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Get to know Sebastian Valencia!

Just a while ago we met Marcus Holzadt in Cologne (Germany). We met for a drink and a crazy night out. Reason for the meeting was to see a concert of Stephan Bodzin in the fantastic semi open-air space called Odonien. And because he made us a wonky fonky mix a while ago.

While having some beers he mentioned he was about to release one or more tracks on a new label called Valey Sound Records from Columbia/Berlin. The record label is run by Sebastian Valencia. We found out he’s a very nice person who knows what he want and apparently which direction to head for. So an interview emerged.

Here’s our long inspirational talk with the youngster that started Valley Sound Records. Get to know Sebastian Valencia:

What does electronic music mean to you?
I always like to answer this question. Electronic music for me is simply the result of the age in which we live. The encounter between technology and music is the result of what we hear today in electronic music. For me it means an escape from reality and daily routine. It is very gratifying to be able to unburden when composing new work.

How does it affect you? As a dj and as a person when not producing or dj-ing.
It’s hard to find a good balance between real life and the world of music, I must admit. What matters to me is not running out of ideas. I try not to feel the obligation to make music every single day. You must have other life experiences to be able to write it down. Keep stories to tell.

What was your spark to start producing electronic music?
Since childhood electronic music was always close. My father was a huge fan of Chicago house and Disco. I still see him walking with his tape recorder on his shoulder and some cassettes in his hand. And my mom, she is a dancer. She loves to dance. They actually love what I do. But the real spark was there when I went to Eliptica (Colombia), where I fell in love with what was happening at that very moment. The people, the atmosphere, the dj, the music. That very moment I said to myself “this is it, I ‘m going to play here”. And many years later it happened.

That very moment I said to myself “this is it, I ‘m going to play here”. And many years later it happened.

Who were/are your biggest influencers?
My biggest influencers have always been black artists, I like the way how they express themselves. Miles Davis and Ray Charles for example are fantastic. Actually I have a track that has a sample of Miles Davis Voice. You can here in on:

I come from a city where you hear Salsa on every corner of the street. Also this genre as has an influence on my music. I like artists such as Grupo Niche, Guayacan, Hector Lavoe.

Then on the other side I also do like Nirvana, Metallica, Police, System of a Down (my favorite Band during childhood). It’s my loud side.
Furthermore I also like to mention some other artists who have changed the way I perceive music: Bach, Rimsky Korsakov and Stockhausen. They influenced me by showing that music does not have to be repetitive, it is a story that flows.
Today I really like Mr. G, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Move D, Floating Points, and many more.

What music did your parents listen to and did their taste in music influenced what you have become and what you are doing now?
My parents always had a good taste in music. That helped a lot of course. My mom had a knack for the funky side of music: Blackbox, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, and so one. My father as already mentioned was deeply into Chicago house and disco. He loved artists like Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles and I still have a couple of tapes of others that he gave me.

Did it affect me? I guess so but I tried to create my own style. Exploration of my parent’s music might have been an influence but so does the music from today.

Why a label when there are so many labels out there?
Valley Sound Records means a lot to me. When I was in Argentina, I had the idea of creating a record label. One of the reasons was because of the fact that there are only a few in my city. So I started the label with a couple of friends.

Starting with Valley Sound gave me the opportunity to meet my best friend and my partner, Daniela Ramos aka Forblas. She currently lives in Berlin and is finishing her studies as a sound engineer. We truly believe in the label even though there are so many out there. We are Colombians, we like rhythm, we have a unique character and we have taste. We want to express and share this with the world by helping upcoming artists from our country and city. We have quite some talents over here you know. Besides Felipe Gordon as a new talent we have Monolithic Collective, Phantum Nebulosa, Eugenio and Canedo to mention a few.

How is it like to run a record label in Colombia? Any great artist you can recommend listening to, and coming from your country?
We really just got started. Our label is actually based in Berlin. This is also where our studio is. We try to work with artist mainly over the internet, through mail and social media and other tools out there.

I feel responsible to help new talents because I went through the same thing over and over again. Life as a young artists trying to find his way in the music industry is hard.

One artist I can truly recommend is one of my best friends and excellent producer Christian Lopez, who is part of the duo Phantum Nebulosa. Their music is just wonderful. It is one of the few people that I love to sit down with and talk about music.

As a producer you maintain a very characteristic sound. It reminds us a little of Nicolas Jaar’s Darkside project.
Nicolas is a very good artist I like what he does. I started playing with electric guitars and used delays, but my sound is tilted to acid house and sounds very deep and dark. I like melancholia, after sadness there is always joy, hope and lust. I like to convey the feeling of happiness.
I like to dance a lot. I love a strong and powerful bass. And the drums need to have sabor, it’s a way to say groove in my country.

Can you tell us something about your production process? How do you start with new work?
All depends on the mood I am in on a specific day. I often begin with the pads and the harmony. When I am more in a dancing mood I play it louder and start with with the drums and bass.

What’s up next for Sebastian Valencia in the coming months?
Keep on learning.

Currently I’m working on the first releases of our label, together with Daniela. Also I’m working on the sound of some local movies. And playing a lot of drums and piano.

I am also very happy that my first vinyl is coming out in Germany (Cologne) on the label of Andreas Gehm called Cologne Underground Records. It’s an experimental acid track, a slow one.

And with your label? Any new signings, releases?
It’s a surprise.

What’s that little secret you have music wise? That guilty pleasure almost no one knows?
Understanding music as a language. Play with synthesis, hour after hour.

Valley Sound Records Sebastion Valencia Sebastion Valencia Sebastion Valencia Sebastion Valencia

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.