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Interview: Coyu

After catching up with Coyu we find out he simply can't decide between hummus, beer and lemon sorbet...

As one of the biggest DJ's to come from Spain in recent years Coyu has had great support from industry favourites and is known for his close relationship with DJ pals Uner and Edu Imbernon. Here Hannah Davies finds out what he thinks of the house music scene in his homeland as well as the latest goss on his label Suara and future signings.

You have a unique groovy-tech edge to your music, are there any particular sounds/genres that you would like experiment with one day that you haven't yet?

I can't work on the same kind of beat every time. I'm very eclectic, although a lot of people think I can only do tech house music, that's not true. That's why some of my latest productions are a bit different from what people would expect from me. I also have an alias to experiment with other styles [such as] IDM, breaks, hip-hop, dub-step - not the noisy one though - but I want to keep that name as a secret. I will try and hopefully they like the music not the name.

You first started producing music in Berlin, how does this music scene compare to your hometown Barcelona?

Edu Imbernon was living in Berlin and my first experience as a producer was there working in the studio with Ronald Christoph in 2008. One year later I did El Baile Aleman alongside Edu Imbernon which was also in Berlin. Obviously Berlin and Barcelona are very different cities and Berlin is my favourite city in the World but unfortunately I don't speak German and it's a very cold city from November to March. It's a good place to live if you are a clubber as you have some of the best clubs there. The crowds are extremely open minded and the clubs don't close at 6am like in Barcelona, but Barcelona has good food, good wine and good weather.

Do you think that Spain appreciates its home grown talent as much as it could or are the international DJ's still more desired?

No, I don't think so. Spain is a latin country, it's not Germany, the UK or the Netherlands. We have a different way of thinking. We tend to prefer a strange foreign name than a Spanish one, you can check the line-ups from clubs and festivals and you will see very few Spanish names there. Anyway, the Spanish artists are fighting all day long... to change this situation.

You play with Traktor, laptop and mixer controllers in your sets but as a vinyl fan do you think the newer technologies can ever truly rival the old school vinyl?

Vinyl and laptop are different ways to work, I like both but for day-to-day I prefer using the laptop, because it gives you the chance to do more things as a DJ. I also love to do special vinyl sets sometimes though as it's very fun.

You released your Spanish remix EP of X-Press 2's most infamous tracks; Muzik Xpress, Lazy and Kill 100 alongside Edu and Uner with each of you remixing one. Were there any disagreements over who remixed which track?

Edu was very clear in this issue. He was a big fan of Lazy and wanted to do the remix of that tune. Okay. No worries. There are still a lot of XP2 classic tunes to work with. I got the chance to work on Muzik Xpress; it's the oldest classic tune from XP2 and I always loved it. So the decision was quite easy for me, although the vocal of Kill 100 is unbeatable.

You personally took on the 1992 track Muzik Xpress and brought in a more prominent tech house sound. How did you end up with the sound that you did and how has it been received?

To be honest it wasn't easy to do a good remix of Muzik Xpress, because it's a track without a main vocal and the main element is its own groove. So I tried to keep the basic groove alive and bring the 2011 groovy tech house sound to the tune. I know it wasn't very underground but you know Muzik Xpress is a big party tune. Fortunately the remix worked and got a lot of sales, was also a top10 house track and top 2 for 2011 on Skint (the label) and Fatboy Slim charted it, not bad!

In your opinion what's the best track you have ever made?

In terms of what? Quality?


Maybe my remix for Joash on Compost. It was released a couple of months ago.

Your label Suara touches on many genres and sounds with its artists and releases is this a conscious effort to avoid being drawn into a niche?

As I said a few questions before, I'm very eclectic so I cannot sign the same kind of music all the time. I know it's not good for me or the label as people want to tag you as indie disco house, groovy tech house, pumping techno or whatever. If you're one of the biggest labels on the scene you will say okay; [for example] 'label C' used to be very organic, 'label T' very pumping, then 'label B' proggy and mellow but that's not okay for Suara. I like deep, groovy, mellow and techie and sometimes we've even released non-clubby music, like the remix of Joash for Martin Patino's EP. I release just what I like - that's all.

Have you any new signings that we should watch out for in 2012?

You should take a look to a new project called 'Ulm West Deep', a new project from Germany formed by two well know DJs/Producers from the European techno/house scene that prefer to keep their names as a secret. It's a very interesting project.

We've signed their first EP, a 5 original track record which is full of mental, trippy and underground techno. We also have some big names for the next few months: Oxia, Gary Beck, Ramon Tapia, Luca Bacchetti, Pig & Dan, Mathias Kaden, D-Nox & Beckers and Smash TV… The Summer of 2012 should be a good year for Suara!

Last year you told us Aphex Twin, Jeff Mills and Laurent Garnier were your musical heroes. What would you make of a B2B between these three?

B2B2B between Aphex Twin, Jeff Mills and Laurent Garnier? Wow! I would pay a lot of money for watching that show!

If you could travel back to period in time where house music was in your opinion at its best, when would it be and why?

I don't think that there is a better period than another. Now it is hard to find "new" sounds, because everything seems like it was invented, but there are a lot of producers that are doing big things; maybe nothing extremely "new" but still high quality.

If you hadn't of made it as a DJ what would your dream job be?

Mmmmm… When I was a kid I loved football, at 17 years old I had a bad injury and I turned to EDM. Anyway, I think I could be a good sports journalist. I studied political science though but just because I was a bad student. I always liked to party and if you want to get into a career as a journalist you have to study a lot and not party too much.

Uner or Edu?

Both are friends and two of the best producers of the moment. Why choose just one if I can have both!

And finally... beer, hummus or lemon sorbet?

Hardest question of the whole interview... So, beer before the lunch, hummus during the lunch and lemon sorbet after the lunch.

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