The talented Mexican now based Columbia gives us the lowdown on the Columbian scene
Where are you based and what made you decide to start DJing?
Aural Mixology: I’m a Mexican DJ, based in Colombia. What made me decide start DJing was the different moments I was in contact with underground music, first I attended to a small rave in Mexico City where 3 friends were DJing that night and the second and most powerful moment was the night I saw John Digweed for the first time he played @ Rimel Club in Mexico City in the year 2000, there I realized that the vibes that underground music and the scene created in my changed my point of view about music.
Can you remember your first gig? Where was it and did you rock it?
Aurel Mixology: My first gig was at the Akbal Lounge a little bar in Monterrey (northern city in Mexico) was a small place but the owner liked the fact that a friend of mine who also is DJ (his name is Jorge BOF) and myself could play during Friday and Saturday nights. Yes, we rocked it, we generated an amazing atmosphere and we started to make different kind of gigs, always playing first separated and at the end closing with a B2B session.
What’s the local underground scene like for the music you play? Plus where are the best places to play?
Aural Mixology: The local scene is a big one, nowadays Colombia and Mexico have a huge underground scene, as always is also complemented with big fancy clubs and festivals, but again the underground places are taking more and more attention from the people who really enjoy the music more than a place to be seen, in both countries the scene is really closed and hard to get in, if you don’t have the right contacts you will struggle a lot to get a chance to DJ in a recognized place.
The best places to play nowadays in Colombia are: BAUM, Octava, Baren Medellin, Video Club, Bungalow, El Coq and in Mexico City: AM Local, M.N. Roy, Terraza Regina, Foro Normandie, Hookah, Americana.
Talk to us about your DJ setup when you’re performing? How would you describe your style?
Aural Mixology: The genres I like the most are deep house, tech house and progressive house, I don’t like to follow an exact line in my sets because I think that each track will be defined by the people in the dancefloor and the vibes in the place, of course I prepare my tracks and my sets, I have a path in my mind but what I like the most is to drop tracks that can create an atmosphere where people can dance and get in deeply. My style is deep dark progressive house full of atmospheric sounds and melodic tunes.
How often are you DJing?
Aural Mixology: I don’t have a residency right now, but I play almost every day in the studio and in the academy where I’m studying Music Production.
Do the promoters you know take chances on local talent? Or are they mainly booking big names?
Aural Mixology: They mainly book big names and the local names that they know for a long time, as I mentioned if you don’t have the contacts and if you are not close to them it is hard to have a chance to show your music.
How difficult is it to get promoters to take you seriously and what strategies did you use to get their attention?
Aural Mixology: It is very difficult to get their attention, right now there is a huge offering of DJ’s around the world, from the business point of view there is nothing more profitable to bring big names, and from the other side they have their own friends who also are DJ’s. What I’m doing today is get into the scene, know people invest in great music, fresh music, dig into the labels, producers and not going with the charts, investing in a facebook page, SoundCloud and Mixcloud premium subscriptions and recording great sets to be spread around. Also getting into local and foreign contests to be heard.
What’s your country’s attitude towards dance culture like? Is the government tolerant on drugs etc…? Do parties get shut down?
Aural Mixology: Even when in Mexico and Colombia drugs are not legal, in both countries they are trying to communicate in a better way with people to prevent of consuming bad substances, in some events there are some control points so they can help you to prevent to consume any fake substance that can cause fatal situations in people. Politically they are fighting about the drugs, but they realize that is better to face it with communication than repression.
There are some public clubs that are shut down at 3am but there are also private ones that can close early in the morning and can work as after hours.
What is the one thing you feel needs to change in dance music right now?
Aural Mixology: From my point of view there should be more opportunities to be heard, like this initiative that I consider amazing, promoters, clubs, festivals, should invest in more contests or activities to find new talents, our current big names won’t be here forever and there is a lot of fantastic local talent in each region in the world.
What’s been your biggest achievement this year?
Aural Mixology: Formalize my music studies in music and now getting into the music production.
Have you any plans to start producing? And which countries would you like to start playing next?
Aural Mixology: Yes, right now I just started a few weeks ago and I’m targeting to finish next year my course and also to try to get my first release.