2014 has been a vintage year for Hugo Capablanca. Shifting up gears with his label Discos Capablanca, a Beats in Space mix that we couldn’t stop playing followed by a knock out performance on a gloriously psych sunny afternoon at Bestival for Harvey’s Discotheque. To celebrate, we had a quick chat with the man himself about his past, present and future and he has kindly recorded a brand new mix for us, enjoy!
Hello Hugo! How’s it going? You have recently returned from a US/ Mexico tour, how was it?
Hey Jacob! All good man. Honestly arrived back in Berlin last night pretty exhausted from the tour and I’m off tomorrow already to play at Lux in Lisboa, but it was so worth it. Pretty fucking crazy too!! I did two of my favourite spots in Mexico, the brand new Kin Kin in Guadalajara, lush sound for just about 150 people and killer vibes, and MN ROY which is that one in Mexico City that looks like a random pink Mexican house from the outside and a sort of modern Mayan pyramid made of glass and wood from the inside. Their out of this planet mezcal cocktails and a really wild, hi end crowd high on mushrooms made me go for about six hours!!! One of my favourite places on Earth and a night to remember for sure. Little sleep but great times!
The States were pretty out there too, my debut at Le Bain with Mike Simonetti and I B2B was really wild too, always fun to play with Mike, packed dancefloor with insanely hot people and… yeah smoking cigarettes and talking shit in between sets at the roof haha! You know taking a fresh breath over the most impressive view of NY night skyline felt as good… I don’t know, it just feels great. I think everyone had a rad night there, Neil and the guys loved it. Bossa Nova Civic on a Monday was pretty cool too! It reminds me of that Club Berlin in the film After Hours, which can’t be a bad thing in my book. And, what else, yeah of course last but not least at all, The Electric Pickle in Miami, Thee Room, LOVED that place! Can’t wait to be back really. Amazing place, amazing people, amazing sound…
Miami overall was badass: killed my days at the beach drinking cocktails, got burned too (being end of October I consider that quite an achievement), learnt how to extract aloe straight out of the plant and get pure hippie Earth goodness and heal my burnt skin like magic, got to meet Roman Flügel at a lovely dinner my friend and host Diego organized for both of us… can’t complain really. It’s been a blast!
Nice! Any musical highlight’s from the summer?
Mehmet Aslan’ Mechanical Turk is the tune of the summer of love and beyond, for sure. It just came out but I have been playing it nonstop since its first version and its just… you won’t get tired of it. Instant classic! Just got my hands on the first release of the infamous Australian blog slash radio show now turned label, Noise in My Head as well. First reference is new Suzanne Kraft material and is just too good. Keep an eye on both label and artist, and won’t tell about Suzie’s alter egos yet but… do your homework and what you might find might blow your mind.
Anything Samo is doing lately glues with my bag so well it won’t leave. Anything Public Possession releases really. Sotofett been on fire for too long it’s not even worth mention! But been playing a lot of his stuff this summer. Trippy disco from the future! The Fantasy jams from Detroit! Also more like stuff to play at home, or while the sun sets in a desert, next to an oasis, or while the sun rises in Bali, for example? really diggin these early electronic jams by Mammane Sani et Son Organ from Nigeria. Just a dude and its organ and it’s so sick it’s embarrassing. Quit whining about all that gear you need! Just do it! Funk Punk!
You have a residency at Berlin club Renate, one of our favourite joints in the German capital. How has that been going? What is it about that place!?
I’m proudly holding a residency at the infamous Paradisco parties, product of the twisted mind of that Tasmanian devil that is Paramida. Although I’m travelling so much lately I hardly get to play there anymore! HA HA! I’ve been throwing some of my own label parties there as well, the first one with Baris K was nothing short of legendary. I’m not bluffing! And that talking about Renate that is saying a lot! Love that club so much really, it’s such a fun mess, it’s a delirium!
Your label; Discos Capablanca seems to be really heating up this year! What have you got on the horizon for us?
I’m glad I finally managed to put out more than one record a year. I’m very proud of myself! I’m one of those quality over quantity guys, but it’s a good thing to maybe give a flying fuck about your label too! So this year I managed to put three or four releases and I love all of them, and the plan is to keep on speeding up but keeping the high quality standards and the spaced out vibes and the raw jams, until I manage to release in a year what Ron puts out in a month! That’s my goal!
Coming up: possibly new jams by elusive Detroit maestro Sharif Laffrey if he manages to Polish some more gold, Japanese rising star Keita Sano is about to drop a bomb, jungle ketaminic jams from one of the SF Monsters, Naduve from Tel Aviv with a dancefloor slasher acid take by Man Power, a new series of compilation EPs about invisible cities or maybe psychogeographical recordings… good stuff!
You are originally trained as a visual artist? How do you feel this influence manifests itself in your work as a musician?
Well I guess I started playing records for fun while in art school with a quite unusual approach, I always gave priority to the music over the mixing and that gained me a lot of hate and a few followers too. I can’t stick to a certain style or genre before I get bored and I like to create unusual situations in the dancefloor. I’m not your deep house kind of DJ so to speak. That’s an influence from those amateur artsy days were you were encouraged to find your own scoop on Art, your own vision, you know? and even though nowadays my main occupation is DJing and I do obviously mix and all I still see playing records as a sort of performance and I like that. I like to read the crowd and feel their energy and make them dance as much as I can but I also like to play with the surprise factor and keep things exciting. I want each set to be an unique experience and I rather fail than being boring. And please kill me if I change my mind!
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