Our latest artist interview features producer Julian Rodriguez who is the owner and founder of Massive Harmony Records.
1. Hi Julian, thanks very much for joining us here! This is the first time I’ve interviewed you so let’s give our readers and your fans some background info. How old are you and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hi, first at thanks thank you very much for this interview, I’m glad to be part of this. I´m 32 years old, I started producing 5 years ago with a friend, he learned me the first steps and after that i continued by my own.. I´m djing since 2003, I started in small parties, birthdays, as everybody I think..
2. Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
In my childhood home, all my family listened a lot of music, I remember when I was 3 or 4 years old, with my brother, hearing Rock & Roll. But i listen electronic music from 1993, the scene in that times was very limited in my country, hard years to find good music.. I usually listened Depeche Mode, New Order and Kraftwerk because the radios only played that music. After some time, I started my own search seriously, and I discover music of Deep Dish, Sasha, Nick Warren by 1996/1997; and then Hernan Cattaneo in 1999.
3. Argentina is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and talent rich scenes in all of electronic music, do you get a chance to DJ much in your home country and what is it like living in a place that embraces good electronic music the way Argentina does?
There are a lot of DJs nowadays here, and it´s hard to get too much opportunities, but always you can find a good club to play music, there are a lot of places also.
As clubber, sometimes is hard to go to a club, because always is full capacity, but that’s good because people have a big electronic culture, and generally everybody knows a lot of this music.
4. As most of our readers know you own and manage Massive Harmony Records, what was it that made you want to start the label after years of releasing music on other labels? and now that the label is almost a year old are you pleased with where it’s at? and where do you see it going in the future?
Well, I love that old school Progressive we usually heard by 2002/2005 for example, and I think nowadays this fantastic style is disappearing.. For that reason I launched Massive Harmony Records, to keep this “genre” alive as much as I can. Maybe the 60% of the music released by my label, have that tint.
I´m very very pleased how Massive Harmony goes and very impressed too, I don´t thought to have such impact in the scene. Fortunately is going very well. I hope Massive Harmony will keep growing much more, I’m working hard on it.
5. Your own productions have improved a lot in the last year, there seems to be a much groovier more percussive element to them. Is this something you’ve consciously tried to do or have things just happened naturally in the studio?
I´m glad that my productions are improving, thank you.. I think was something natural, I like to explore all I can, maybe that´s the reason about now my music is groovier.
6. 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 in your career that really helped?
As I comment in the first question, a friend (Frede Goto), helped me in the beginning with basic things.. If you have an internet connection, you can find a lot of tutorials around, so that was my next steps.. I read a lot about music production, and I try to test all my DAW can you give. You just have to explore all the possibilities. I think the best advice was “always give much importance to the sound quality, work hard on it”
7. Your recent collaboration with Martin Berger ‘Birdcage’ has enjoyed some nice success. Hernan Cattaneo charted it and also played the track on his radioshow. Would you say that’s one of the proudest moments in your career thus far? and what other moments standout for you?
Yes, that moment was incredible.. Hernan is one of my role model and i´m proud that he liked one of my tracks. Martin is a big friend and we really enjoyed to work together. More tracks are coming in collab with him!
Other big moments for example was when my first track was accepted to be released in a label, or when I played with Frangellico and Marcelo Vasami, that was an amazing night.
8. Do you have anyone helping you with the label or are you doing everything yourself? it’s got to be pretty time consuming with a release every week?
I only work with my girlfriend in the label, she helps me for example with the covers.. We dedicate a lot of time on Massive Harmony, but the results gives you energy to continue with it.
9. What’s a normal day like for Julian Rodriguez? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on production or label duties?
I have my own business with my family, we sell machinery and inputs for industries.
When I don´t work in production or label duties, I love to play football with my friends, go to the gym, take a walk with my girlfriend, go to a bar, cook.. Well, a lot of things.
10. How do you go about getting most of the music for Massive Harmony? Is it primarily through demo submissions or are you out there actively trying to hunt down music on soundcloud as well?
The first times are hard, you have to hunt down music everywhere, you have to talk with the artists, try to convince them to release their music on the label.. You know, is common, no one knew about your new label, so who wants to release a track by an unknown label?
I helped with Elliptical Sun Recordings in the past, my work there was looking for tracks on Soundcloud for example, then I met a lot of good guys and that was very important too. After all the tracks I found was released in ESR, I decided to open my own label. When time passes, and the label is getting known, things are more easy.
11. So you’ve been producing for (x number) of years, how has your studio changed in that time?
Has changed a lot, I started with an onboard soundcard, I don´t had studio monitors or midi controllers. Slowly I tried to get all the necessary gear and now i´m very excited with the studio. But it will be growing more and more.
12. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
It´s a hard question, I loved a lot of tracks early.. I think any Depeche Mode track would be..
13. What was your first and last DJ gig?
My first DJ gig was with friends in a little party, maybe was a birthday, nothing serious. The last one was with Frangellico and Marcelo Vasami in a great club of Buenos Aires.
14. What was the first and last record you purchased?
The first one was Blow Up Your Video, by AC/DC, when I was a child.
The last one was The Soundgarden, by Nick Warren, some weeks ago.
15. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
You mean in the future? Play at Moonpark with Hernan Cattaneo. That would be like touch the sky with my hands.
16. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I was very close to play football (soccer), as professional in the first division of Argentina, in Quilmes Atlético Club, the same team that I’m fan.. But I injured my leg, and I was almost 1 year off.. Too much time when you have a lot of players behind waiting for his opportunity.
17. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Thanks to Massive Harmony Records I know a lot of undiscovered guys.. Or some others making their first steps on the scene. Some fantastic talents with a great future are Guido Elordi, German Angeleri, Martin Berger, Emanuel Begnis, Manu F, Rodrigo Kesovija, Mariano Montori, Franz Lehmann.. And some discovered not too much time ago are Sergey Gebio, John Cosani and Jeremias Ferreyra.. Their music is awesome!
18. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Martin Garcia, Soundexile, Waywork, Stas Drive, Omar El Gamal, Fernando Ferreyra, Arturo Mercado, Marcelo Vasami, Kintar.. I love what they guys do.
19. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I would like to make a remix for Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile.
Arnas D is one of my fav. Producers, and recently he made a remix of a track of mine, that I made in collab with John Cosani. So I’m very happy with it. But if I can dream, I would like to be remixed by Martin Garcia too.. I’d love to hear what Martin would do with some of my tracks.
20. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days and the majority of people feel most of them are mediocre music factories. Which ones if any standout for you?
I love labels like microCastle, Hope Recordings, Sudbeat, Balkan Connection, BCSA.. Well, there are a lot of good labels yet.
21. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Sasha Involver, volume 1.
22. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Argentinean Asado
TV Show: Anyone who shows football
Video Game: Tekhan World Cup
Album: Back In Black
Track / Song: Enjoy The Silence
Producer / Band: Moby
Record Label: Massive Harmony Records
Nightclub: Electric Circus
DJ: Martin Garcia
22. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Underworld – Rez
Julian’s remix of Erreome & John Cosani ‘Andromeda’ is out now on BC2 Records, you can purchase the release: here