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Feature: Fur Coat [Interview]

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Hailing originally from Venezuela, and now based in Barcelona, Fur Coat’s story is one of passion for techno and electronic music. It’s a tale of deep, dark driven beats and rolling grooves that both encapsulates the mind and moves the feet. It was this love of music that in 2004 brought Sergio Muñoz and Israel Sunshine together and led to a musical intertwining which would drape itself over the shoulders of the music industry.

Hey Guys, thanks for joining us today, tell us where you are at the moment and what will you be doing today?
Hi guys, thanks for having us! Well we are in Barcelona at the moment our hometown. I (Sergio) just finished working out and Israel is at his place right now. We are hitting the studio later today to work as usual during the week on new music, and getting ready for this week’s Labyrinth Festival in Croatia!

What were your first experiences with electronic music?  Where do your early influences lie and do you have musical backgrounds? Do either of you play any instruments?
We come from different backgrounds, although we have always had music in common. As you know there is an age gap of 12 years between us. Israel got into electronic music after travelling to Ibiza, he was already a DJ and was involved in Caracas’s nightlife, as he was part owner of a club. I (Sergio) started getting interested in electronic music in the later years of school, listening to some global underground mixes, Carl Cox and what was hot at the time. I started going to all the parties I could with a fake ID and I also was a DJ already as my dad used to be one too. I practiced at home and mixed at friends parties, dance and more crossover stuff. Production came later, when I was already known in the music scene and was making music as Sergio Muñoz, then as Delete and being able to sign to big labels, an agency,  and get to know the industry and travel.

We both come from a background of House and Techno, we met each other when we were playing in Venezuela. At that time we were playing a kind of electro style, things like Tiefschwarz, Buick Project, Tiga, Thomas Anderson, to name a few.  We always had in common the same musical taste when we played, ane we were also playing minimal and techno. So our evolution has been very natural, as we have a very good understanding of each other when we play. This all started for fun, then it became out party called Undersounds in Venezuela, and later in 2010 we decide to put together a project and try things together in the studio as Fur Coat.

We are both self taught musicians, so we have learned from listening, studying at home and a lot of practice!

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true in Fur Coat? Where does inspiration come from?
Inspiration definitely comes from our daily experiences, and how we are feeling. All these feelings are created by our travels, life experiences, even a great meal we had in some country. So definitely we can say life itself inspires us. The music that we listen to also has an influence on what we do, not only something electronic we might like from a set we are playing, but music from other electronic or non electronic artists.

Looking back over your discography, what would say was a pivotal point in your career? Is there a release that stands out which really helped establish you? Would ‘U-Turn’ (Crosstown Rebels, 2014) be high on that list?
Definitely, those years were really key for us and “U turn” was part of what really helped establish us. That same year we did “There’s no time” which is also a track that did very well, got a lot of plays, and definitely both of these tracks we feel still feel fresh you know? This is something we always try to achieve with our music, aiming to make it timeless.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within the Fur Coat dynamic?
This is a true statement. Our life is Fur Coat. We have put all our efforts and probably most of our time into this. We produce everyday of the week. We usually have our own things to do in the morning like training or some errands, but then we always hit the studio. We are also focused on our label Oddity, and always have things to do there. Aside from that you have the usual responsibilities of this career from speaking to our manager, agents and as a team planning the things to come within the year. On the weekends we are mostly travelling. We both are married and try to travel as much as we can with our wives to get that balance. When we have some free time or a free weekend we just enjoy doing plans with friends or with our wives, and just disconnecting a bit from the music world.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?
Wow! difficult task to decide, but definitely I (Sergio) am a big fan of Hans Zimmer and his work on inception and Interstellar. Also I love the work of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and what they did for the Social Network. We both also love the work of Junkie XL on Mad Max.

There is some amazing music coming out of Spain at the moment. How has moving there affected the music you make? You must feel a great creative energy?
Moving here has really influenced our music. You get inspired all the time, even the seasons effects our feelings you know. That didn’t happen in Venezuela as we lived in an eternal summer! So here our creativity is much more active, so many things that inspire us around the city. We are so close to the beach, but at the same time Israel gets a view from his balcony to Sagrada Family or I just walk from my home for some blocks and see an amazing building, its unreal to say we have that in our backyard you know?

The city is also super artsy and gothic, so yes its for sure part of the creative energy!

