The 321st episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Partenaire.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 28, and I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve been djing for almost two years now. I started producing my own tracks a little over a year ago. A late bloomer, so to say. Although I did make an experimental rock EP with a friend of mine almost 3 years ago, but he did all of the recording and mixing that time.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
Growing up I listened to a lot of alternative rock music. But, since I used to write reviews for music blogs, I gotta say I had to listen to pretty much anything. It’s in my early/mid 20’s that I started getting into electronic music with acts like Radiohead. Their use of electronic gear made me want to investigate more, and ended up listening to things like Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Caribou, Bonobo, Trentemøller and Christian Löffler to name a few. After my mid 20’s I got into deep house, techno and progressive. I think it was when I heard stuff by Guy J, Cattaneo and Nick Warren that I thought ‘Oh, this is just magical. I wanna learn how to do this’
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
I remember the first time I opened Ableton. ‘WTF?’ was my first thought. I had to fiddle around with it for a couple of times ‘till I understood how it worked. I’m pretty much self taught. I haven’t had courses or anything like like that, so I shouldn’t be called a producer. But, like I said before, I was in a band with a friend of mine before I started producing on my own, so I guess I had some notion on what to do, what a song looks like, and what I wanted to achieve.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
I think that selecting the ‘vibe’ for the song is the hardest part. By this I mean getting stuff to blend together to create something, a climax. After that, it’s kinda downhill for me. I know where I want to get to. Now it’s just a matter of deciding how things will unravel. But usually, the instruments/lines kinda decide for themselves by then. Some combinations/arrangements will sound better than others, and will leave you with a clearer panorama for the following step. Whenever I hit a roadblock, I just google it (if it’s a technical thing). If it’s a creative one, I just take a walk and listen to whatever bit of the track I can export. I try to listen from a regular listener’s point of view, rather than from a producer’s one.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Right now I’m between jobs. Only thing is that I don’t have a new job currently lined up. Which really means that I’m unemployed. So the last couple of months I’ve been hitting Ableton all I can. I do enjoy a good book or a movie when I`m not making music. Spending time with friends is also essential, and a good source of inspiration. I’m not a lone ranger by any means.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I listen to some rock. Things like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, QOTSA, Radiohead. And I do have a more sensible side, with things like Beatles and Bowie. Also, for some reason, my father is a big fan of the 70’s-80’s. Which means that I am very fond of the whole funk/disco scene. Some things definitely do come through in my productions. Most of them tend to have a bright/shiny feel to them, which surely comes from the whole disco thing. Überkilde, my band, tends to be an outlet for my heavier side. Although I have to admit that my favorite tracks are the ones that blend beautiful melodies with hard, aggressive beats.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
The first one I bought for myself I think has to be an Offspring or a Blink-182 album. But I really can’t be certain here. My last one was a copy of Lonerism, by Tame Impala.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I didn’t enjoy music until I was about 10-11 years old. I don’t know if it’s surprising or not, but I most times you read about an artist, they seem to have known that they wanted to be an artist since they were like 7 weeks old.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I really can’t think of someone being overlooked. But there are some established artist that I think could do with even more attention. Mike Griego, for example. Another argentine producer, who is one of the best I’ve heard.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Guy J, Aphex Twin, Way Out West , Boards Of Canada & Dj Koze are names that come first to my head. It’s might sound silly, but I draw a lot of inspiration from love. I think it’s an endless, vast subject to explore. The range of emotions it has put me thru is really something admirable.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
My advice to anyone here is ‘FINISH YOUR CRAP’. I know a lot of talented people, who always seem to be working on the same stuff over and over, never knowing when to stop. Once you get an idea rolling, try to finish it. Don’t go as far as you think you can for a day only to discard it the next day. It’s impossible to finish anything like that. You’ll get better, eventually. If you do music with a conscience and all your heart, then you are bound to improve over time. I guarantee it.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
I think I would probably go for something beautiful, and epic. Or maybe I would go out with a banger, like ‘Insomina’, by Faithless.
‘Innervisions’ is out now on 3rd Avenue, you can purchase the release: here