The Barcelona bred started his interest in music through recording mixes to cassette tapes in the late 90s. He quickly built a passion for electronic music and started to amass a collection of superbly picked records. The influence of techno and house movements of that time would be the catalyst to his entry into the world of production Rainer is the type of artist who will never compromise, never settle for less and always go the extra mile to find that perfect groove. It is said that music at its basic level is a simple form of raw expression, so if you haven’t been paying attention, you definitely will be after this…
Its been a few years now since you appeared on the scene with your first release, how has the journey been so far?
The journey has been incredible for me so far, but I never really set out with any goals in order to get somewhere specifically. For me it’s all about not overly pressuring yourself too much, keep it simple, relaxed. I try to learn a little from every experience and from the people I meet. Of course there is still a lot more I want to achieve, but that is what makes this all very interesting for me.
When is the moment you realised that you were going to pursue electronic music?
I have been into electronic music since I was very young, listening to lots of different stuff, but I think what really got me into it was two clubs i used to go to in Barcelona when i was younger: Spoony Bar & Apollo. I was going there to listen to all my favorite DJs like Jeff Mills, Sven [Vath], Ricardo [Villalobos], Richie [Hawtin] and it really got me pumped up to do my own thing. Then I moved to London and met other artists that motivated me to do what I do now.
You site Jazz music and the likes of Jeff Mills, Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin as part of your early education and inspiration, how important is other music outside of electronic in refining your own sound? Do you still go back to your old records to find new ideas?
I’m always finding interesting sounds outside the electronic world and I see now more and more people experimenting with proper sounds and elements from real instruments, these work very well combined with Techno music. It is all about melting the organic with the electronic, and making a good smooth combination that when it is mixed with good drum rhythms you can allow people to drift away and travel with the sound.
There is one name that has helped introduced me to this world, that name is Mathew Herbert. He has always used live recordings of various experiments with different organic sounds, like the sound of eating food or the noises of industrial machines, even the sound of the human body. He manages to incorporate all of them together with electronic music and drum rhythms, like for example in one of my all time favorite projects, the Vegetable Orchestra, who did many collaborations with Mather Herbet as well as with Ricardo Villalobos.
Sure, I do go back to my old records and I love playing music from the old days, I think it is combination of both new and old that make your DJ sets much more special these days. As for my other inspirations, I can say that they are now close friends of mine and have been very important to me. I have shaped my own style from learning and sharing music with them, feeding me with musical information and new techniques. One of them in particular is Javier Viudez (from Birdsmakingmachine) who introduced me to a more modern side of Techno music back in 2002. I also should mention Cesare Marchese who taught me a lot in the studio during my years living in London.
Many other artists have been inspirational to me right from the moment I heard their music, Ricardo Villalobos, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Mathew Johnson. I also think my early years in London marked a very important stage of my development as an artist and DJ. London was a hot spot back then, immersed with creativity from raw new talents, who were leading a wave of new vibes in the local scene, I had access to this while working at Fabric for two years, giving me insight into these new emerging sounds.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My friends and people around me. Musically, listening to Ricardo [Villalobos] play at fabric is always an emotional moment of inspiration.
You are from the Catalan capital Barcelona, which is famous for the likes of Gaudi, Miro, Dali and of course Tete Montoliu. Do you draw from this energy in the city? Have you experienced this anywhere else?
Well I believe you can find mysticism anywhere that you feel a close connection to the source. Barcelona is definitely an inspiring city for myself and for many people. Yet lately I do feel like it has has been influenced a lot by the vibe in Berlin, especially musically from the forward thinking sounds you find there.
I have lived there before for a number of years, I produced a lot of music during my stay and found some amazing records. I also met a lot of incredible people too and discovered some unique places. Berlin has been the center musically for many Artists and I believe even called the European capital for Techno, so I guess I will say that both cities have been very motivating for me.
Hows the electronic music scene in Spain?
is strong. Im very happy to hear some quality sounds coming from Spain lately. Lots of good new labels and artists are based in Spain. This is great for the industry and for the people that want to start making music and feel like they don’t know where to start from. It also pleases me that promoters and parties are starting to bring more interesting acts to Barcelona, making it a more fun and inspiring place to go out!
In your teenage years you found yourself living in the USA, home of course to Chicago House and Detroit Techno music, I am also curious about your own experience with the cultural change?
I moved to California in 1997, I had a very healthy youth growing up there. Most of the time I was either skating or surfing, I didn’t really start listening to any electronic music until the very last years that I was there. My friend Jake had some House and Disco records, which were from his older brother, so in his garage at his house we were just spinning them, trying to match the beats together for hours and hours.
I guess it all really started after I moved back to Barcelona in 2000-2001, there I discovered the German and Detroit Techno sounds and I started to dig for vinyl, to experiment with my mixing. The move back definitely helped me to get closer to the European scene and develop my network there, and start my career as a DJ.
Let us now focus and talk about music production, especially on how you approach your writing process, perhaps you can give us some insight into what you use in the studio?
For the last few years I have been experimenting with the analog world and I am trying to bring more soul and groove into my music. I believe strongly in the relationship between man and machine, and I totally fell in love with the swing that a few machines can create when you sync them together. So this is how I write my music at the moment, I sync all my machines together, which are wired up to a sound card and to an analog mixer.
I prefer to record my sounds with Ableton, but I have used Logic and Cubase in the past. I program my gear and then make a live jam session, from those recordings I will use the elements for my future tracks…I like to play around and have fun, keep it free flowing and not follow any strict production rules.
I use a Jomox Xbase 999 as my main drum machine, a Korg Electribe SX for my samples and a few Vermona Mono Modules that I sequence through the Sampler or the Computer. I like the Vermona filter Lancet, it gives a lot of personality to my drums. I also use a Roland SH101 and a TR 707, and a Waldorf XT for my Keys, Pads, Synths, Percussion and Bass. I run all of that through a Soundcraft Spiritstudio 24 Channel mixer, which is connected to some beautiful focal Monitors.
When you are writing a new groove and working out the details of the rhythms and the atmospheres, it must be patient work to get it as perfect as possible, or does it just happen easily for you?
I consider myself to be an improviser, so when I work in the studio I tend to experiment a lot when I write my sequences. In my music you can always find space, which offers the DJ room to explore with.
Once I have written a few sequences and patterns that I like, I will go and work on layering by adding details, effects and fills…this is my process. I usually like to work on something long enough to not get tired of it and keep it as fresh as possible but with a pure essence.