you feel your labels are shaping up nicely, do you like the direction they’re taking?
"Well Pole was always to me a second Platform to release my music. The way it’s shaped and developed and where it is now I’m really happy with. I feel we’ve managed to establish the same sound within the label now, the sound that we’ve been aspiring to, although it has adapted and changed across the years."

"With Warm Up records it’s all on me pretty much. But with Pole it’s all about collective decisions, we have more of a family mentality there. We also host our own label nights which gives us a chance to showcase our sound. When I think about what’s next; hopefully more festivals and more of this performance as Biolive we’ve been talking about. Overall, I think I’m working with a lot of people now who have a very similar musical direction to me."

Text: Ben Rogerson 
Photo credit: Jerry Knies