DT:Interview | Cristian Varela

DT:Interview | Cristian Varela



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Born in Spain and now London-based, Cristian Varela is a world renowned artist in electronic music not only having a career lasting over two decades, but receiving over 40 awards including ‘Best Worldwide Techno DJ’ in 2007 and 2013.

Cristian’s back catalogue includes appearances on the mighty Primate, Marco Bailey’s MATERIA, Héctor Oaks’ Oaks imprint, and Pascal F.E.O.S’ PV, as well as being at the helm of his own record labels in his highly respected history. Adding to those, he has run Black Codes Experiments since 2003 which has just released his newest studio album titled My Way.

> Hi Cristian, I hope you have been keeping well? It’s been 5 years since I visited London for the Black Codes Experiments club night featuring a one of a kind line-up including yourself, Bas Mooy, Tensal & P.E.A.R.L., Inigo Kennedy, Pfirter and more. I drew great inspiration from this night to hear such talent, can you tell me what inspires you to keep pushing forward with music?
Thank you so much! It was an amazing Black Codes Experiments event we that held at the E1 London club in 2018, time certainly flies and it was worth all the planning. Inspiration is always the result of passion and devotion. Pushing forward with music is my responsibility after 33 years of building positivity for the new generations.

> You have recently dropped your latest album titled ‘My Way’ ‘New Electronic Audio / Adventures’ from 2000 on the classic techno label Primate. How has the music you are releasing changed over the years and is there an aim in mind with your current sound?
My last album ‘Max & Max’ was a beautiful experience. Created for Carl Cox’s label Intec in 2015 many years ago, I thought it was about time I decided to release a new studio work called My Way. Along the following years, I have tried to compile my best creations from different and special moments in my life. The end goal was to have varying points of view in the electronic music and release it all as part of the new album and telling a history with it.

> Can you give us some insight into your studio setup and what hardware/software you are fond of using?
At the moment I have some of my analogue jewels as my main machines, such as the Roland TR-909, TR-808, SH-101 and the new SE-02, SH-4d and GAIA 2. For Mastering I am using Manley Active Passive EQ and Empyrical Labs - Distressor EL8X Compressors. Logic Pro for editing, and Ableton Live for VARELIVE Shows.

> What has been a highlight moment or something you particularly remember as an achievement in the journey so far?
My first 4 turntables tour in Japan in 2000 touched my heart deeply. The Japanese crowd is very special and emotional. I will never forget these moments.

> Can you name a favourite track that follows you everywhere for DJ sets, that you love to play, and please let us know what draws you to it?
Your Body Experience Remix on my beloved Tim Baker’s label Elephanthaus will be in my FlyCase forever!


> What can we expect from you in 2024 and beyond? Are there any special plans you are yet to announce or can drop hints at?
This year is set to be full of collaborations in different territories: Germany with PetDuo we will be doing a Back 3 Back set, Portugal with Miss Sheila B2B, Belgium with Marco Bailey, Brazil with DJ Murphy, Spain with DJ Pepo and all of them!

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