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Feature: Julian Nates [Interview]

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As one of Argentina’s most promising talents, Julian Nates lays claim to releases on Nick Warren’s The Soundgarden, Antrim’s Or Two Strangers, Proton’s Particles and Soundteller Records, while also earning praise from progressive music tastemakers Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J. Now on the cusp of a new EP for Clubsonica Records we catch up with him in this exclusive interview. Enjoy.

Hi Julian, thanks for joining us, how are you today and what are you up to? What are your plans for the week?

First of all, thank you for inviting me to talk with you Mitch. Luckily, I’m doing great, trying to take the positives out of this transitory way of living. For the rest of the week I have planned to record my next podcast episode called “Dichotomies” and to continue working on my productions. I’m also trying to enjoy the last warm days here in Argentina.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

My first exposure to electronic music came from my older sister when I was 11 years old. She showed me Tiesto’s super hit ‘Adagio for String’ which really resonated with me. But the decision to immerse myself fully to electronic music came a few years later.

Since I was a child, I knew music was going to be a central part of my life and as the years went by, I started searching for the best ways to express myself through music. During the first twelve years of my life I was involved in classical music, I then delved deep into learning the drums and some percussion instruments, this was helped by attending a very prestigious conservatoire of music. It wasn’t until I was about 22 that I made my first steps towards Progressive House, this was when my closest friends made me listen to Hernan Cattaneo’s famous podcast called “Resident”. Since then I felt a huge connection with the genre and I knew it was the right way to express myself musically. I was also influenced by the experience of seeing Guy J and Guy Mantzur in the Orfeo Superdomo in 2016, where I was completely taken back at how the DJ can connect with the audience through music. It was because of these experiences that I took several courses to learn the art of being a DJ and producer of electronic music, and to take that path as a way of living.

Name five tracks that were most important in your musical development and why are these pieces so significant for you.

First of all, I’m going to choose “Adagio for Strings” by Tiesto since it was my first experience with electronic music and I believe it left an important mark on me.

For the second, third and fourth place I’m going to choose tracks that struck me when I started to listen to progressive house and they influenced me drastically. Those tracks are John Digweed, Nick Muir & Guy J – Heaven Scent (Original Mix), Danny Howells – On The Moon (Original Mix) and the legendary track “Cowgirl” by Underworld.

Lastly, but as important as the others, there’s Imaginarium by Hernan Cattaneo and Guy Mantzur. This track made me understand how complex it is to produce progressive house and the challenge I had ahead of me.

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? It’s had a huge impact on travelling DJs obviously. Once nightlife eventually resumes what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?

Here in Argentina we have spent more than seventy days in quarantine and that means a complete stop in the country’s club scene, affecting not only clubs but also bars, restaurants, lightning and sound company and all of their employees. I sympathize with all of them and I believe it’s up to the government to make this situation more bearable to all concerned. Luckily during this time at home, I keep producing and learning so I can keep expanding the limits of my sound.

I consider we’re living in a time with many changes and at a speed we’re not conscious about. I’m sure they are going to enforce different distancing and sanitary measures when clubs do open, but I think the essence will never change.

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Argentina, how did your country become the genre’s mecca over the last 10 years? What would you attribute that to?

There are many factors that could have led Argentina to become a leading pioneer in the worldwide progressive house scene. I think there is a very natural connection between the Argentinian public and progressive house. When I play live, I can see this strong connection and it’s something really special to experience. Another big factor is to have a progressive house global ambassador such as Hernan Cattaneo as well as all the national DJs and producers that are making headway in the scene.

What are your favourites venues to play in Argentina and why?

In every place I’ve had the privilege to play, each has had their own unique vibe. They have always treated me in a very caring and respectful way, so it’s impossible for me to choose any places in particular.

You have a new release out this week on Clubsonica Records, it’s your second artist EP for the label, tell us about that and your production process on the title track ‘The Last Call’.

The Last Call is a track where I explore my deep progressive side. I was hoping to create deeper atmospheres with different FXs, pads, sub bass and kick. At the time of drawing up the groove I tried to generate a club atmosphere. I think the hi hats and percussion gradually evolving add great tension as the track progresses.

Why has Clubsonica become a good home for your music recently?

When I first started producing, I investigated deeply into the different labels within the scene and Clubsonica was one of the first I felt a connection with. From my very first gigs I have used the music they release and now, to be part of it alongside other producers and DJs I admire a lot, is a huge honour.

What’s a piece of gear or software that always gets used when you’re writing a track?

I think that we, as producers, are constantly informing ourselves and searching for new sounds to express ourselves better. At this time I’m using U-HE’ VST called Zebra2 a lot. It has a really great sound range that I like working with a lot.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

It is true that the methods for finding music have changed a lot. I had the privilege to live through the CD era in my childhood, to be able to listen from a Walkman or spend hours at the record shop deciding which rock band CD I would like to take home. Now we are fully into the streaming platform era in which for a monthly payment you have a gigantic amount of music on your electronic device. My way of discovering new music is listening to as many different DJ sets as I can or exploring different music genres playlist on Spotify.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I really enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing sports and going to the gym. I also enjoy watching some funny sitcoms to clear my mind.

Current five favourite tracks?

This list is in no particular order:

Kamilo Sanclemente, Velveta, Giovanny Aparicio – Forgiven (Original Mix)
Julian Nates – Stardust (Original Mix)
Pedro Capelossi – Amethyste (Nōpi Remix)
K Loveski – Spinola (Luciano Scheffer Remix)
Beije – Sigil (Emi Galvan Remix)

What does the remainder of 2020 hold for Julian Nates? Anything you can share with us?

I’m really happy with the targets I achieve each day. I feel blessed to be able to share my music and the music I love with others. For the second half of this year I have new music I’m eager to share with everyone. I also want to keep learning so I can keep expressing my passion for music in the best way possible. Thank you very much!!

‘The Last Call’ is available for pre-order now via Beatport: : https://bit.ly/31vDp5L

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