After swapping his hometown of Malaga to Berlin, Carlo has been living in the European hotbed of electronic music for quite some time now. Being a true househead, Carlo released his stuff on many acclaimed labels such as Classic Music Company, Madhouse, Slothboogie and recently on his own label Aterral.
He’s also been a curator of The Circle Sessions at Berlin’s famous Watergate club and sharing the same studio with another stand-out name in the house community – Black Loops. About all that and everything in between in the QA session below.
Hola, Carlo! We hope you’re well. Thanks for finding time to talk to us! How are you holding up?
Hola! Thanks for the invitation. I’m doing fine, just counting down the days until we can all go back safely to the dance floor.
2020 will surely be a year to remember for the rest of our lives. How was it for you? What are the positives you can take from 2020?
Probably the hardest part was not being able to see my family in Spain. Regarding music… What does a dj do in a world with no parties? Time to think about new plans, make loads of music and get things rolling. The positive thing was that I could spend a lot of time with my family and I really enjoyed it.
Tell us a bit more about your new label Aterral. How did this idea come to be?
Since a while I wanted to create a platform where I can display my vision of house music. I just try to release music that I like and I can not find so easily. The pandemic was the straw that breaks the camel’s back and I decided to start with the project as I had more time to work on it.
There is some music coming from a bunch of talented young names such Retromigration, Nephews, Dan Be, Techniscje Loef, Bas Toast and some new material from Lis Sarroca and Black Loops. Really happy with all the music that came to my hands lately.
Neovinyl is just having a long break to redefine the whole project. We haven’t put out any new music for a couple of years and we don’t know when we’re gonna go back to it. But we will definitely come back stronger.
I had a really strong group of young local talents that could do well at Watergate and I contacted them. We did three parties in a bit more than a year and they all went really good. Ultimately they offered me the possibility to do an event every 2 months. After this point I changed the philosophy of the party and decided that the bills will always be the same. You can find Black Loops, Turkish and myself (almost) at every party. I wanted to enhance the work of resident Djs. I love to be a resident, you know the people and they know you. When you come you know what to expect, who to meet and what’s gonna be the vibe. We tried this formula and it has been growing for the last 2 years until the lockdown. In January we would have celebrated the 4th anniversary.Personally I will always remember the one party where Black Loops and Turkish had to leave early because they were travelling the next day and I had to close the water floor alone. I played a five hours set until nine am and this was beyond words. When I play there I always picture myself 12 years back being on the dance floor and I try to provide the best musical environment to such a magical location. I don’t know how and when it’s gonna come back, but we will definitely be supporting watergate.
I live in Northern Europe and have quite a few friends or acquaintances who did the exact opposite to you: they moved from the north to either Portugal or Medittaranean coast of Spain in order to avoid these gloomy winters and be able to enjoy more sunshine and warmth. What were the main factors that helped you to make up your mind and leave sunny Malaga? How do you cope with Berlin’s winter being Spaniard? :)
In the end of the day is all about preferences, my passion is music and that’s why I moved here. Otherwise I would rather stay in warm Malaga than cold Berlin.I’m not gonna neglect the fact that winters are hard here but after so long it is kind of easy to deal with them. What I miss the most is the light, it’s pretty dark in winter here but there’s something very special about the summer that I love.Do you feel like house music (or all electronic dance music for that matter) has lost its relevance during these times of pandemic when there’s no actual parties and most of us are stranded at home?
Of course I feel this way. I think it is just the normal thing to happen, we just need to wait until parties are back.
Some of my friends are telling me that they stopped listening to dance music at home altogether. Some of them got back to their roots like hip hop, trip hop, dub, experimental music, idm, kraut, psychedelic or punk rock and so on. Maybe this is also the case for you? Have you caught yourself getting back to music that was lost to you for a while?
yeah, I had the same feeling during the first months of pandemic. I did not have any interest in doing any dance music at all.
What do you think about releasing new music during these times? We can paraphrase Hamlet’s famous existential question here: release or not to release (or wait for better times)?
It’s always a good time to discover new music, I just stick to that.
What keeps you moving forward during these tough times and what’s your expectations for 2021?
My family had a crucial role during these times and regarding 2021 I’ll just go with the flow
Any new (or old) exciting talents that you dug up lately and would like to share with our readers?
Niccolo Turini, Toka Project, Tilman, Lis Sarroca, Laurence guy, Snad, Sune, ScruScru, Kaleb Jackson, Hatt. D, Christopher Salin, Felipe Gordon, Bass Toast, Ruff Stuff, Dj Cream and of course Black Loops picture my sound of today.
Thanks for your time.
It was a pleasure!
Interview by Ramunas