What do you want your music to convey to the listener? This must be something which varies from project to project?
Our music is dancefloor oriented, groovy and emotional. Our goal is to transmit emotion through timeless music that you want to put on over and over again. It’s not an easy task to achieve, but tha’s our focus. Also we try to have elements within out tracks that have the Fur Coat stamp and a catchy hook that makes you remember our tracks or an element that stays in your head.

Talk to us about your label Oddity, what is the vision you have for it?
Oddity is a platform not only for our music, but for us to showcase new talent and established musicians that we already play music from. It’s also an artist expression from us working on the phial releases and covers. We try to put all this together into a form of expression from Fur Coat to the supporters. We are always trying to bring something special in each release, with no rush. We don’t work on a structured schedule, we say that when music is ready and when we feel it’s complete, we put the EP out. It’s a platform to showcase not only dancefloor music, but also more experimental projects that artists want to explore. The focus and genre is techno, from groovy to melodic, but this doesn’t mean we can’t have surprises from us or other artists like, ambient track’s or track’s with no beats. As long as we feel the music 100% we are going to put it out.

The artwork is quite stunning, it’s obviously something you consider a big part of each project, is this something that has been lost as music gets more rapidly consumed?
Thanks! We appreciate such a compliment. That’s the idea, that each buyer of the physical copies feel that they own something special. There has been a lot of work behind the project and each details is considered with a lot of care. We are always learning and correcting things as we continue with the releases, now we are on Oddity 004 that will be coming out this year from us.

The internet has been a double sided weapon, it can be used in such a wonderful way but at the same time it has created a space for things to get out so quickly and people don’t take the time to appreciate. Sometimes people and this system will just be thinking about what’s next, instead of enjoying the present and the now and this definitely shows in terms of how much effort people put into their releases..

What advice would have for an artist hoping to sign their music to Oddity?
Be yourself and don’t try to copy anything. It’s not bad to try to be in a genre, but do it from your own direction and from your heart. It’s always good to be influenced by other artists you admire, but the best music is what feels fresh and this is also what ends up being timeless. Simply.. don’t put yourself in a box and try to sound a certain way, just express yourself.

Has a Fur Coat album been discussed at all? When might we see that?
We already did one in 2012. It took us a year, It was a lot of work and was a interesting and rewarding experience. At this point we haven´t thought of doing a second Album but I’m sure at some point in our career we would do a second, but it would most likely  be a project not solely based on dancefloor music. So for the near future is not something to expect from us just yet!

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration? Or does a certain vibe or flow sometimes transcend that?
Always! We are DJ’s, and we look for music that gets a certain reaction from the crowd, music that fits in our sets and that provokes emotions within people. You might have the intention of working on something and think the track is going to have a certain effect when you try it bit this isn’t always the case. Then you have the tracks that you create but don’t expect a reaction from and when you play it once everyone is like “wow! This is a bomb!” So yeah with more experience in the studio we are able to focus on the dancefloor but its difficult to predict exactly what a crowd reaction will be and as DJ’s being on the same level and creating the right vibe for that moment is always key.

How important are track titles to you? And is there a distinct connection with all your tracks and their respective titles?
They are very important. Out titles come from things we are feeling in the moment when we create the track or can come from a movie we saw, from a theme we are thinking at the moment, from words related with a subject we are exploring…

You’ve been touring for a good 6 or so years now, what memories stand out?
These past 6 years have been heavy Fur Coat touring, and there are some many great memories. Great trips with our wives from NYE, or tours where we get to know places, eat their food and connect with people that we still have friendships with. Some other fun times as a duo, just fooling around, or going around the cities. There are also some bitter memories from a crazy driver or a crazy trip to get to a place. But definitely good memories of parties, festivals, the flavours and smells of a city, their people, their culture is what we take back home. All the touring has made us grow as individuals and get so much from each place.

What time of the night do you prefer to play? Do you like closing sets?
We play most of the time as headliners, so in a club from 2-4, but we prefer extended sets. Closing sets are great too! We like long sets so we can tell a story and take people on a journey!

Lastly, let fans know what to expect for the remainder of the year? What’s in the pipeline?
Well touring a lot, we have a busy year! Music wise we have an EP out in July on REDIMENSION (Joseph Capriati’s) Label. We also have an EP signed to Nicole Moudaber’s MOOD label. We have an EP on Oddity with a remixer we like a lot! And we have a couple of tracks on some V.A´s for SIAMESE and Virgo. Also we have a remix for Oliver Huntemann and a project of remixes we are working for LNOE!

Fur Coat EP on Joseph Capriati’s “REDIMENSION” is out on 13th Get your copy here: Download

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