Luis Flores is a truly unique sound engineer. He stands out from masses with his driving, deep and heavy machine like sounds. His latest releases like "Love your machine", "The Devil's Cog" and his "Flatland" remix can be heard in many sets of other major dj's and truly represent his style and sound concept. "New Flesh" (on Droid Behavior) is beautifully done and indicative of the dark sound we've come to love and expect from Flores. Also just out his remix of James Hammer & Aaron Litschke 'Drowning". Check it on soundcloud below!
CGNY: While with many producers you are able to hear certain sound samples they literally just plugged into their track in its raw version, what is it that makes your sound so remarkably different and unique? Which program do you use to produce? Do you use plugins and VST's?
LF: I have a very simple studio setup. At one point there used to be a collection of analogue synthesizers all shapes and forms lined against the wall, but as most people who've been there can concur, this doesn't mean you make more music. When computers finally got to the stage where digital synthesis and audio manipulation was a real alternative I sold all of my synth collection with no regrets to this day.
At the end of the day I think it all boils down to interface more than sound, which might upset most analogue purists, because the relation and interaction with the machine is what's going to lead to results, so if your happy with either a mouse or patch cables it doesn't really matter.
I use NI Massive, Reaktor and Ableton in the studio and while performing.
Sound wise I've been moving towards the groove that lives in the subsonic frequencies, but I'm not really sure what people think "my sound" is as they might focus on something else I'm not even aware of.
CGNY: Do you plan your sets when you play out or do you simply read the crowd? Do you play live sometimes?
LF: I've always done live because when I was starting it always seemed a better idea to spend money on equipment than records, so I never got into djing. When performing I have no idea how to begin right until the last minute. It always depends on the state of the crowd, the stage the night is in and how long is my time slot. If I'm playing more than two hours I'll try to begin as laid back and deep as possible so the set has more than one arch.
When on festivals with 1hr slots I'll go for dynamics instead of depth.
CGNY: What was your first experience with Techno or electronic music that inspired you to get into producing and Dj-ing yourself?
LF: My first contact with electronic music was my father who's always been a melomaniac/audiophile and had three records among his classical music collection that caught my attention when I was a boy: Tomita's "Pictures of an Exhibition", Kraftwerk's "Radioactivity" and Jean Michelle Jarre's "Oxygen".
Besides the similar and distinctive sound palette, what I remember most interesting was how the three albums worked like movies, with a clear narrative and concrete references to every day sounds like the ocean in "Oxygen", the radio waves in "Radioactivity" or the lead sound on the "Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells", built into the music.
When I hit 15 I discovered bands like Front 242, Skinny Puppy and labels like Wax Trax, PIAS or Industrial Records in one of the first underground clubs in Guadalajara where Jorge HM, one of Mexico's top djs and one of my best friends, dj'ed.
A year later I got my first sampler.
CGNY: You played in the Kunstpark in Cologne recently. How was the experience of knowing that every single club and venue in Germany including the Kunstpark was shutting the system down for 5 min at 11:55pm in order to raise awareness for the implemented tariff raise by the German collection society GEMA? What was the vibe you got from your German dj colleagues?
LF: I've actually had the chance to hear people from both sides of the conflict tell me their point of view and without going too deep into details I think they eventually will agree on something that works for everybody.
Worst case scenario, people will organize and resist.
CGNY: What other genres of music do you like to listen to and how do they inspire you and your work?
I still listen to a lot of my old industrial records which have stood the test of time admirably and the last Massive Attack album is still in my car.
Most of the time I'll rotate the latest podcasts and sets to listen to while driving, as that's the place I listen to most music other than the studio when working.
CGNY: Quite a bit of commotion has been stirred up by your upcoming debut in NYC. When will we get to hear you play?
LF: Lucky enough there are people interested in having me over, which makes me very happy to begin with.
Other than that, I haven't got a fixed date yet but I trust it will be before the year is over.
CGNY: What differences do you see in terms of vibe when you play in South America vs. Europe vs. North America?
LF: I've actually only played South America twice. The first time in Bogota in 2001 which was a great experience and last November in Chile for a big rock festival who decided to have an alternative/electronic stage that year.
North America wise I can only attest to the Mexican and American scenes and those vary from city to city.
The U.S. in general, has a shit policy regarding club hours which makes for a hard context for a scene to develop. That said, this seems to install a militant sense in people regarding techno that I love, because you get the feeling that throwing an underground party or festival built around a type of music shunned by the general population and where mainstream social conventions are not observed, go beyond the inpermanent nature of parties and become statement against the status quo.
Mexico's electronic scene is a different story altogether as most of the struggles against the powers that be were fought and won. Since 1991, after getting raided, fined and sometimes incarcerated for throwing parties, people finally organized after the big last raid of 2001 and started protesting (6,000 people raving in front of city hall), going to the press, news, etc. By 2003 the municipal culture office was funding electronic festivals held public plazas or avenues.
Today, there is stuff happening in most major cities and most have a steady scene if there is a decent club around.
I don't think Europe could be thought of as one scene for the size alone, but what it does seem to share is that electronic music is not a fringe cultural expression.
This might have a double edge as it is conducive to pop electronics like Guetta, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, etc. Then again there is Skrillex in the US.
On the other hand this helps to push the underground into more stable and solid practices, better networking, promotion and a better chance to build a career out of electronic music.
CGNY: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases and tours?
LF: I have remixes coming up for the next few months on Blank Code, Naked Lunch and Elektrax.
Had the opportunity to remix "Follow Me" from Jam & Spoon which originally came out almost 20 years ago.Their release included remixes by Haiko Laux, Perc, Brian Sanhaji amongst others, so to be included was quite an honor.
At the moment I'm on the final stretch of my German tour which consisted of 7 shows around the country including my first gig in Berghain.
An incredible experience altogether and interesting to see how techno varies from city to city. By this I mean the style of techno, type of crowd, type of club and promoter. I'm lucky enough to have met great people everywhere and promoters that do their work professionally.
Upcoming shows, I'll be playing Des Moines on Aug. 3rd for the first time, Minneapolis Aug. 18th, LA and San Diego a the end of Sept. and hopefully New York before the year is over.
Also, the Droids and I are trying to put together Interface_MX for Dic. in Guadalajara and have the L.A. family over to destroy the city.
Interview for CGNY by Markus Rhoten
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