Developing and curating various Techno projects out of Los Angeles (USA) for well over a decade, are Vidal & Vangelis Vargas, known to most as the DJ and production duo Raíz.
Respected for being top selectors and creatively moulding magical sets, their music has been featured on top flight labels such as Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe, Chris Liebing’s CLR, Hans Bouffmyhre’s Sleaze and Truncate. Joining forces with the likes of Drumcell as the Droid Behavior events and label brand, 2013 saw the birth of VRV Records, envisioned with another ally named Subversive, which has since been a solid vessel for their more recent musical output.
We caught up with them following the latest release that goes by the name of Mirrored Selves…
> 01. Which artists and genres inspired you to start producing music?
Electro, Kraftwerk, Acid, NIN, RAVE, Detroit Techno, Ghetto Trax, Hip Hop.
> 02. What production hardware or software do you get the best results from and what does it bring to your work?
Our production style is executed in layers. Ableton allows us to make a grand sketch of it all and lends itself to the implementation of nuance, similar to painting on a canvas. The hardware we have is limited but effective. My background as a classically trained musician pushes me in the direction of live instrumentation so the Juno 6 / Virus / 909 / are at the center piece of the studio.
> 03. Which track from your own back catalogue are a staple in your DJ/Live sets?
“Raíz (Nueva)” [Historia y Violencia] (2010)
> 04. What aspect do you enjoy the most from working in music?
The opportunity to meet and share stories with our influences and musical peers. It’s inspiring.
> 05. What would you change or improve about the music industry and/or club culture?
That listeners would have their own opinions and not be so easily swayed by what “trusted sources” tell them what is cool or relevant. It would be nice if the industry and audiences placed a bit less importance on “image” and more focus on actual musical talent. The Hypetrain cannibalises the artistic aspect of music and lends itself to the unbalanced ratio of participators vs people jumping into roles of promoters, DJs, etc simply for reasons of self-glorification or money driven motives.
Also an issue worth addressing would be the need for better global understanding and tolerance of club culture by outsiders that constantly demonise it. It takes patience, resilience and a constant honing of your craft to find contentment with your own talents. Artists constantly endure external pressure and frustration, we do not need the authorities making it more difficult than it already is.
> 06. What’s your passion outside of making music?
Vangelis: visual art, traveling/exploring, Metaphysical topics/Spirituality
Vidal vice-ing (is that a word?) / life research
> 07. Where has been one of your most enjoyable gigs to date and what made it so special?
There have been so many in as far as places… Poland, Germany, Japan, Midwest, and many an Interface in LA and abroad. What always makes them special is that we are able to connect with the audience, challenge them, take risks, and successfully tell a narrative through the music. Our sets can be wide ranging and sometimes even genre blurring, but always has these diverse elements and how we piece them together that make for a memorable night. Example: Our set last year from Innervisions Nacht in Berlin.
> 08. Which tracks by another artist have really caught your attention recently?
> 09. Which artists do you keep a close eye on and rate highly for the future?
> 10. What forthcoming projects or releases are we yet to see?
Currently out is our VRVT-002 Tape Release…
We also have a VRV remix series featuring Silent Servant, Santiago Salazar, Cell Injection, DJ Hyperactive, Voiski and Subversive…