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Christian Varela

Interview: Christian Varela on his creative process and Black Codes Experiments

When talking about Cristian Varela’s roots, longstanding fans of the Techno genre will need little introduction for his seminal remixes of artists such as Ben Sims, Speedy J,… And, although living in London for many years, he has never forgotten his humble roots.

Often returning to Spain to give guest talks at many of the country’s leading music schools and colleges. Cristian Varela is acknowledged as one of Spain’s pioneering techno producers and promoters. We believe we can say that he played a crucial role in building the Spanish electronic music scene.

When he started his career over three decades ago, he was one of the first Spanish DJs to receive international bookings.

We got in touch with this pioneer to talk about his latest release and creative process when working on new tracks. Enjoy

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Hey Cristian, great to have you here with us at Tanzgemeinschaft. How are you doing? 

Hi team, all good, just landed in the UK after a crazy Summer!

How has 2022 been for you so far? Looks like you’ve been very busy! 

Yeah! I had a lot of festivals and tours in South America, Western Europe, and Spain, but I can’t complain..very happy!

Congratulations on the release of your new remix of Resurrection – Desolated. Can you tell us about the package?

Thank you so much, actually, I am very satisfied with the results. To be honest the stems package sent from Resurrection was excellent. With this material, it was easy and inspirational for me to make the remix.

How does your creative process start when making a record like this?

First of all, I have to find the perfect “main sound” and after long research and modulations, when found then I start to create a proper and harmonic bassline in accordance with this specific sound. I spend most of the time making a kick for the bassline, again trying different kinds of oscillators and compressions, ….

Once the “main sound” and the base are ready magic starts to happen and the inspiration leads me to create different layers, effects, and filters. Finally, I create the final structure for the main track. The last and very important part is to spend time getting a great MIX & Mastering.

More on production – what are some of your favorite pieces of studio gear? Are you big into hardware?

Of course, I love to use hardware every time because combined with some digital plug-ins the sound results can be amazing! My favorite pieces without any doubt are my Roland-SH101, the SE02 and my Korg-Monopoly, Korg MS20. Manley EQ and Empirical Labs-Distressor.

Let’s talk some more about your label Black Codes Experiments. How’s that going?

The label is going like a rocket! Launching EP´s every 3 weeks and most of the references with my remixes because I love to create different versions inspired by the original tracks. Sales growing up and promoting Black Codes Experiments events at ADE, Fabrik, Industrial Copera, and of course at our headquarters in London_E1.

Are there any more big releases between now and the end of the year that you can mention?

Especially since my new album is ready to go and some tracks created for Regal´s label “Involve Records” and Hector Oaks (OAKS) with new EPs also coming very soon!

What’s the hardest part of running a label?

Finance is the worst part of running a label because vinyl manufacturing is expensive and sales are very limited! Digital sales are not bad but enough to cover label costs. Never expect to be rich running a Techno Label! ahhahh!

And the most rewarding?

To be honest I always loved to help and push the artists (who deserve it) in their careers and of course also the new talents because they will be our legacy! The great part of running a label is the freedom of releasing the music we love, whenever we want.

We’ve just come off the back of a huge festival season. What were some of the best events you played this Summer?

I loved to play again at Ultra Miami, Aquasella, Villatechnillo, Emporium, Creamfields, Extremusic…

What do you like to do when you’re not making music and winding down?
Visit some museums with my wife, theatre, opera or just watch movies at home!

Lastly, what does the rest of 2022 look like for you? Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline that you can share?

Yeah! Besides my new album in Black Codes Experiments I have my 6 SIX Turntables Show- Worldwide Tour and some amazing new productions + my Phrenetic Society event (28th Anniversary) at La Cubierta- Leganés in Madrid and Fabrik with my friend Raul Ortiz and his great event called La Resistencia. Glad to spend a few weeks in Spain with my family, team, and friends!


Thank you.

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