#34 - "Sonar special" : Undo presents Factor City
As we approach the sun kissed electronic music fiesta that is Sonar this week what better way to celebrate than with some homegrown sounds straight from the heart of Catalunya. Next up on the EPM Podcast is Factor City’s Undo, aka Gabriel Berlanga, who delivers a shimmering poolside mix of hypnotic house and techno rhythms. Blending tracks from Black I.C.E., Luciano Pizzella, Nhar and Undo himself in collaboration with Ryan Davis we also get treated to new and unreleased material from the Barcelona based stable including remixes from Future Beat Alliance, Alexander Kowalski and Fairmont.
Gabriel Berlanga has been vocalist, guitarist and bassist in pop-rock bands since his high school days. By the mid 90s he turned his attention to the emerging world of electronic dance music, whereby Gabriel started to collect records, DJ and experiment with electronic sounds and structures: playing old synths, loop-samplers and guitar fx.
He started to write and produce as Undo surfacing on the wake of the early 2000 electro-boom with a dancefloor bomb called "Mirrorball". The demise of Minifunk (the label that he was originally signed to) led to the creation of Factor City records and, from then on, things snowballed: resident and artistic director at The Loft/Lolita Clubs in Barcelona and engagements all over the world.
His debut album "Despacio" (Factor City, 2006) was a reflection of a particular moment in his life. Recorded after the break-up of his dream pop band The Light, which lay sonically between indie pop and electronic music.
His recently released second album "Motas de Polvo" (Factor City, 2012) however is more representative of his experiences as a DJ and producer on the international club scene. Over the past six years Undo has travelled extensively playing at some of the most important clubs in the world such as Panorama Bar in Berlin, Rex in Paris and Fabric in London. His touring has also taken him further afield regularly appearing at festivals like Sónar, Benicassim, Monegros, Creamfields and Nuits Sonores together with his monthly residence at the Loft & Lolita at Razzmatazz club in Barcelona.
During this period he has continued developing his label Factor City, releasing both his own productions, remixes and collaborations together with the likes of Metope, Ryan Davis, Glimpse, Sistema, d.a.r.y.l., Kiki & Paul Kalkbrenner, to name a few.
Now Gabriel showcases Factor City 2012 - the current house sound of Barcelona. Just undo it!
Tracklist: EPM Podcast 34 – Undo presents Factor City
1. Metope_Atlantic (Undo remix) (FC 031)
2. Black I.C.E._Act One (Alexander Kowalski remix) (FC 035)
3. Undo_Password (FC 034)
4. Luciano Pizzella_Silent Rules (Fairmont remix) (FC032)
5. Nhar_Pompyro (FC030)
6. Undo&Ryan Davis_Destino (FC033)
7. Undo&Ryan Davis_Place & Space (FC033)
8. Undo_Jupiter (FC034)
9. Undo_Jupiter (The Future Beat Alliance remix) (FC036)
10. Black I.C.E_Landing Love (FC035)
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Q&A with Undo
1. Please give us a quick run through the mix. Why did you choose these particular tracks?
Well I wanted to make a “sound picture” of Factor City these days. I've choosen only Factor City tracks from the last releases and also three upcoming tracks which are not released yet.
2. How was it playing in bands compared to writing music by yourself? Do you miss those days?
Yes I miss playing with a band. It's totally different from sitting alone in the studio. So I'm planning to start playing live with a drummer and a bassist next year.
3. Factor City seems to have built up a healthy roster of artists and a strong identity. How much of this is inspired by Barcelona?
Barcelona is really important for us, where we grow up and where everything started. We have now a really healthy music scene with clubs as Razzmatazz, where I'm resident, Nitsa, Becool and festivals such us Sonar and Primavera Sound.
4. With Sonar approaching how does the vibe of Barcelona change during this week? Does it feel like the whole world has come to visit?
Yes we feel like the whole electronic music scene and clubbers has come to visit. I'm still surprised how many people come over every year, how many parties are happening at the same time. it's the craziest week of the year in Barcelona.
5. What tips would you give to people travelling to Sonar outside of music?
Go and visit the city, areas like Gracia, Sarrià or Horta are great to have a walk, with a lot of personality, nice bars and restaurants, and a little bit away of the touristic circuit. I recommend to go to “El Vaso de Oro” and “Quimet quimet” for some of the best tapas, beer and wine in town. Also if you have got time it is great to visit “el Tibidabo” with the best views of Barcelona.
6. You have been involved with putting on nights at The Loft / Lolita for many years. What would your dream line up be, money no object?
Yes, I was the artistic director at the Loft and Lolita at the beginning, from 2003 to 2005. I don't know which would be my dream line up... something like this will work i guess ;)
Boards of Canada Live
Michael Mayer Dj
Aphex Twin Live
7. Nowadays we see Barcelona as a big international destination. But it wasn’t always like that. How was living there before you hosted the 1992 Olympics compared to today?
Yes the city changed completely after the Olympics. Before it wasn't a touristic city at all. I miss the spirit of Barcelona then, but of course economically it's been good for the city, but I'm not sure if it's been good for their citizens.
8. As a DJ and producer what have been the biggest changes for you since 2006’s debut album ‘Despacio’ and this year’s new long player ‘Motas de Polvo’?
The biggest change it's been the birth of my two sons, Aleix and Adrià. Become a father changed my life totally.
9. How do you work in the studio? Do ideas come to fruition quickly or do you tinker with lots of ideas at the same time, going back and forth until one clicks and you focus on it?
It depends, normally I start a track with a bassline or a chord progression, sometimes just a little vocal melody... but I always say, the difficult part is not to start a song, what is really difficult is to finish it.
10. Please give us your top 10 all-time favourite Spanish techno / house tracks:
I'm missing a lot of good tracks, but this is my top ten today:
Esplendor Geometrico "Michi Michi"
Aviador Dro "La ciudad en movimiento"
Teen Marcianas "Fuck the Funk"
Undo & Vicknoise "Orca"
John Talabot "Depak Ine"
Pional "We have been waiting for you"
Alex Under "Bola dos"