Busy Busy Barem


Hopefully you tuned into Barem’s podcast for us last week. It showed a progression in the man’s sound which was also showcased on his latest album back in June. As such we thought we’d pin him down to get some details about that, the post-minimal years, his association with Minus and much more…


How has your year been so far? What has got you most excited (musically or otherwise…)

It has been great so far, lots of work and almost no time off but accomplished a lot of goals I had for some years. The album was a big step forward and what gets me the most excited about it is that I could finally summarize everything I’ve done through these past 6 years in a full length LP. Every time I listen to it I get the feeling of a work well done, technically, emotionally and artistically. Other than that, I’m very happy that I took many things that were on the pipe for some time and did them all together. Feels good to find all the energy and motivation to do a lot at once.


How have your tastes/how has your style evolved in the last couple of years since minimal kind of went sour (at least in the eyes of the public)… has it been tough or?

I wouldn’t say tough, but it took me some time to evolve from my old sound, which was very characteristic. It’s not so easy to take things into new directions and still be yourself. But I think I succeeded on that with my Kolimar EP 3 years ago. At least that was the beginning of it.

In a way I don’t think that I stopped producing minimal. For me minimal is a way of making music, not really the sound that most people talk about, which is usually straight forward minimal techno.

When I began working with more organic sounds maybe with a ‘housier’ approach, I still used my minimalistic way of seeing music, always trying to make clear simple tracks with not so much going on at the same time. That’s still the approach I use today, and it’s a big part of my music personality. As a DJ though, I think I started working with a lot more styles and also different levels of complexity. Technology now allows you to combine different styles way easier than before and control timing a lot better. That changed my way of playing and the way I create while I’m behind the decks.



You had the album release earlier this year… how do you feel about it now you look back? Did you enjoy the process? Did you feel happy you represented yourself well?

I’m 100% happy with it. The process seems to have been very fast and smooth when I look back, but if I look in detail, there was so much work on every aspect of the record, that it feels completely the opposite. I did enjoy every step a lot and my expectations kept me very sharp through the entire process, trying not to leave anything half done, ’cause I knew in the end I was gonna regret it. I really think I represented myself well, in a way I never did before. The album combines everything i’ve done since I started releasing music and summarizes everything I stand and stood for as a producer. That’s not easy to do, and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.


You’ve said before you fell out of love with producing – what made you fall back in love? One track, one sound, one producer or…?

Looking back I wouldn’t say I fell out of love with producing back then. But I needed a break. I’m not that kind of studio nerd that loves sitting in the studio for days and days to see what happens. I usually sit in the studio and make music when I have something to say, or a specific record in my mind. That’s the reason why I don’t have any music left after I release something. There’s probably only 2 or 3 tracks I finished that I never released. That said, I’m not sure if I fell back in love with producing. I know I had fun making this album and I enjoyed the process, but I haven’t done a single loop since I finished in February. I put all the ideas I had on the album and needed some new time away from production. But now I’m in the process of creating my next record in my mind. Once I have it, I’ll go back in the studio and write it.


You have your own radio show now, right? What do you see as its purpose? Is it different to doing a DJ set in a club or…? What do you enjoy about it?

I have a monthly segment in an FM radio in Buenos Aires. I like the way it lets me show music that I like in a different way that when I DJ at a club. It’s a lot more like putting nice music together, than a real performance, which doesn’t work as well in a living room as it does at a club or festival. It also helps me support artists that I admire and maybe people still don’t know much about. In fact I’m starting a new segment which is about mixing tracks from one artist, or label in one hour. First one comes in October, with a one hour mix I did with my favorite tracks from Stimming, from Hamburg.



You’re still closely associated with Minus – would you like to break away from that like say Troy, Marc and Magda have done or…. Every worry about being pigeon-holed?

I think they are in different moments in their lives and careers. I am very happy at minus and for now I don’t feel the need of creating my own platform. But I respect what they did and maybe one day I’ll do the same. It just doesn’t feel right for me right now. About being worried, not at all… I’m worried about my general development right now and I trust minus and everybody in it to help me get further.


Tell us about the mix you recorded for us… what was the aim?

Well, there’s not really a particular aim, other than the one I mentioned before, which is to play music that I like in a laid back way for an hour. I like people to be able to listen to these kinds of podcasts in their cars, living rooms, pre parties, afterhours, etc.


What sort of kit did you use and is that ‘how’ important to you? Also tell us a bit about your live show if you can…

When I DJ I use Traktor with turntables, a sampler, a Pioneer CDJ with tools and acapellas and a Native Instruments X1. For my live set I use ableton controlled with an iPad and a UC-33. I do most things with the mixer though, ’cause I like to also have a DJ feeling when I play live. The other add on of my live set are the super dope visuals my friend Martin Carpaneto does when I perform.


What else have you got coming up/are you looking forward to? Are you fully enthused at the moment?

Right now I’m very looking forward to the end of the year and take some time off to recover energy and get ready for the next production stages probably for an EP in early 2012. I am fully enthused on what I’m doing and with the work of some others, but not sure about the scene in general. It seems to be a time where music has lost a bit of strength against the performance. Being a showman gives you more fans than playing a good set and also making a hit with some cheesy vocals gives you a lot more (in popularity and status terms) than a well-developed album. The good thing is that the most important is still what you believe and feel and no market rules can change that.


Finally, who are you on the daily outside of music?

Pretty much the same guy, but I do other things. Food is a big deal for me, and traveling is perfect for it. I love watching football (which you wrongly call soccer in north america), I play tennis a couple times a week and I’m also a long time surfer. That’s the hardest though, ’cause I never find enough time to travel for surfing anymore.